If you’re planning on waging any transportation battles over the holidays, contemplate bringing along the company of a furry friend.
Sheron Long, a frequent international traveler (particularly to Paris), looks to her dog, Chula, as such a good travel buddy, she inspired her book, “”Dog Trots Globe — To Paris and Provence,” which is written in a fun perspective from a dog’s point of view.
“Every trip was better when Chula could be with us,” she said of her Shetland sheepdog. “She was so excited, I could imagine her dog’s eye view of the world. It causes you to explore and go see different things and meet people.”
Each year, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates more than 2 million pets and other animals are transported by air. Pets aren’t allowed on Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses or cruise lines, but they can go on many regional train, bus and boat lines.
Take a “bark” at some of Long’s pet-friendly travel tips:
1. Research before you go and make reservations early. Airlines offer a limited number of cabin spots for pets, and they are first-come, first-served.
2. Know the weight, age and kennel size and closure restrictions for the airline you’re flying.
3. Fees vary for pets, so have your checkbook or credit card ready at the airport.
4. Know how much room you will have under the seat for your pet and your legs. Seatguru.com lists the dimensions on any seat on any aircraft.
5. Ask for a window seat to avoid your pet getting kicked if fellow passengers want to leave their seats.
6. Find out about frequent flier miles, since those policies differ with each airline.
7. To prevent accidents, don’t give your pet food or water on the flight. Ask for ice cubes and let the animal lick them as she needs them.
8. Carry a portfolio that includes your pet’s proof of rabies, vaccination records, a photo, your vet’s name and number, a list of medicines and references from managers of hotels where you have stayed.
9. Try to fly nonstop.
10. For international travelers, every country has its own regulations, paperwork and quarantine periods. Be prepared and patient.
11. Don’t give your pet a sedative, since most airlines won’t take a sedated animal.
12. Food is not allowed in pet carriers but tape it to the outside in case the flight is delayed or if it lasts longer than 12 hours.
13. If your pet is flying in cargo, ask how it will be transported from the terminal to the plane. Some airlines have air-conditioned or heated vans.
14. Pack your pet with a toy or a piece of your clothing to reassure your pet while you are separated.
15. Check Petflight.com for individual airline safety rules involving pets.
Sources: Huffington Post, AP