Fun, safe, and exciting holiday adventures to enjoy and explore for pets and their people. This New Year, almost 50% of America’s pet lovers plan to celebrate the festivities along with their 4-legged furry friends. In fact, traveling with pets has become the latest rage. Not only have nearly 40,000 pet-friendly venues opened their doors to pet travelers, they are competing for your business and are ready, willing and able to pamper your pooch and cater to your every wim. The ever growing pack of pet-friendly properties includes hotels ranging from the Hilton and Ritz Carlton to the Starwood and the Hotel W Chain.
Pet Perks for 2011 include amenities from designer dog beds made to match their human signature counterparts, plush puppy ropes along with leashes, collars and even personal puppy pagers. Pet massage therapists are on call and ready to roll when Fido needs a good massage. Gourmet treats, made to order are prepared and placed on your pet’s pillow at turndown time.
For the casual pet traveler, offers include camp grounds, off leash parks, ski resorts, like Telluride and pet friendly beaches in Key West and Santa Belle.
Now, for those of you flying the friendly skies, it’s finally time for pet lovers to rejoice. You don’t have to worry about putting your pet in cold cargo holds anymore; dogs and cats now fly first class on Pet Airways. It’s the first pets only, no humans allowed airline.
Pets embark on a gorgeous, Beech craft 1900. The pet jet accommodates 19 “pawsengers and offer nonstop service between nine major U.S. cities. Believe it or not, the demand is so high, this pet jet has already increased their flight schedule by over 30% since their initial launch, last July.
Pets are hand-walked up the paw-printed ramp into the jet’s cabin which is fully lit, climate controlled and pressurized. Even better is the fact that pet owners no longer have to worry about a “carrier” because each cabin becomes fully stocked with custom carriers available to fit pets of all shapes and sizes.
A personal attendant checks your “furry friend” at fifteen minutes intervals throughout the flight and should any medications be needed, that’s included in the package.
A variety of pet rescue organizations as well as the ASPCA and the North Coast Animal League have gotten together and have already rescued and placed hundreds of dogs and cats picked up from situations in which they were abandoned, neglected and/or abused.
Before your trip, it is important to plan well ahead of time and make sure that your pet is welcome at the destination of your choice. Next visit your vet to ensure your pet is healthy and able to travel.
While you’re at your veterinarian’s office, your pet will receive a physical exam, and his or her vaccine records and inoculation dates will be reviewed so you pet is up to date on his shots.
Keeping a copy of your pet’s health records, with you is always a good idea.
This is very helpful so that pet owners are able to address unexpected pet health issues which tend to arise when we least expect them.
For pet lovers traveling by commercial airlines, you’ll need to have a health certificate signed by your veterinarian within ten to thirty dates of the date of your departure. Remember that certain pets, especially those that are very old, young, sick or frail, as well as pets that are pregnant or in heat, may be best left at home.
If you’re at a loss as to where to keep your pet or wondering how to find someone to watch your pet, visit House Sitters of America online. They’ve got a staff of true pet lovers, some of whom will even “pet sit” at no charge.
Once you finalize your pet’s health check-up with the vet, it’s time to visit your groomer. Make sure that your pet is clean, smells good and his or her nails are well trimmed.
Finally, pet travelers should respond to basic obedience and at the very minimum. For example, pets should come when called as well as sit and stay.
Unruly pets that lack manners, tend to be aggressive or are chronic barkers are generally not ideal traveling companions and in most cases are better off left at home.
Now what about commercial airline pet carriers? The definition of an “airline approved pet carriers is one that is big enough for your pet to “stand up, sit down, turn around and lie down.”
Should you be traveling by another means and not in need a traditional pet carrier, today choices run the gamut from pet safety belts and car seats to custom harnesses, all of which make great, safe pet travel alternatives.
What about the cost of flying the friendly skies with Fido?
Pet Airways offers a fair flat fee of $149.00 dollars each way. In addition, they also offer a great pet rewards program.
Log on to PetAirways.com, join “My Pet Club,” …don’t worry…it’s free.
How does the pet reward program work?
Pets get one hundred points per one-way trip and rack up two-hundred points for each round-trip flight. Once your pet accumulates a thousand points, he or she is entitled to a roundtrip pet ticket wherever he would like to fly. The points last a lifetime, have no expiration date and they are transferable between pet members of the same family.
What if my pet has a sensitive stomach and suffers from motion sickness?
Consider a few of this veterinarians tried and true holistic pet travel remedies.
In general, regardless of your method of travel, to avoid motion sickness, withhold food or water for about four before departure time. Ginger soothes sensitive stomachs, and offering your 4-legged companion a bite of a ginger snap cookie is an option. Mastica and/or L-Glutamine, are natural over the counter nutrients that are given by mouth and work like a charm to relieve and/or help avoid motion sickness.
What can pet owners do to relieve nerves, anxiety and stress for their traveling dogs and cats?
Bach’s 5-Flower Pet Rescue Remedy is a natural liquid homeopathic remedy. Placing a few drops onto your pet’s food, mouth or water works as well for dogs and cats as it does for people. Alternatively pet owners can gently rub a few drops of Bach’s 5-Flower Rescue Remedy directly onto your pet’s pressure points which include the hairless areas of your pet’s inner ear and/or groin.
What if my pet gets an upset stomach and/or indigestion while you’re on the road?
First, remember the general rule of thumb: no food or water for four to six hours after which time try brewing a pot of peppermint tea and enjoy a warm cup along with your pet. It will soothe your tummy as well as your pets. A cup of warm Chamomile tea is a tasty remedy to help calm nerves and relieve anxiety for you and your pet.
What natural alternatives are available to safely, tranquilize pets for traveling?
Melatonin is a safe, natural amino acid available over the counter that works wonderfully to calm and sedate pets. Dosage varies with body weight, and usually 1-2 milligrams works well for most dogs. As opposed to prescription tranquilizers such as Ace Promazine that do affect blood pressure, Melatonin does not have any such adverse effects and is safe for older dogs and cats with cardiovascular disease experiencing health issues involving the heart and lungs.
What resources are available to help pet owners plan their Pet New Year’s Get-A-Way?
Trips for pets.com, pet travel center, pets on the go are fabulous as is House Sitters of America. Toys for the Traveling Pet is a site that offers fun, interactive pet toys to enjoy while you and your pet are “on the road.”
Should pet owners be in need of fashionable canine sun/eye glasses, Doggles are worth a look and offer the ultimate in K9 eyewear for the fashion minded canine traveler. In addition to providing100% UV protection, the lenses are shatter proof, anti fog, and interchangeable and the frames are even flexible. Sizes are available to fit pet heads of all shapes and sizes. So, for pet owners whose canines enjoys riding in the car with their head out the window, or should you be heading down to the beach or up to the ski slopes, consider a pair of “Doggles.”
All in all, making proper preparations well in advance, training your pet and give him lots of love and extra attention. You’ll both have a wonderful time.
In conclusion, traveling with pets is a great way to bond and you’ll both benefit from the special time that you’ll spend together. For those of you that are traveling singles, pets are a great social ice breaker. They help to spark up new conversations, so you can make new friends and meet new people.