Traveling With A Pet
Traveling With a Pet on Vacation
Pet travel tips.
You will need to decide what to do with your pet whether you are visiting Niagara Falls or planning a trip to Timbuktu.
Hopefully, your decision will be based on "what is best for your pet" and not your own emotional needs. Many times, the humane thing to do is leave your pet with someone familiar such as a family member or friend.
A professional pet sitter is another option. Or, you might consider boarding your pet at a local Humane Society or a pet boarding house. Cats especially should be left at home. Felines do not like change and traveling.
If this is your choice, leave the pet caregiver with your contact information, veterinary's name and number, and your pet's medical records and diet regime.
Check out the facilities beforehand and bring your pet along. It's a good idea to familiarize your pet with the caregiver and surroundings before the final day.
Pet Air Travel, Ship, Bus, or Train
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If you are traveling with a pet by plane, check with your travel agency or airline to find out what their policies are. Some airlines give you several pet traveling options such as shipping your pet as cargo, as baggage, or in the cabin with you. Many airlines will ship only as cargo.
Cargo shipment can be a little more stressful so consider what is best for your pet when making those types of decisions.
Some airlines have restrictions on what type of pets are allowed to travel, what type and size of carry on kennel is required, and pet age and weight restrictions.
Try to book one stop flights to avoid additional stress or even loss of your pet. (Carry a photograph of your pet to assist in finding your pet should this unfortunate incident happen.)
Some ships, buses, and trains, do not allow pet transportation unless they are assistance dogs.
Check with your country's Department of Agriculture (or the country of destination) for more information on traveling with a pet. Your veterinarian or embassy might also direct you to the proper contacts.
Traveling With a Pet by Car
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If you are traveling by car, or plan to rent a car once you reach your destination, there are a few things to consider:
Do not let your pet hang its head out of the window. (I've been guilty of this.) I know it looks cute and it seems they just love to feel the wind in their face. But... your pet can be injured by flying particles and cold air forced down their lungs can cause harm.
Consider purchasing a dog harness for your pet. These devices hook into most standard seat belts ensuring security and safety for your pet.
Never travel with a pet in the back of a pick up truck. It's very dangerous. Your pet should be placed in the back seat of the vehicle.
Purchase the proper carrier for your pet. Inquire at your local pet supply store for the best car travel carrier. The ideal carrier should be durable and smooth edged with opaque sides. Choose one with a grille door and one with several ventilation holes on each side of the carrier. The door and latch should be made very secure. (Cats should always travel in a carrier.)
Restrain the carrier with a rope or seat belt. Consider lining it with shredded newspaper, a towel, or your pet's favorite blanket.
Stop frequently to allow your pet to eliminate, get fresh air, and exercise.
Limit your pet's food intake to approximately three hours before traveling. Give your pet small amounts of water during travel.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. The temperature on a warm day can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Some pets are also in danger of being injured, even stolen!
Vet Check Before Traveling With a Pet
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Take your pet to a vet and have it checked to be sure it is healthy enough to travel. Certain breeds are less likely to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings and the stress that traveling creates. Many pets have died during travel. Some pets have poor temperaments or are high strung. Your vet may prescribe a sedative or tranquilizer.
Most countries require a certificate issued by a veterinarian that states the pet has been vaccinated against rabies or distemper and is free from any infectious or contagious disease.
Depending on what country you plan to visit, you will need to check the government regulations for entry into that country. Some countries require a pet health certificate and/or pet passport. Others will quarantine your pet for several days upon arrival.
Know your country of destinations' rules and regulations well before you start planning your vacation and traveling with a pet. Don't get caught by surprises at the last minute.
Additional Tips for Traveling with a Pet
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Do a google search for pet friendly hotels and motels in the city where you want to visit. The Travel Lodge and Best Western are two pet friendly hotels in Niagara Falls Canada.
Consider boarding your dog or cat at the Niagara Falls Humane Society upon arrival (either for your entire vacation time or for those times when you might be tempted to leave your pet in the car or leave it behind in your motel room.) We've heard horror stories about pets left in automobiles in the heat of the day.
It's a good idea to have a pet grooming contact just in case your poor little pet gets sprayed by a skunk or gets gum stuck in its hair. There are several pet grooming parlors in Niagara Falls.
You just never know what you might need to pick up at a pet store. Perhaps the place you are visiting requires that you have a muzzle on your pet. You might need to purchase a brush as you forgot to pack it or something similar. We have several pet supply stores in Niagara Falls.
It's always a good idea to pack a pet emergency kit before traveling with a pet. You'd do that for a child wouldn't you? Bring along some of your pet's favorite toys, leash, dishes, bedding, food, and water. (Litter and litter box for a cat.)
We hope traveling with a pet is without complication; However, be prepared for emergencies. Be sure to have a Veterinary contact for the destination city you plan to visit.
Have two pieces of identification attached to your pet's collar. One should be your name, address, and telephone number of your permanent address. The other should be the contact person, address, and telephone number of the place where you will be lodging. Attach the same information on your pet's carrier.
Have your pet's nails clipped before traveling to avoid tears and other injuries.
It's best not to feed your pet for four to six hours before air travel. Small amounts of water are ok or perhaps attaching a bowl to the inside of the cage with a couple of ice cubes might suffice.
Try to choose travel dates during off season times when temperatures are cooler and tourist traffic is less hectic. It will be more comfortable for your pet.
Do not leave your pet with a muzzle on in his cage or with his leash still attached to the collar. Remove anything loose from the cage before traveling with a pet.
If possible, check your pet frequently and upon arrival, thoroughly examine your pet. If any thing looks wrong, immediately get it to a vet and keep written records of the examination.
We hope these pet travel tips have helped. We encourage you to do some extensive pet travel research before embarking on your Niagara Falls vacation. Thoughtful planning before traveling with a pet will ensure a smoother trip for you and your furry friend.
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