Latest Posts

5 Best Pet Carriers and Tips for Safer Airline Cargo Flights

Pets safeness cargo flights

Planning an airline trip with your dog or cat and don’t know where to begin? In recent years, traveling has changed on all fronts – for humans as well as their furry friends. Gone are the days when we quickly and easily packed for a trip with no regard for how many ounces were in our liquid containers. The same is true for the four-legged counterparts. They too now fly with many new concerns and limitations.

If a pet is too large to fit in-cabin, the only option becomes flying in back of the plane with the cargo. Be prepared to meet a host of limitations and hurdles in this process. Policies will range anywhere along a spectrum from no longer allowing pets to be transported with checked baggage, limitation of how many pet carriers are allowed during any given flight, types and breeds of dogs that are no longer accepted to fly at all and even regulations and limitations on the length of time pets will be allowed to fly. Before beginning your quest to find the best pet carrier, take care to do your homework on the airline you’re traveling with. Each airline has its own policies and restrictions. An owner is well advised to become acquainted with them.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) endorses the following five pet carriers for pets flying back in cargo. Designs are referred to as a sky kennels when they are created to comply with airline criteria. Be certain to check airline requirements. No pet carrier exactly fits requirements for all the airline companies.

1. Petmate Sky Kennel Airline Cargo Crate

This carrier comes in a variety of sizes and is USDA & IATA approved. It meets most airline requirements. It’s constructed of heavy-duty plastic; however, the nuts and bolts may have to be switched out with metal components. The crate comes with “Live Animal” stickers and clip on bowls as an added convenience.

2. Midwest Skudo Plastic Pet Carriers

This Skudo carrier has additional features that pet owners enjoy and claims to be as compliant as the other top pet carriers. Skudo has snap-lock buckles which make for easy assembly and casters can be added for convenience. This carrier is particularly compliant with Delta Airlines. It doesn’t rank as high in durability, but the ability to pull it on rollers may outweigh durability for some.

3. FavoriteR Airline Approved Pet Carrier

The FavoriteR Carrier meets U.S. and international standards and come with an IATA certification. It’s promoted as having easy assembly and wheels for convenience – but has no handles on top. It comes in several colors and sizes. It’s likely the most affordable carrier among this list.

4. Grreat Choice Dog Carrier

The Grreat Choice pet carrier is compliant with USDA and IATA requirements and is made specifically for PetSMart. It has durable construction, promises an assembly time of mere minutes and guarantees no tools required. It offers safety door locks and a carrying handle with ventilation on four sides.

5. Aspenpet Pet Porter Kennel

The Aspenpet Cargo Kennel is much like the first carrier in this list as its plastic wing nuts may need to be replaced by metal ones if necessary. It is vented on three sides, and is made of a light-weight durable plastic should additional holes need to be drilled on the back. It comes with “Live Animal” stickers and is available in a large size to accommodate bigger dogs.

Useful Petmate Travel Dishes

Petmate travel bowl duo

 

Whether a pet owner is the type who takes their pet along with them in every possible scenario or the type of owner who only occasionally elects to bring Fido along, at some point both of these owners will need a means to provide food and drink…and of course the occasional opportunity to relieve the bladder and/or “do their business”. A great many gizmo’s and options of pet travel tools are available to inspect at any neighborhood pet store. For the purposes of today’s discussion, the special attributes and features of the Petmate brand travel dishes will be the central topic.

Practical Design of the Petmate Duo

There is a myriad of features that make this Petmate bowl attractive to any owner. Nothing has been spared to consider all practical aspects and every issue involved in feeding and watering a pet on the go. The travel bowl duo consists of two silicon collapsible bowls that neatly fit into a black twill container that can be fastened with Velcro. There are many positive aspects to this design. The bowl structure makes it stable, as to resist spills and tipping. The silicon material will not scratch flooring surfaces as might be the case with other bowl materials, the apparatus folds in on itself and is conveniently self-contained. As if that weren’t enough, the case is designed with twill loop on the rim of the container. The genius of this design gives the pet owner the convenience of hooking the traveling food bowl on to other objects. With the simple addition of a carabiner clip, the traveling food bowl duo can be clipped on to your purse, backpack or luggage.

Varied Sizes to fit Your Pet

The Petmate Travel Bowl Duo is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Instead, the buyer has a choice between a small or large duo. The small Petmate duo holds 1.5 cups in each of the two, collapsible bowls. The large Duo has an increased capacity of 3 cups in each bowl. Given these two options, there isn’t any size or variety of dog whose food and water needs can’t be met within these two options.

Cleaning & Storing the Duo

The Duo traveling bowl can be easily washed by hand or in the dishwasher. As is true with many silicon products, the silicon does not become completely dry in the dishwasher drying cycle. While this can be seen as a downside, it takes only moments to dry the remaining moisture with a cloth and the offsets that are achieved by using silicon far outweigh the small inconvenience of either allowing more drying time or drying it by hand. The collapsible design and lightweight small package make the Petmate Traveling food bowl storage worry free. The folded contraption can literally be stored anywhere, and the twill loop only adds options for places where the pet owner might hang it.

Catching a Wave with Your Dog

waves, dogs and you

Dogs love to run and play, including on the beach. However, there are some tips to follow, especially to keep dogs safe. Be sure to know whether or not to have a pet on a leash, times they are allowed on the beach and if there are permits needed.

Pet-Friendly Beaches

Knowing where to take the family, including the dogs, before going, will keep frustrations down.

Wyoming – Morad Park allows dogs to run completely free and swim through the North Platte River.

WisconsinPleasant Prairie Dog Swim at Prairie Springs Park offers a designated water park for dogs along the north shore.

Washington has 40 different beaches that dogs may vacation with the family. However, Richmond Beach Saltwater Park is an entirely off the leash park that allows dogs to swim freely.

UtahWillow Creek Park, Dog Park- This park has a floating deck strictly for dogs to enjoy the water.

Texas – Katy Dog Park was made specifically with dogs in mind. This unique park has dog streams, showers and fountains for pets. There are areas specifically for large and small dogs.

Tennessee provides a dedicated pet-friendly park that allows large and small dogs to run, play and swim safely. Located in Knoxville, PetSafe Dog Park at Tommy Schumpert Park, has something for everyone.

South Carolina has over 15 dog-friendly parks and beach destinations. However, Sullivan’s Island allows pets on the beach off the leash during certain times of the day. Be sure to get a permit for the animal or else they are not allowed.

Oregon offers a lot to the family of pets. With over 20 parks and beaches to choose from, the family dog will have a good time running along the shoreline. However, an off the leash park is hard to come by. One of the few in this state is the Sandy River Delta Trailhead.

Tips for Safety at the Beach

  • Going into the water is fun, however, putting a life vest on the pet, can save its life.
  • Do not let the pets drink salt water. Keep a fresh water supply on hand.
  • Cold water should never be drunk by dogs. Keep it lukewarm to keep digestive problems down.
  • Sunscreen should be applied to nose and ears.
  • Swimming in calm waters keeps dogs out of trouble.

Bring the following to the beach

  • Dog food and water
  • Frisbee
  • Umbrella
  • Towels
  • First aid kit

Do not forget to bring bags to collect feces in once the dog has used the restroom. Be sure to have a dog collar with ID tag on at all times.

Caution

Remember, not all dogs can naturally swim. Swimming is a talent that is learned and honed with practice. Before going to the beach, teach every dog how to paddle and to be comfortable in deep waters. Breeds that cannot swim: Shih-Tzus, Daschunds, English and French Bulldogs, Terriers and Pugs.

Dogs have skin issues just as humans do. Therefore, know what causes allergic reactions and how to treat it immediately. Dogs that have terrible allergies: American Hairless Terrier, Chinese Crested, Kerry Blue Terrier, Maltese and Poodle. Make sure that all dogs are thoroughly washed once done playing on the beach.

Getting to the Destination Safely

safe to fly, safe for pet

Leaving an animal alone in a house while the family takes a vacation, could be atrocious. However, taking the animal along can also bring up safety hazards. Therefore, preparing the car and pet for the journey, will ensure safety for all within the car.

Things to Pack in the Car

A person would not forget to pack their toothbrush; the same should go for the essentials for pets. As a general rule, bring the following:

Dog food should be inside a safe travel container. The Container Store offers the Pet Travel-Tainer. Have water readily available. Petsmart offers the e.g. Top Paw Travel Pet Water Bottle in 11 and 22-ounce selections.

Toys are a comfort and time-consuming activity for the pet. Make sure to pack multiple toys to keep the dog happy.

Line the area in which the pet will be traveling in. Chewy.com offers the K&H Pet Products Economy Cargo Cover for Sports Utility Vehicles.

If the pet is going to be riding in the backseat so that luggage can go in the backend, using something similar to a car seat saver, will keep seats from pet hair.

Have a blanket that the animal enjoys as well, to make the ride seem more like home.

Safety Restraints

Loose objects in a car become projectiles when the breaks must be pressed quickly. If the animal is not inside of a carrier, then they need to have a seatbelt or harness on, to properly guard them.

Seat-belts – Using a harness and the car’s seat-belt system, can keep any size dog from going through the window, thrashing about or moving freely. Clickit Utility has been crash-tested and proven to be top of the line of harnesses. However, the best option to get the family pet safely to the destination is a crate.

Safety Tips and Tricks

  • Do not let the pet roam around in the car.
  • The front seat is for humans only.
  • All hands, feet, tails and heads must be inside of the car at all times.
  • Take multiple rest stops. The general rule is that a rest stop is needed, every two hours.
  • Never leave the pet alone in a car. The temperature inside of a vehicle rises quickly. High temperatures can cause dehydration, heatstroke and death.
  • Be prepared for motion sickness and other illnesses along the way.
  • Talk to the veterinarian before leaving; they can assist with preparing a first aid kit with needed medicines.

Take a few test drives before the long haul. The first test should be no more than thirty minutes long. While on the test drive, watch the pets’ behavior, this will be the first line of defense for sickness, anxiety and hyperactivity.

Remember, when traveling, the important thing is to get there safely. Being prepared for the worst can give the pet owner, peace of mind. Plan out what to bring on the trip and recheck to make sure everything is packed the day of the trip.

Treating Travel Anxiety and Car Sickness in Dogs

car sickness and travel anxiety

Traveling has been known to make many people sick; dogs are no different. Anxiety and carsickness happen when the dog is not familiar with their surroundings. Anxiety and carsickness can cause trauma to the family pet if not watched and treated immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety and Carsickness

Knowing how the dog acts, can help its owner realize that something is wrong with them. Watch the dog for any of the following symptoms when traveling:

  • Uncontrollable urination or diarrhea
  • Becomes lethargic or seems to have no ability to move
  • Drooling more than normal
  • Dry heaving or vomiting
  • Pacing and whining
  • Becomes agitated
  • Panting uncontrollably
  • Trembling, even when talked to
  • Tail tucked beneath legs
  • Biting on their legs or tail
  • Out of control behavior

Stop the vehicle as soon as possible after these signs and symptoms start to happen. Making the animal ride for longer than needed will result in a worsening of conditions.

Preventing Anxiety and Carsickness

Training a dog is vital to keeping anxiety and carsickness away. Starting with small steps, teach the animal to enjoy the car ride. The first thing to do is, start by letting the dog roam the car while it is parked. Let the dog freely sniff and search in the back seat or the back end, this will allow for getting acclimated. Do not forget to praise the dog, this allows them to know how well they are doing. Reinforcing good behavior while sitting in the car with a treat, will help the dog realize they are doing a good thing.

After the dog has gotten used to the car, bring in a towel, bowl of food and water as well as the dog’s favorite chew toy. Bringing these items will make the dog feel safe whenever trips are taken. Once all of those items are in the car, put a dog harness on with the seat belt and go for a short drive. The first trip should be somewhere the dog can run afterward.

Backup Plan

Unfortunately, there are times when calming down the pet is hard to without some assistance. The best method to try first is the homeopathic path. Using lavender oil has a calming effect that is used on babies to make them sleep. Rubbing lavender oil on the forehead area lightly while talking to the dog calms them down quickly. More information about homeopathic remedies is located at Dog Naturally. While medicine is highly discouraged, it could be the only route left to take. Speak with a veterinarian about the way the dog acts and the options that can be taken to keep anxiety and carsickness at bay.

Remember, making the animal get into the car without letting them explore can cause problems with their system, causing sickness. Be patient with the dog and treat them as if they are a child, praising them for good behavior. Do not forget to bring along things from home to comfort them.

Parks that Dogs Enjoy

dogs in parks

Being one with nature is animal instinct for dogs. They enjoy roaming about and sniffing around to see what is out there. When booking a family vacation with the dogs, think about taking a walk through the national parks.

A Few Parks Throughout the United States

Alabama – Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. through the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. The trail is open 24 hours a day to visitors with starting points in Selma, Lowndes County and the City of Montgomery. Pets are not allowed in visitor centers or museums, however, along the trail, they must be on a leash at all times.

Colorado – Dinosaur National Monument
Walk where the dinosaurs once roamed, enjoy a thrilling ride along the Yampa River or enjoy a night camping out at Green River. While the monument is open 24 hours a day, heed all park alerts when visiting, some roads may be closed due to inclement weather. Pets are only allowed on the trails of Cold Desert, Plug Hat, Iron Springs Bench Overlook and Echo Park, as long as they are on a leash.

Georgia – Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The beautiful Chattahoochee River is a site for everyone to see. The park is open 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. Those wanting to see the Island Ford Visitor Contact Station will need to go between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pets are allowed only on the trails while on a short leash.

Louisiana – Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Nothing compares to walking along a battlefield trail in the South. There are six different locations to choose from. However, pets must be attended to at all times. Unfortunately, they are not allowed at the French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans.

Pennsylvania – Independence National Historical Park
Enjoying the day filled with historical sites and lots of walking space for dogs. Most buildings are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dogs must be on a leash and are not permitted inside of buildings.

Texas – Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
The United States’ 36th President wanted to make sure that his history was offered to all that wished to know about him. Pet access is very limited, however where they are allowed, they must be on a leash and must be kept away from the buildings in the park.

Virginia – Historic Jamestowne, Colonial National Historical Park
Step inside the national park where John Smith and Pocahontas brought together two different cultures. Pets may visit any place except for the visitor center and the museums as long as they are on a leash.

Nature’s beauty can be seen throughout the United States and most of it, accepts pets. For a complete listing of all parks, visit the National Park Service. Remember, follow all rules and regulations so that no fines are imposed. Lastly, if permits are required, please get them before traversing inside the parks.

Airlines Care about Your Pets

doginmysuitcase flight with pets

Summers can be brutal in many areas, especially in the South. Most airline carriers have taken part in keeping pets safe by implementing pet-safe programs. For example, American Airlines imposes an embargo at 85 degrees Fahrenheit if the animal is checked in or shipped as cargo. Another carrier, Delta Air, provides a Summer Live Animal Program that picks up animals by vans and delivers the animal to the destination area. Airlines impose these embargoes to keep from dehydration, heatstroke and death.

United States Airline Information

Knowing the rules and regulations of an airline carrier can help with planning a trip. Nonetheless, knowing that the airline will keep the family pet safe is the most important thing.

Air Canada – They have restrictions on breeds, when animals can fly and how to ship through cargo.

ExpressJet Airlines- They do not impose an embargo on what animals may fly but they do have strict limits on how many live animals may be shipped as cargo.

Frontier Airlines- This company no longer allows pets to fly as checked baggage or cargo.
US Airways- This company does not allow cargo or check-in pets.

Symptoms and Signs of Heatstroke and Dehydration

The importance of embargoes during summer and extreme winter temperatures are there to keep animals safe. However, even with precautions, things do happen.

Heatstroke

  • Panting excessively
  • Tongue is unusually bright red
  • Heart rate is increased- Normal range is between 60 and 140 beats per minute
  • Breathing heavily
  • Thick saliva or vomiting
  • Expression is anxious or panicked
  • Disorientation

Dehydration

  • Excessive urination
  • Very little urination is also a sign
  • Sticky dry gums
  • Skin elasticity- the skin should bounce back to normal, if it does not and sticks up or does not move, then the fluid is too low in the dog’s body
  • Eyes are sunken in
  • LethargicIn

In the Event of Heatstroke and Dehydration

Although most know not to leave any animal in the car or closed spaces during high temperatures, sometimes it is forgotten. Therefore, getting the pet out of sunlight or a hot area, is the first step in cooling the animal down. Cool cloths should be placed upon the head and in the front of the neck immediately to bring the animals’ temperature down. Leave the eyes, nose and mouth area open so that the animal does not panic and can breathe. Keep water running onto the belly of the animal, this will help in cooling down the internal organs. As soon as the pet is cooled off enough that their breathing is not erratic, take them to the veterinarian.Summer’s high heat can cause dehydration quickly. Make sure the animal has fresh, clean water at all times and clean the water bowl daily, so bacteria are not an issue. Do not exercise with the animal in extreme heat of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. When trying to re-hydrate, use Pedialyte mixed with water to provide nutrients lost. Keep the animal in a cool place while transporting to the veterinarian.

Top Tips for Traveling on an Airplane

pet top tips for trips

Traveling can be hard at times, especially if bringing a pet along for the trip. However, planning for the trip can enable smooth sailing along the way. Never leave the house without planning in-depth, how every person including pets will be getting to the final destination.

Tips for Planning the Trip

 

A Unique Way to Fly

unique to fly doginmysuitcase

Flying with animals can be tricky; however, airlines and the federal agencies that govern the airways, have set rules and regulations to help streamline the process. Keeping to the laws, can ensure that pets are safely transported through the air.

Each airline may set their rules and regulations within reason. Some airlines have even gone as far as setting up frequent pet flyer programs.

Flyer Programs

Jetpaws from JetBlue gives frequent flyers, 300 points per trip that never expire. Virgin Atlantic rewards pets by giving frequent flyers, 1,000 points that help build up to free international flights. Although Continental only gives one point per dollar spent on a pet flying in cargo space, they give customers the ability to track their pet in real time.

Airlines

The best policy when booking a flight is to call the airline. It is inadvisable to go in blindly, because of the fees and certain restrictions each carrier has set. Below are a few examples of how different the charges can be.
AirTran was bought out by Southwest Airlines. However, they still have their rules for flying with pets that differ from Southwest. Animals are not allowed in the cargo area. The carrier for the pet must be able to fit under the seat, and the animal must not be sick. There is a pet and carrier weight restriction of 40 pounds or less and the fee for the animal is $65 for one-way.

Allegiant – If flying within the mainland of the United States, pets may ride in the cabin with the passenger. Pets are not allowed out of the carrier, and there is a $100 fee for each way.

American Airlines – Each aircraft has its policy, however if a pet is allowed to ride in the cabin, it must be a small pet. The pet must be at least eight weeks old, be sickness free and in a carrier. A charge of $125 for carry-on pets will apply.

Delta – Depending upon the location, a pet to carry on, will cost between $75 and $250. Not all countries are permitted to have a pet in the cabin of the flight.

jetBlue – The pet may ride in the cabin, as long as, the pet carrier and pet does not exceed 20 pounds. There is a $100 one-way fee that is non-refundable.

Southwest – When traveling within the United States, pets may ride in the cabin, but they must be a small cat or dog. There is a $95 one-way fee for all pets.

Remember, call ahead to make sure pets are allowed, get all of the pertinent details so that planning the family vacation can be done without problems. Do not forget to sign up for frequent flyer miles and use them. Lastly, do not hesitate to ask for special accommodations when it comes to a service animal.

Having a Sick Dog is No Fun

not fun with sickness doginmysuitcase

Planning ahead can help when disaster strikes. Whether or not there is an emergency, following emergency protocol can assist in keeping vacations, drama free.

Planning for Sickness

Know where the veterinarians are located- In the event that the family pet gets sick, it is best to know where non-emergency veterinarians are. If a smartphone is available, Google Maps or Scout will come in handy.

Prepare a medical history packet- Include past medical history problems, a list of all medications, primary veterinarian’s phone number, fax number and e-mail, if available. However, do not forget to list any allergies that the dog may have.

Know where the emergency hospitals are in each city – In case of a dire emergency, know where the emergency veterinarian hospitals are located. Having a GPS enabled phone or an actual GPS within the car, will allow for pre-programming destinations. Excellent resources to help with locating veterinarians and emergency hospitals are: American Animal Hospital Association and American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Have emergency numbers written down – This is different than the medical history records and list. Emergency numbers to have written down are: National Animal Poison Control.

The local pet shelters in case of a human emergency and backup pet sitter information within the city that the family will be staying.

 

First Aid Kit

Preparing for all kinds of sickness is the best course of action. In any first aid kit for a dog, the following should be included:

Toys- most people would not think of this, but for an animal, a soft teddy bear that they have had for years, can make them feel safe

How to Handle Certain Issues?

Seizures are one of the most common signs of eating poison. However, it could also be a symptom of: liver disease, kidney disease, blood sugar issues, anemia, stroke, encephalitis and brain cancer. The ability to understand that a seizure could be life threatening, will help in knowing what to do.

Broken Bones can be devastating to an animal. Therefore, knowing how to treat and act around the pet, can keep the pet calm and from causing further damage.

Remember, to be prepared and to know how to handle situations, this will cut down on the panic and keep the dog calm. Do not hesitate to call a veterinarian in case of an emergency and know where they are located.