Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Readers, Finally we can it seems that spring is almost in the air.  Weather wise it’s not that cold anymore and it looks like Mr. Winter is going to say goodbye. Soon you have to start cleaning up the yard and the flower beds.  And the trees in the backyard will start to have leaves [...]

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Page added on July 20, 2010

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Travelling with your pet can be a pleasant experience for you and your pet if you remember to PLAN AHEAD.
Here are some useful tips for flying with your pet:
• Don’t buy your carrier or plane tickets at the last minute. Call the airlines and get SPECIFIC information about requirements AND charges. Not all airlines charge the same amount for the same size dog and costs can be high.
• If you are traveling to another country the airline will want to see that you have the proper documents to enter that country with your pet. Get the proper certifications for both your origination and destination, descriptions of which are available from the USDA/APHIS website. Most countries have their own version of a veterinary certificate sometimes called a Zoo Sanitary Certificate. In addition some countries require an import permit.
• Gauge your travel plans on your pet’s needs and personality.
• Never give your pet a medical (prescription) sedative. If you want your pet to be more relaxed, then give it a natural relaxing agent such as Happy Traveler.
• Long international flights can be as hard on your dog as they are on you. If you have long layovers (more than two hours) think about checking your pet to that destination and picking it up.
• - If traveling by air take your dog out for a good exercise 30 minutes before you leave for the airport. When you get to the airport take your dog and let it go to the bathroom. If your dog is going in the cabin with you bring a few ice cubes in a bag and let the dog eat them every few hours. Bring a blanket of some sort to put over the bag (I think Sherpa is the best kind) when getting on and off the plane so the dog can’t see out and get scared. If your dog is going in cargo and the flight is under 3 hours, put a bowl of frozen water in the kennel so the dog can drink it without worrying about it spilling.
• Take a care kit in your carry on – bottled tap water from your home, baby wipes (good for accidents or when something ‘comes up’ – they are non- toxic and leave a nice smell behind), a small brush for drool mats, and a cookie or treat.
• Place a shirt or some socks that have been well worn by you in your pet’s carrier. It’s a big comfort.
• If you’ll be staying overseas for a while, try to stick to your routine as much as possible. Keep walks on the same schedule. Find food that’s as similar as possible to what your pet eats at home. Take advantage of the fact that many establishments allow (well-behaved) dogs inside.
Airport Security and Your Pet
- When going through airport security with a pet, you will be required to take your pet out of its carrier and hold it while the carrier is scanned. There appears to be no flexibility on this. So be sure that you have a strong collar, leash, and id tags on your pet
• AVID Tag for your Dog or Cat
- When traveling with your dog or cat, it’s a good idea to get an ‘AVID’ tag. These are special computer tags the size of the head of a straight pin that are inserted painlessly into the fatty area between the animal’s shoulder blades. The law now requires that all animals that are ‘found’ by dog catchers, pounds, shelters, law enforcement etc., be scanned to see if they have an AVID tag. Once scanned, the animal’s entire medical history, home and emergency contact numbers will show on a computer screen. I had my e-mail address put on all of my animals AVID tags. It also helps identify WHICH animal is yours. This might sound lame, but say for instance that your yellow tabby cat has been missing for 2 weeks, has lost weight and become dirty, and now is in a cage with 42 other yellow tabby cats … well you get the picture. AVIDs are not expensive at all. They are usually $10. They can be obtained at most veterinarian’s and animal shelters. Some pet stores have AVIDs too.
• Cat Smarts
When traveling with cats, always make sure that their carrier is clean and fresh. Line the bottom of the carrier with about a centimeter of newspaper. Then put an old blanket or towel on top.
• Remember to pack fresh newspaper and old towels or blankets in a bag, so that every time you stop you can put in fresh newspaper and a blanket if necessary. When the time comes, close all windows and doors, then take your cat out of the carrier and clean it. Wash the bottom, put in new paper and a clean blanket, and then put your cat back in. You must do this all ONLY when the car is parked.
• If you want to take your cat outside to stretch, make sure to have a leash and harness handy. DO NOT let your cat off the leash – he will run away and try to find your house.
• If you are going to be traveling in the car for more than 2 hours, make sure you bring a container of fresh, cool water. Remember to stop a few times during the trip to give him a drink of water.
• If you do this all right your cat should be very calm and relaxed during the trip. If he gets calm enough you may let him sit on your lap, but the windows have to be shut. Just keep the air conditioning on.
• Check the Temperature
- Before you plan on traveling with your pet in cold weather make sure the temperature is above 45 degrees F for flying. If the temperature is below, you will need to get a letter of acclamation from your vet saying what temperature your pet can withstand. If you are traveling overseas, you might want to plan ahead. Finding out the hard way is not fun. If the temperature is going to be low, and you are going to travel overseas, my advice is to leave your pet at a shelter or with family and friends until the weather warms up. You don’t want to end up with your animal not surviving.
• Nothing In, Nothing Out
If you do not feed or water your animal right before you leave, they are less likely to need frequent stops. They are more comfortable, not needing to make frequent potty stops.
• Pack a selection of leashes for your dog
- When you travel with your dog, a short walking leash will not be the best to use if you must tie him up in a yard or campsite. Similarly, walking on a trail or roaming through open fields requires different leashes. Use a short walking leash for trails and a long, retractable leash for open areas.


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