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TRAVELING WITH PETS
For more detailed information, try the book, Vacationing With Your Pet by Eileen Barish ($19.95 at bookstores) or write to: Pet-Friendly Publications PO Box 8459 Scottsdale, AZ 85252 or call 1-800-638-3637. It includes a directory of more than 23,000 pets-permitted hotels, inns, etc. in the U.S. and Canada.
Two other resources are free: "Traveling with your dog" and
"Traveling with your cat" sheets from Purina. Send name and address to Traveling with your pet, Ralston Purina Co., PO Box 88988, St. Louis, MO 63188.
For dogs on the go, the American Kennel Club offers a free booklet titled
"Canine Travel Tips". Write for it at AKC Customer Service, 5580 Centerview Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; call 1-919-233-9767; send e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the club's web site at
- Start with a trip to the vet to make certain that your pet is in good health and to determine if any medical aids would make the trip easier.
- You may need a health certificate from your vet if you're traveling by air or going to a foreign country.
- Many humane societies recommend that pets in cars/trucks be crated. An uncrated animal could actually cause an accident or be injured if not crated.
- Airlines have specific crating regulations, which should be requested in advance or at least when making reservations.
- When the animal is crated, make certain the animal has enough room to stand, turn around and be comfortable, yet feel secure. Make certain enough air gets in and that the locks are securely fastened.
- If an animal is unaccustomed to traveling, let it get used to the crate with short practice runs.
- If an animal is left unsecured, it should not ride in the front seat if the vehicle has a passenger-side air bag, which could be lethal if it engages.
- Pets should not be left in closed cars in hot weather. Even with windows partly open, heat builds up quickly and can cause extreme distress, suffocation, and death.
- Pets should travel with proper identification tags, proof of vaccination, and proper licenses.
- Be sure to pack food, favorite toys and bowls, a recent photo and description of your pet, appropriate medications, your vet's number, and plenty of water, for both on the road and later. (Diluting local water with water from home can help prevent diarrhea.)
- Make certain to check pet policies at hotels or other places of lodging, like campgrounds in advance.
- Be aware that most train and bus lines do not allow pets although some cruise ships do.
- Traveling can be especially stressful for birds and smaller mammals, such as hamsters and rabbits. Even more so for reptiles because of their specialized diets, and specific light and temperature requirements.
- Exercise your dog before you leave. A tired pet will sleep more easily and adapt more readily to new surroundings.
- Do not let animals hang their heads out of the window of moving vehicles. Eyes, ears, and throats could become inflamed.
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LAST UPDATED: 20 June 2006