Dog owners are increasingly choosing to take their precious pets along with them on their family vacations – both by car and by plane. And while it takes a bit more pre-planning and effort, there is usually a way to take your pet with just about anywhere you want to go.
Getting your pet designated as an ESA (emotional support animal) can open up more options as to where your pet is “allowed,” though there can still be minimal restrictions here and there. To learn how to qualify your pet for ESA status, follow this very informative link: https://www.emotionalsupportanimalco.com/
Below, we’ll give you some helpful advice on taking your dog with you on a road trip and on a plane trip.
Traveling With Pets By Car
When pets and people share the same vehicle on an extended road trip, there are important principles to follow to keep things as safe and comfortable as possible for all involved.
First, it’s never best to keep your pet in the front seat. Reserve the shotgun (and driver) seat for humans only. Air bags that accidentally deploy could seriously injure a pet, and the pet could be a distraction to the driver.
Second piece of advice: keep your dog in a sturdy, roomy crate designed for dogs. And use a seat belt to strap it firmly in place. You can’t have a dog roaming around in the car as you drive, and sticking its head out the window can potentially make a dog sick or allow it to get hit by flying rocks or debris.
Third, allow for extra rest stops when traveling with a pet. He or she needs to get out to stretch, exercise, and utilize an outdoor restroom.
Fourth and finally, never never never never never leave your dog alone in the car, especially if it’s hot outside. It’s always much hotter inside the car, and many pets have suffered serious injury or even died when left in a hot car.
Traveling With Pets By Plane
You may be able to have your dog out and with you on the plane (without buying it an extra seat) IF it’s an ESA. Otherwise, dogs 20 pounds and under can generally ride in the cabin with you IF they are in a carrier and that carrier fits under the seat in front of you.
However, not all airlines or all flights allow in-cabin pets, and most flights restrict how many pets are allowed on board at once. So you have to check with the airline well ahead of time. And the pet-plus-carrier will count as a carry-on item.
Another option is to have your dog “checked as baggage” and fly in the cargo hold. That may sound harsh, but the “kennel” (crate) your dog flies in has to be spacious enough for it to easily get up and move around – and airlines have strict health and safety requirements for pets.
Also, be aware that certain breeds, like boxers, can’t fly on most planes because they have trouble breathing through at high altitudes. And very young puppies or older dogs may not be let on board. Plus, you may need a health exam and certificate from your vet dated within a week or so of the departure date.
And be aware there may be additional requirements on international flights, and you’ll need pet immunization records to get through immigration upon re-entry.
Due to all of the extra trouble and expense of taking a pet on an “ordinary” flight, many get ESA status for their pets to ease the restrictions a bit OR use a specialized pet shipping company.
Those are helpful solutions, but once you learn the routine on vacationing with your dog, it eventually becomes second-nature – and having his/her companionship will make your trip more memorable and make it all worthwhile.