Tips for traveling
with your pet -- Page 2
Also keep in mind
that airlines have weather limitations on when they will accept animals in cargo.
Generally, they refuse to accept pets when they will be exposed to extreme heat
or cold; this usually is defined as colder than 45 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer
than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Some airlines, such as Northwest and American Airlines,
ban pets traveling as cargo during the summer months because of the heat.
type of aircraft also could cause pet travel problems. More and more smaller cities
are serviced by regional jets that have less space in the cargo hold. If you have
a large pet, make sure that the aircraft you will be taking can transport the
animal. If not, you'll have to make other, possibly more costly, arrangements.
types of transportation also have pets-as-passengers limits. If you're taking
a cruise and want your pet along, check with your individual cruise line. Many
do indeed accommodate pets. Some luxury liners even provide special lodging and
free meals for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.
aboard," however, apparently doesn't apply to pets. Although Amtrak allows
service dogs, the rail service does not allow pets on its trains. Local and commuter
trains have their own policies.
for you and your pet
According to takeyourpet.com,
more and more motel chains are accepting pets. Among those that the Web site says
will permit your pet to stay in your room are Motel 6, Best Western, Howard Johnson,
Ramada and Red Roof Inn. But always double check, as even within chains individual
motels may have different rules. And it probably will cost you; most motels tack
on a surcharge if your pet stays with you.
When staying at
a motel or hotel, request a room on the ground floor for easy access for those
late night walks. Also see if there is a special area for dogs to relieve themselves.
Don't forget to pack easy-to-slip-into clothes so you can quickly get dressed
for the overnight walk and stick a flashlight into your luggage so that you'll
be able to maneuver the motel grounds more safely.
with friends instead? Then check before you bring your pet along. You may find
out your best friend from grade school is highly allergic to dogs and would not
like yours as a house guest.
but not alone
If you decide the best vacation move is to leave your
pets home, you'll need to arrange for their care while you're away.
budget approach is to have a reliable friend, family member or neighbor visit
your home, water the plants and take care of your pets. Most will do so for free
or a nominal fee that you offer.
For a few dollars more, you
can hire a professional pet sitter. Check local newspaper ads or call the Professional
Pet Sitter Association at 1-800-296-PETS for referrals in your area.
can also be boarded. Prices and services vary from posh "bed and biscuit"
resorts to more utilitarian arrangements at your local vet or kennel. Ask friends
or your vet for recommendations or call the American Boarding Kennel Association
at 1-877-570-7788 for referrals. Regardless of which boarding option you choose,
here are a few things to keep in mind and things to do:
the facility. Is it clean? Is there an exercise area? How frequently are dogs
walked? How secure is the space?
- Ask for and check references.
type of job does the kennel do in evaluating you and your dog? Reputable boarding
facilities will want vaccination certifications which protect your dog and other
- If you're going on an extended vacation,
try a shorter "trial run" first. An overnight or a weekend stay will
ensure that your pet will be happy and healthy while you're away.
your dog's bed or favorite toys to the kennel. Provide emergency contact numbers
(your vet, how you can be reached while traveling) so the kennel can call if there's
a problem. And when the time to leave arrives, be positive and upbeat. That way
both you and your pet will be able to enjoy your vacation.
C. McCune is a contributing editor based in Montana.