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2017-04-20

Learn the basics of traveling with pets

Contributed

Many travelers now bring their pets along on vacations or other trips.

Many pet owners now take their companion animals along with them when they visit family, travel for business or go on vacation. TripAdvisor, the premier travel community resource, annually polls travelers about traveling with pets. Fifty-three percent of respondents travel with their animal companions.
Anyone who has traveled with pets understands the impact that dogs, cats, fish, birds, and other animals can have on travel plans. Accommodations for the animals must be made in order to travel with peace of mind, and some people even forgo vacations when they cannot find accommodations for their pets.
Many hotels have pet-friendly rooms on lower floors near walking areas. Even many restaurants — where pet hair and food may seem like an unlikely combination — are open to allowing travelers dine with their pets. Animals may be allowed to sit in patio dining areas, and some restaurants even allow pets indoors.
Those who choose to travel with pets can heed some precautionary tips and plan ahead.
• The American Kennel Club recommends a veterinary visit prior to taking pets on extended trips. Make sure all vaccinations are current and ask for a copy of health certificates/records.
• Invest in a carrier or crate large enough for your pet. The crate should be large enough for the pet to stand, turn and lie down. A crate or carrier can keep pets secure in the car and may be recommended in pet-friendly hotels.
• Airlines may allow small pets to ride in the cabin in a carrier under your seat. Larger pets will have to ride in the cargo hold. Try to book a direct flight, so that the pet will only have to board and disembark the plane once. Notify airline personnel when you are traveling with a pet. Provide food and water for a long flight.
• Confirm the rules at hotels concerning pet stays. Recognize that you may have to pay fees when bringing pets into a hotel. Bring along your pet’s food and water, as unfamiliar foods or water from unfamiliar dishes may cause stomach problems. Try to keep your pet quiet and be considerate of others who may not be animal lovers.
• Keep identification on your pet that includes your mobile phone number should the pet get lost.
• Inter-national travel may require a different set of procedures depending on where you are traveling. Some countries do not allow pets to visit, while others may require pets to be quarantined for a predetermined period of time before they’re allowed to travel within the country. You also may be able to apply for a pet passport to make international travel go smoothly.
Traveling with pets can be enjoyable, and more and more pet owners are bringing their companion animals along for the ride. TF16B555