list a pet-friendly property
Pet Travel Tips Emergencies
money matters pets
reserving pet friendly hotel room
pet travel toys
pet transportation tips
leaving a pet at home

If you’ve never traveled in a car with your pet before, there are a few simple things you can do to get her ready for a vacation. To ease the uninitiated pet into a comfortable travel mode, start by simply playing with your dog or cat in the car and rewarding her good behavior. Next, run some quick errands with her and then try short day trips. Your final step is an overnight or weekend jaunt. We recommend a travel crate and/or a car gate to confine pets to the rear of the automobile, which allows the driver to operate the vehicle safely.

Before you set out on your trip, take your pet for a leisurely walk. Let her work off a little energy; you may tire her out so she is more apt to sleep. Do not feed her or give her substantial amounts of water just before your departure. Once you are in the car, make sure that your pet’s area is either well ventilated or amply air-conditioned. While each pet is different, plan frequent pit stops (at least every two hours or so) to exercise your pet on a leash.

Even if the temperature is not particularly hot, a car can heat to very high temperatures in minutes. Take the following precautions to prevent heat stroke, brain damage, or even death.

If you need more detailed transportation information, visit our transportation pages in our general resource section. We enlighten you on all types of transportation — whether by land, by air, or by sea.

Never leave your pet in a car on a warm or hot day!
Try to park the car in the shade and leave the windows open to provide ample ventilation. Many specialty shops/catalogues sell small, portable, battery-operated fans that affix to a partially opened window to help the car stay even cooler. These were developed for pet crates and kennels, but work in cars as well.
Do not leave your dog for long intervals. Check on her frequently to ensure her safety and to see that the blazing sun hasn’t shifted to shine directly on your car.
Before you leave the car, fill her bowl with cold water to ease any heat effects. Heat Stroke: If your pet exhibits the effects of prolonged heat exposure (heavy breathing, unstable walking, or a dazed and confused appearance), consult a veterinarian immediately (see Pet Emergencies).
Freezing winter temperatures are also cause for concern. Make sure your pet has enough blankets or bedding to keep her warm in the car.

There are certain legal guidelines and restrictions for pet air travel. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) govern air travel for pets. The airlines themselves have varying regulations; always contact your airline well in advance to review their particular procedures and requirements or simply click into the Jet Set Pet's™ Airline Pet Regulations for direct links to the country's major airlines and additional information.

The best airlines have have written rules for pet travel. These written rules are evidence that the airline has given long, careful thought to transporting animals. Small pets often can be crated and taken right on board the plane with you, while larger animals must stay in the cargo area. Regardless of your airline carrier, these are important guidelines to consider:

The pet should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned.
The pet cannot be ill, violent, or in physical distress.
According to the ASPCA and many veterinarians, as well as most airlines, pets should not be sedated for air travel. If you are concerned about your pet being over anxious during travel, then please discuss this with your veterinarian. Make sure that your pet’s nails are trimmed to avoid snagging on the travel crate’s door or some other object.
The pet should have all the necessary health certificates and documentation.
The travel crate must meet the airline’s standards and be large enough for the pet to lie down comfortably, turn around, and stand freely. Containers contructed after October 1, 2000 must meet the following requirements:
  • The door must be constructed of welded or cast metal of sufficient gauge or thickness so as to preclude the animal from bending or distorting the door.
  • The door hinge and locking pins must engage the kennel by at least 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening where the pins are fitted.
The above requirements do not affect plastic pet kennels that have been in existence prior to 1st October 2000. Mark the crate with “Live Animal — This Side Up,” as well as with your name, address, and telephone number (should she get lost or misplaced in transit). You should also include the name, address, and telephone number of your destination. Your pet may be more comfortable if you place an old towel, blanket, or newspaper in the crate.
Try to book a non-stop flight, and take temperatures into consideration. In the summer, fly at night when it’s often cooler; in the winter, fly during the day, when it’s warmer.
Certain short-nosed dogs such as pugs cannot breathe well in airplane cargo areas. Avoid flying with these particular breeds.
Do not feed your pet before traveling, due to the potential for an upset stomach during the flight. Give your pet frozen water or, if possible, some ice cubes that will melt slowly and, hopefully, not dump out during boarding.
Plan your trip well in advance and make sure you follow all the airline regulations.

Acclimating Your Pet for Air Travel - There is no possibility that you are going to convince a pet who balks at the idea of going into a crate, to hop in on travel day. As always, we recommend that you get your pet used to his/her crate well before the trip. Soft bedding and a toy or chew bone are a good start. Close the door of the crate for a bit to get them used to feeling confined.
Tranquilizers - Finally, even if your pet is a nervous traveler, do not tranquilize him! Medication that is safe when the pet is at sea level, will not necessarily react in the same way at altitude. Your veterinarian is the best one to discuss this with.
Travel Day - Prepare your pet for its journey by reducing the quantity of food (not water) the day before flying. You will also want to give your pet a light meal two hours before check-in. A heavy meal might make your pet sick during the trip.Walk your dog before leaving for the airport and then again before check in. It is usually required that you check in 1 1/2 -2 hours before the flight.

Almost without exception, dogs are not allowed on trains or buses. Dogs may be allowed on local subways, such as in New York and Boston. Generally, dogs are allowed on ferry boats, as long as they are leashed and kept out of the food areas. You may be arriving at your destination by car or plane, but once you arrive, there are generally plenty of local transportation options that allow pets. Always call in advance to check specific policies. For more specific information on train and bus travel, please visit our pet transportation resources.

All of the material contained in this site is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from
Dawbert Press Inc.

© Copyright 1998-2012, Dawbert Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of Dawbert Press' Privacy and Terms and Conditions