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Getting Ready for the Travel Season
06/30/15 at 07:28 AM | Published Under Travel with Pets
The travel season is about to take off. Traveling with a cat or a dog is just like traveling with a toddler; you have to be prepared.
When it comes to cats and small dogs, every successful journey starts with the right carrier whether you are flying or making a road trip.
The Right Carrier
Currently, most of the major airline carriers in the United States allow cats and dogs under 20 lbs to travel “cabin class” in a well-ventilated soft-sided carrier that will fit comfortably under the seat such as the Original Deluxe Sherpa bag.
The airline industry is trying to standardize carrier specifications to ensure that a carrier can be used on a variety of airlines. However, size specifications still differ from airline to airline, so it’s best to check before booking a flight. Sherpa bags are airline approved as part of a special Guaranteed On Board travel program, which means that you pet will never be refused permission to fly because the bag doesn’t meet approved specifications. You can find out more at www.FlyGOB.com.
Also check with your airline, as some may ask you to forgo your hand luggage and check it because they will regard the carrier as your second carry-on item. Also make sure you have a reservation well in advance and airlines restrict the number of pets allowed on each flight.
How To Handle The TSA At Check-in
When going through a security check at an airport, resist all requests from TSA security personnel to take your pet out of her carrier. This is particularly important if you are traveling with a cat that can easily get spooked and bolt. You are entitled to a private screening at any airport within the Untied States. So stand your ground and ask for it!
On The Road
The same Sherpa carriers work well for road trips. The key is to ensure that they are restrained for safety purposes. If not strapped in with the vehicle’s seatbelts, the safest option is on the floor or the rear passenger seat as there is restricted movement here for the carrier to move around in case the driver has to slam on brakes.
Because most cats associate carriers with trips to the vet, it’s an excellent idea to purchase a special carrier for vacationing. This way, the second carrier will be associated with good times and fun stuff.
Home Away From Home
The best way to introduce your fur kid to a new carrier is to leave it lying around the house in advance of the trip so that you pet can discover it for herself. This way it will be familiar when you actually do travel.
And to make the carrier truly a home away from home, add an additional cushioned mat such as a crate mat and include a favorite toy. Any HEAR DOGGY!® toys with its ultrasonic squeaker that only your dog can hear is ideal of air travel as other passengers won’t be disturbed. For feline entertainment any catnip infused toy from the Supercat range will keep your feline engaged and comforted by something familiar in her carrier. For cats that get stressed easily, consider spraying the carrier before the journey with a pheromone spray that will help ease any travel anxiety.
It’s also a good idea to line the carrier with an absorbent pee pad in case of any accidents en route. The pad will absorb the urine and allow your pet to continue to travel in comfort. Remember to take spare ones with you to replace soiled ones.
But be sure to have water available at all times. Freeze water in a travel bowl the night before the journey. This way your pet can lick the ice as it melts and it won’t mess. If you forget, you can always ask an airhostess for ice on a plane and pick up ice anywhere on your road trip.
Finally, don’t forget to ensure your pet is wearing up to date identification on her tag. It’s a lots pet’s ticket home!
As the country’s leading multi-media celebrity pet lifestyle expert and influencer, SANDY ROBINS documents the wonderful relationship that we have with our pets highlighting trends and innovative ideas as they happen. She is the winner of the Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Awardpresented by the American Pet Products Association. Previous winners include Dr. Marty Becker, Ellen De Generes and Victoria Stilwell.
Her award-winning work is very visible on many of the country’s leading pet platforms such as Today.com, MSNBC.com and PawNation, AOL’s petcentric website. She is a regular contributor and columnist in multiple national publications such as Modern Dog, Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy as well as industry leaders such as Pet Age magazine and mainstream media such as Consumers Digest. Her work also appears regularly on a variety of prestigious blogs. Every feature or TV appearance breaks new ground as Sandy details everything from state-of-the-art surgical procedures to improve our pets’ wellbeing to the latest haute couture designs and the new home décor trends as they unfold.
Her books include the award-winning Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat and For The Love of Cats. Her latest book, The Original Cat Bible is out now.