Tips For Traveling With Your Pet
11-15-2011; The most recent pet death aboard an airline
Department of Transportation Regulation
During the first month that carriers were forced to report incidents, there was one death, five injured and four pets lost.
In 2005 the U.S. government passed a law requiring airlines to report animal casualties, as well as requiring that cargo holds be temperature controlled.
The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommend that you not transport your pet by air unless absolutely necessary.
Bring your pet in for a complete health exam before taking him with you on vacation, to ensure he is up for the trip. Health Certificates are a must when traveling by air, so be sure to plan your vet appointment well in advance to allow for the required time frame. International Health Certificates have many rules, which change often, so thoroughly research the regulations in the country where you plan on taking your pet, as well as airline restrictions and regulations. The criteria is different from carrier to carrier.
Discuss with your veterinarian any unique problems to the area you will be visiting. (Such as heartworm, ticks, etc., you can plan ahead and use preventive medication).
Some tips to make the flight a little less stressful for you (and your pal);
*Check with the airlines well in advance, to make sure you will be able to comply with all requirements. (They may differ from airline to airline). Check the airline's requirements to see if your pet can travel in a carrier that can be kept under a seat in the cabin or must travel by air freight.
*Make certain your pets collar and tags are securely fastened and have up-to-date information. An extra tag, with the destination information can be a lifesaver should your pet escape it's kennel. Microchipping your pet is an important step in identification, and one of the surest ways of having him returned to you if he lands in a shelter.
*Buy a shipping crate that is approved by the Agriculture Department and large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Familiarize your pet with it by placing the pet in it for a few minutes each day. Gradually lengthen the time until the pet seems to be at ease with it.
*Write "Live Animal" in big letters on the side and top of his crate. Write the address and telephone numbers of the pet's destination, and who is picking up the animal.
*Line the crate bottom with bedding to help absorb an "accident".
*Feed your pet no less than five or six hours before flight time. Give him a drink of water no less than two hours before flight.
Dont' ship pug-nosed animals in cargo holds. Due to their short nasal passages, it makes them vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke.
*Get to the terminal on time!
*Book a direct flight, and take the same flight as your pet.
*Avoid the busiest travel times.
Government data shows that almost half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years (reporting and disclosing dog deaths became mandatory in May of 2005) were brachycephalic (short-nosed breeds), such as the English bulldogs, which were the single highest number of deaths among the 108 purebred dogs on the list. Pugs were second, followed by golden retrievers, Labradors, French bulldogs, American Staffordshire terriers, boxers, cockapoos, Pekingese and Pomeranians.
Dogs cool themselves through panting. A dog that has a long muzzle has more area in the nasal cavity for the heat exchange to take place, which is a more efficient cooling system than the brachycephalic breeds, who tend to be heat intolerant. They have the same amount of structure and tissues in their skulls, but it is compressed.
Going South? North?
If your destination is across state lines, nearly every state has laws on the entry of animals, with the exception of tropical fish. For information, call or write to the State Veterinarian, State Department of Animal Husbandry, or other appropriate authority.
Interstate health certificates must accompany dogs entering nearly all states. About half have the same requirements for other pets. In some cases, this certificate must be in the hands of the state regulatory agency in advance of the entry.
All but four states require an up-to-date rabies inoculation for dogs and many require it for cats. The rabies tag must be securely attached to the pet's collar. Hawaii requires that cats and dogs be quarantined for 120 days.
Some pets must have an entry permit issued by the destination state's regulatory agency. Receipt of the interstate health certificate may be required before the permit can be issued. Some states limit the time during which the entry permit is valid.
A few states have border inspections of all animals being transported; others have random inspection by highway patrol officers. State agriculture representatives are usually present at airports to inspect pets arriving by air.
Websites with information and tips to help you plan your trip;
www.avma.org The American Veterinary Medical Association
http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/animals.htm Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Information about air transportation of live animals.
www.pettravel.com ("Worldwide Travel Guide for Pet Owners", a comprehensive site for all your travel needs, requirements, ideas and safety tips.
For international travel, these sites will give comprehensive information for the long lists of requirements and paperwork you must have to get your pet into another country (vaccines, health certificates, microchips, etc...)
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_import/animal_imports_states.shtml U.S. State and Territory Animal Import Regulations. Government Website with links for the latest regulations on interstate movement of animals.
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome U.S. Department of Agriculture
http://www.ipata.org/ (primarily for individuals relocating internationally)
http://www.jetpets.com/ (Donna is very helpful, a small animal shipping specialist)
https://www.avma.org/Search/results.aspx?sq=1&k=Pet%20Travel Veterinary Practice Resource Center - AVMA
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/USDA Veterinary Services Area Offices Locator
www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/animal/faq.htm Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Importation
Tips for a Safe Truck Ride
Don't transport your dog(s) in the open space of trucks unrestrained.
Make sure your dog will maintain a safe distance from the sides and edges of the truck by keeping him properly restrained at all times.
Do stop often to give your dog a break.
Don't allow your dog to eat or drink too much before a long trip.
Allow your pet to take short trips, increasing each time until he is comfortable with the ride.
Some safety tips for travel
* To get your pet ready for a long trip, take her on a series of short rides, lengthening each trip.
* About one week before departure, take him/her in for a general health exam, making sure all vaccines are current and if any medications need to be filled, make sure you have enough for during your trip. You can also get a health certificate at this time if you will be traveling where one is required.
* Research the area you will be traveling. If it is a high-risk area for heartworm, you will want to start your pet on heartworm preventive.
* Make sure all I.D. tags have current information. You can purchase temporary I.D. tags that you can inscribe with your vacation destination address and phone numbers.
* Make sure the vehicle is well ventilated, your pet is secure (a crate is ideal), and never leave your pet in the car alone. Never allow your pet to hang his/her head out the window of a moving vehicle. Objects/insects can damage their eyes, and it opens them up to inner ear damage, lung infections and the possibility of falling out of the window.
* You can purchase leak-proof water containers for hydration, collapsible food bowls, and cargo area pet barriers, all are ideal for travel.
Things Easily Forgotten When Traveling With Your Pet
1. A method of confinement for the pet, in the car and at the destination.
2. Updated Identification tags for both home and destination.
3. Proof of Vaccinations
4. Contact information for your veterinarian.
5. Reservations for pet-friendly accommodations.
6. Items needed for pet stops and potty breaks. (A container of water, leash, waste pick-up bags, treats).
7. Your pet's regular diet. (unless you are certain it will be available at your destination).
8. Food and water bowls, leashes and bedding, toys. Don't forget medical records if your pet has chronic issues.
9. Your pets medication. (Will his heartworm preventive be due while you are away from home?).
10. Research a veterinary facility in the city of your destination, just in case.
11. A recent photo of your pet.
THINKING ABOUT FLYING WITH YOUR PET? DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST!
In accordance with the Safe Air Transport for Animals Act passed in June, commercial airlines in the United States are now required to report all incidents of family owned pets who are injured, lost, or killed while flying in the cargo hold of domestic flights. Pet owners are now able to check an airline's track record and make an informed decision before making their travel plans.
This information is available to the public at the
site, and for your convenience the ASPCA has compiled all the information and made it available by both airline and month at http://www.aspca.org/.
Log onto the ASPCA.ORG website to download the petcare tips for travel, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/air-travel-tips.aspx
and to see the air transportation incident reports.