Uncategorized

Traveling with a Small Dog

 

When a pet owner travels, it always presents the gut wrenching dilemma of what to do with a loved pet. The proposition of leaving the pet behind in a kennel, asking a friend to “pet sit” or using those upscale doggie hotels that most of us don’t consider affordable – are not attractive options. Perhaps there’s another possibility. Consider taking the dog with you the next time to fly.

Plan Ahead

Being able to take a small dog in-cabin on a plane is a huge relief to many pet owners. Expect to have the best possible outcome if time is allotted to think ahead, make plans and take appropriate action. If a pet is to ride on the plane in-cabin, there are requirements to consider.

Carrier Requirements

The pet must be able to comfortably fit in a pet carrier that will fit beneath the seat in front of you on the plane. Generally, a pet more than 15 lbs. is too large to qualify. An appropriate carrier should be FAA approved and be no larger than 17” x 12” x 8”. Soft-sided carriers are preferable as they can be squished and made to fit into the available space. As long as the pet is comfortable, can re-position itself while enclosed in the case and can breathe properly, the pet carrier will be suitable for the pet as well as satisfactory from the airline’s point of view.

Tickets & Reservations

There will be two distinct steps in making the airline reservations if intending to fly in-cabin with a pet. For the owner and any other human travelers, booking a flight will involve the very same process that travelers are accustomed to. The traditional approach of calling the airline, going online to the airline’s website, using a travel agent or using one of the online based travel services to reserve and book your flight just as you normally would be step 1.
Now for Step 2: Buying a ticket for the Four-legged friend. Once a ticket is secured for the pet owner, using the reservation or confirmation number for the owner’s flight will make it possible to secure a companion ticket for the pet. By simply contacting the airline’s toll-free number, you can make additional flight arrangements for your pet. Please note, there are usually limitations on how many pets that will be allowed on any given flight. This limit not only includes pets flying in-cabin, but also service dogs for handicapped flyers. To ensure the pet gets in under the maximum number of pets allowed, it’s wise to make flight arrangements as far in advance as possible. A fee will be charged for the pet to travel in-cabin. The fee is waived for service or therapy dogs.

Packing for Pup

To be amply prepared for any outcome, items should be packed both for the flight as well as layover or wait times in the airport. In order to have everything you need for your pet – at the time it’s needed, it’s wise to pack items both in your check in luggage and in your carry-on. Among the general items, you’ll need to pack are:

  • at least one to two meals worth of food
  • favorite treats, chew toys and snacks
  • travel food and water bowls
  • leash and collar
  • dog tags, license and dated vaccination documents
  • portable dog bed
  • any medications or supplements
  • disposable dog waste sacks
  • water bottle (can be filled once you’re through security check in)

Last but certainly not least, once on the plane and settled, a few affectionate strokes might be just what’s needed to seal the deal.

How to Travel with Dogs in-Cabin

People who want to fly with their pets immediately think of their poor creature being sedated and then stowed away in cargo. Owners go to amazing lengths to give every measure of loving care and comfort to their pet. Plopping them in the back of the plane with the luggage and watching the carrier be banged around on the tarmac just doesn’t jive with the pampered view of pet care. Great News! If a fury friend is small enough, there’s a possibility that the pet can ride along with the owner in-cabin.

Eligibility to fly in-Cabin

Keep your dog safe when travellingMost airlines will allow small animals to ride in-cabin, given they meet certain requirements. Owners should shop for an airline that will allow pets in the cabin, and then ensure that the pet will be eligible. Pets weighing more than 15 lbs. may not be comfortable in a carrier that fits under the seat and will not meet airline requirements. Do research to find the dimensions that will fit under the seat to verify if the carrier and pet size will qualify.

Getting the Vet’s Stamp of Approval

Two things are required from the veterinarian: First, a general endorsement that your pet is fit to fly. Second, it may be required that the pet also have health certificate. Most airlines require a health certificate if the pet is riding in cargo, but not if they are riding in-cabin. The vet visit can meet both objectives, but there’s usually a limit on how old the certificate may be in order to be valid. It’s recommended that the certificate by dated between one and two weeks of your flight.

  • Buy Tickets/Reserve Space on the Plane
    Airlines limit the number of pets that are allowed on the plane. If verified “cabin pet friendly”, actions should be taken to quickly book the flight for both owner and pet at the same time.
  • Rules at International Destinations
    Some countries have strict laws around animal import and quarantines. Do research on regulations before bringing any animal to foreign destinations.
  • An Appropriate Carrier
    If the pet doesn’t already have a carrier, a shopping trip may be necessary. Soft sided carriers present fewer limitations as they can be squished to fit beneath the seat.
  • Getting Familiar with Carrier
    It would be ill advised to spring a new carrier on the pet the day of the scheduled flight. Stress will be alleviated by giving the critter time to get accustomed to the new travel home. Better yet, try a few short practices runs in the carrier.
  • Investigate Pet Facilities in Airport
    The trip will determine how dependent you may need to be on the airports pet facilities. Whether a long trip with extended layovers or a short trip where the pet can easily “hold it”, it’s wise to know what the options are in case they’re needed.

Packing List:

  • Vaccination records and necessary health information.
  • At least two meals worth of pet food.
  • An empty bottle for water (filled once past security checks).
  • A water bowl.
  • A collar and leash.
  • A favorite toy or something that smells like the owner.
  • Pet Treats.
  • Poop bags.
  • Wet wipes – just in case.
  • Anticipate the Pet Boarding Procedure

It’s wise to visualize the boarding procedure ahead of time. It will be an entirely different experience taking your furry friend on a flight than flying alone or with other humans. It might be a bit intimidating to handle all the usual security hurdles in addition to finagling an anxious pet.

Sedation and Tranquilizers

While debate still remains on sedating a dog for flight, both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the V.D.A. Animal Hospitals advise against it. Tranquilizers can increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems. Quite often, pets are noticeably anxious when the plane is on the runway or taxying. Once in the air, most pets settle and fall asleep. To comfort an anxious pet, reaching down inside their carrier to provide a gentle reassuring touch can provide the calming effect needed to get through short term nervousness.

5 Best Pet Carriers and Tips for Safer Airline 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

 

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.