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Family Vacations: Prepping For Including Your Pet

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I know a couple that actually purchased an RV, not only because they can, but so that they can travel with their beloved pet.

But not everyone can invest in a luxurious “mobile home”, some of us have to rely on “public” transportation, which means either packing up the car, or taking to the airwaves.

In the case of the latter, experts assert that some proper preplanning can be the key for an easy and stress-free trip.

· Research restrictions: Savvy travelers should call a variety of airlines and confirm pet-policies since they tend to change often.

· Get a clean bill of health: you’ll want to pay a visit to your vet to make sure your pet is able and in good enough shape to travel. And, you’ll want to make sure he or she is updated on all necessary vaccines. While you may not necessarily need a health certificate to travel domestically, you “will” need one if you plan on leaving the country. Experts also note that most vets will agree that sedating a pet is not best, since animals fare better on flights when they are awake and alert.

· Fares and fees: According to travel experts, most airlines charge about $50 each way for each kennel in the baggage compartment or on board for domestic flights. And, this fee can change depending on where you’re traveling to and if you’re going out of the country.

· Some airlines require small pets be placed securely in a carrier that you can slide under your seat. However, the carrier cannot be a gym bag or large handbag. Also, animals that travel in the baggage hold are required to be in something that enables them to stand and turn around during the flight. And, the kennel must be lined with something absorbent. It’s wise to also give your pet a toy or blanket that’s familiar for him or her for reassurance and it’s best to book your flight for early in the a.m.

· Preflight prep: Make sure to feed your pet and give him or her plenty of exercise before leaving home. Also you’ll want to write your name, address, phone and cell number, as well as any other important and pertinent information, as well as the works LIVE ANIMAL on the crate noting which direction is up. Last, but not least, be sure to freeze some water in a dish that can be easily secured to the inside of the crate.

· Airport arrival: Once at the airport your pet’s kennel will be subject to scanning through and X-ray by security. Following the security check your pet MUST stay in the kennel until the flight has landed at it’s destination. And, don’t forget to ask your flight attendant to confirm your pet has been safely loaded on board before takeoff.

· Takeoff tactics: Make sure you have a leash handy, preferably in one of your carry on bags, so that you can take your pet outside immediately after landing.

Long Island Pets Articles > Family Vacations: Prepping For Including Your Pet

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