Vol 12 No 3


Fall 2010

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Are We There Yet?

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Tales of Gold


Are We There Yet?


For many of us dog lovers, the mere idea of going away and leaving our beloved furry companions behind causes us to break out into hives or have some other type of serious physical or mental reaction.  We can’t even believe that we would let ourselves THINK of such a thing as not taking them along; however, there are certain situations that make this impossible and we have no choice.  If you are anything like me, you begrudgingly make “arrangements” for your pets, whatever they may be.  Then off you go without them, only to spend most of your time away missing them, worrying about them, and calling to make sure they are okay. 

But what if the circumstances are such that they can travel with you?  In this issue of Tales of Gold I’m going to provide some important tips about traveling with your dogs and how to make sure the experience is pleasant and safe for all.

The following is a list of things you will want to consider before setting off on any type of trip with your dog.  Make sure …

  • your dog is up-to-date on all vaccines and that you have copies of his/her records with you.  If your pet is on any type of medication, be sure to pack it along with his/her food, a pet first aid kit, a selection of leashes and collars and/or harnesses, and a listing of emergency veterinarians in the place(s) you’ll be visiting.  If you are traveling by car, be sure to include food and water bowls and fresh drinking water, and even your pet’s bed.

  • your dog can tolerate the car ride.  If your dog does not travel well in the car, you may want to think about something to calm his/her nerves.  Your veterinarian will be able to guide you on what would be best for your pet.

  • that the tags on the collar(s) you will be using reflect the appropriate information for contacting you.  If you will be carrying your cell phone with you, you may want to list that number on your dog’s tag just in case he/she gets lost and someone needs to reach you.

  • that the hotels that you are planning to stay at accept pets.  Be sure to check and see if there are any restrictions and/or fees that you will be subject to.  Also, remember to find out if the hotel requires dogs to be crated when you are not in the room.

  • to never leave your dog in a car unattended!  This is a recipe for disaster and should not be an option under any circumstances.  The only thing worse than this would be leaving your dog in a HOT car.  On an 80 degree summer day, the temperature, even in a ventilated car, can reach over 100 degrees in less than 15 minutes.  Just don’t do it and you’ll all be safer.

  • to have an appropriate restraint for your dog while he/she is riding in the car.  Should you have to stop suddenly or if there is an accident, this will prevent him/her from getting loose.  Loose pets can, and often do, either get hurt or become lost in the trauma.

 In addition to all of the above, the following points must be considered if you and your pet are traveling by airplane.  Make sure …

  • you check with your specific airline to determine if your dog will be traveling in the cabin with you or in cargo.  Most airlines require the pet carrier to fit underneath the seat in front of you in order for your pet to travel in the cabin.  You will want to check with your airline regarding any specific requirements/restrictions they may have, as well as any documentation that is required and any fees that you will incur.

  • you have an airline-approved crate for your dog.  In most instances, this is a sturdy plastic crate that has a secure locking system and appropriate ventilation.  Your dog must be able to stand, turn around, and lie down in the crate.  The crate must be labeled with your name, your dog’s name, and all other pertinent information such as your address, phone numbers that you can be reached at and, most importantly, your final destination.  Finally, “LIVE ANIMAL” stickers should be clearly visible on the crate.

  • that in addition to carrying with you proof of your dog’s vaccinations, you should inquire as to whether or not you will need a certificate of acclimation.  This certificate, typically prepared by your vet, will attest to the fact that your dog has been examined and is in good health and should be able to withstand variances in temperature (high or low) that may occur during the travel process.

Hopefully, the information I’ve provided will be helpful when you next decide to travel with your dog.  For more specific information on many of these topics, please visit the following web sites*: 

www.avma.org/animal_health/brochures/traveling/traveling_brochure.asp

www.dogfriendly.com

www.petsonthego.com

www.petswelcome.com

www.pettravel.com

www.tripswithpets.com

* GRRI does not endorse any of the products referenced on these web sites.