This year consider taking along Fido or Fifi along with you on your family vacation. Many hotels, motels and campgrounds are opening their doors to pets and their owners and providing them with many amenities for their travel pet. Almost any pet can travel with their owners with a few limitations. Pets that deserve special consideration are pug nose and short nosed dogs and cats that may have breathing difficulties especially while in cargo holds of airplanes. Aggressive breed dogs may also have restrictions placed upon them because of the liability and possible property damage. If your pet doesn't fit into any of these categories you should encounter little trouble while traveling.
The first thing you should do to enjoy pet friendly travel is to have your dog checked by a veterinarian and have them provide you with a certificate of health and state that the animal is on a flea and parasite treatment program.
Occasionally a veterinarian will advise you to sedate an animal, but it usually isn't necessary or recommended for flights. Once it is determined that your dog is in fit condition for travel you can proceed to make reservations for accommodations for your travel pet.
Hotels are realizing that a growing segment of the population wants to travel with their pet. Many hotels offer special amenities for your pet including pet beds, leashes, collars, pet toys, pet videos, dog trips destination listings, pet sitting services and pet walking services. In addition many establishments cater to your travel pet with special cuisine including a vegetarian menu for the health conscious. Shop around to find the best deals because not all hotels will charge you an extra deposit or additional fees for bringing a pet along.
Airlines generally accommodate all pets, but they do have certain restrictions to ensure the safety of your pet. Purchase or rent an approved travel pet carrier ahead of your travel date so that your pet can get used to it. Your airline may also have travel embargos during summer months. The reason for this is that many times a flight may have to sit on the tarmac for a long period of time and the pets in the cargo hold may become overheated. The best way to travel during hot months is to arrange flights early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler. Try to plan non-stop flights so that your pet will not have to be moved repeatedly or risk the chance of becoming lost during travel. All pets should have a collar with their information on it, not choke collars, and a microchip if possible.
International travelers should be aware that some countries require a six-month quarantine on animals before they are allowed into the country. Currently the UK requires this of animals from North America. Pets may also be required to have additional shots from your veterinarian prior to traveling to other countries.
The best way to prepare for travel with your pet is to talk to your travel agent, airline reservations, cargo carrier and veterinarian prior to travel. These people will be able to tell you about restrictions, regulations or health concerns that need to be addressed prior to traveling. Travel pet concerns can be alleviated with careful planning so that both you and your pet will have a safe and stress free vacation.