Some things to consider when planning your trip that includes your dog are the rules and guidelines for your transportation choice. First and foremost of course, is the safety and comfort of your pet. Before purchasing your dog ticket you must be comfortable that the manner in which your dog will be required to travel is acceptable for you and encouraged by your vet. For example, if your dog is of a breed that may have breathing issues (such as a Bulldog) you may want to consult your vet before planning a trip on a plane. Sometimes the cargo holds can be difficult for these types of dogs. You will certainly want to check this out will in advance before buying a dog ticket for a plane. For some smaller breeds (such as a Chihuahua) it may be possible for the dog to travel in the passenger cabin. Guidelines regarding size should be well investigated prior to your date of travel.
Another guideline that you should research prior to purchasing your dog ticket is what sort of crate or cage that is permitted by the air carrier, train company or bus line. Each company varies on what they will accept but there are also guidelines in place through transport Canada. For exact specifications you should look at the Transport Canada website to familiarize yourself and ensure that your crate it suitable. In most cases, the crate must be hard plastic (or another hard material such as wood) on the sides, top and bottom. This is for your dog’s safety and will protect the crate from being damaged or your dog being injured. It is also important that your dog is able to stand up and turn around within the crate. Sometimes the travel time can be delayed or will be lengthy even when on time, so your dog will need to be able to stand up and change position for it’s own comfort. Many owners also like to put a blanket or towel and a chew toy in for their dog to ease anxiety and provide a more comfortable ride.
If you are traveling for a long period of time and have a stop over or a connection be sure to ask the airline staff to get your dog for you on the break. This is a great time to let the dog out to go to the bathroom and have a drink. If you do choose to feed your dog at this time, please only give him a small snack as he may not have enough time to digest and use the bathroom before he goes back on the plane! In the event of tight connection times however, you may not have the chance to see your dog on the lay over.
The cost of a dog ticket will vary depending on what form of transportation you choose. Similar to when buying your own ticket however, it is usually a better price when you buy it in advance. Some air carriers or train companies do have set rates however. Even if this is the case with whatever company you choose, you are wise to call well in advance and let them know you will be traveling with your dog as they usually have a limit to the amount of animals that can travel on each flight, train or bus.