If you’re planning a vacation this New Year and plan to travel with Fido and/or Fluffy, you’re in luck! The fact is 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 whimper.
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 2018 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 your pet 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 campgrounds, 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 offers 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 need to worry about a “carrier” because each cabin becomes fully stocked with custom carriers available to fit pets of all shapes and sizes.
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 your pet is up to date on his shots. Keeping a copy of your pet’s records, with you is always a good idea. This is very helpful so that pet owners can 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.
What if my pet has a sensitive stomach and suffers from motion sickness?
Consider a few of Dr. Carol’s 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. Mastic 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 Rescue Remedy is a natural liquid homeopathic remedy. Placing a few drops onto your pet’s food, mouth or water works as well for pets 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.
They have a lot of great online resources; trips for pets, pet travel center, pets on the go are fabulous and House Sitters of America. Another site is called Toys for the Traveling Pet. And one of the products that I thought was great is a product called “Doggles.” This is the ultimate in K9 eyewear for the fashion-minded traveler. They offer one hundred percent UV protection. The lenses are shatterproof, anti-fog, interchangeable and the frames are flexible. So, they will fit pet heads of all shapes and sizes. If you have a dog that likes to stick its head out the window when you’re driving in your car, riding in the back of your truck, on your bike, if he’s down at the beach or on the ski slopes, consider a pair of “Doggles.” All in all, if you make proper preparations well in advance, train your pet and give him lots of love and extra attention. You’ll both have a wonderful time.
Remember that 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 sickles, pets are a great social icebreaker. They help to spark up new conversations, so you can make new friends and meet new people.