Pets and pets and pets. They are everywhere. Most people know the feeling that there’s a pet in your immediate vicinity, you don’t even have to face it, but you sense its presence behind your back. And we all know the smell: wet fur, dusty coats, and what seems like an endless supply of drool. But why should we, the pet-loving community, be discriminated against?!
A: We shouldn’t. That’s simply not fair! After all, traveling is about getting away from your usual environment and experiencing something new. What could be more exciting than bringing along your furry friends on your adventure? There are so many advantages of traveling with a pet, like:
- No more lonely evenings!
- Your dog will finally meet new friends.
- You can take your cat on a long-awaited vacation.
The guide below is meant to provide all the information you need before you and your pet set off on their journey of discovery: from which transportation options are available, to where they can stay overnight. It also includes some nice pictures of pets on holiday, so scroll down whenever you feel discouraged by an arduous car drive or a night at the kennel. Happy travels!
I’m ready for takeoff! Where shall we go? You’ve always dreamed about visiting Paris? Barcelona maybe? Or how about the island of Manhattan?! Why not bring your pet along if he loves traveling as much as you do?
Not only are pets allowed in most places, but they’re also often very welcome. After all, there won’t be many other guests at the hotel who will want to cuddle up with your dog or sit next to your cat on the airplane.
For most airlines, it’s no problem taking small animals with you in the cabin if they fit in a carrier that can be either stowed under your seat or carried in the cabin with you during take-off and landing (usually for an additional fee). Larger dogs should travel in the cargo hold of your plane, but please note: Not every airline allows this! For example, British Airways doesn’t accept any animals except guide and other assistance dogs and cats and dogs less than eight weeks of age. They are not considered pets! There is no exception for “emotional support animals” either, so if you need one to fly, you’ll have to make other arrangements.
It’s important to remember that while your pet might be allowed on the plane, they still have to meet some criteria says Michael Osland:
- Pets should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned before flying. This applies regardless of whether they are traveling in the cabin or as checked baggage.
- Owners are responsible for getting their pets to each port of embarkation/disembarkation and for checking in at least one hour prior to departure time (for domestic flights) or two hours prior to departure time (for transatlantic flights). Furthermore, all pets must have a health certificate dated no more than ten days prior to the flight.
- Pets cannot travel on some of the world’s busiest routes during certain seasons due to heat restrictions. For example, cats and dogs are not allowed to fly between May 15 and September 15 in Chicago (ORD). As a precaution, many airlines will not allow your pet to be checked in as cargo during these periods either, even if it is traveling with you in the cabin. These rules typically apply from late spring until early fall for Midwestern cities like Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, and Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport.
According to Michael Osland, before you get too excited about taking your pet along for the ride, please bear in mind that transporting animals by plane is not without its risks. Not only is it stressful for our furry friends, but their carriers are also subject to rigorous screening policies at airports, especially after the 9/11 attacks. This means that your pet might have to go through additional checks if other animals or prohibited items are detected inside his kennel. What’s more, travel can be very confusing for pets, which are used to being in familiar surroundings. Make sure you give them just as much love before boarding the plane as you normally would when arriving at their destination by car or train!
The best way of getting anywhere is with paws The advantages of dogs on paws:
They know where they’re going and won’t get lost even if they do become separated from you (provided they can see where they’re heading) The advantages of dogs on wheels: Less stressful than traveling by plane or car, as it’s more familiar to your pet. They can take their usual belongings with them Less hassle when traveling with multiple pets Disadvantages of trucks on paws. It May need to be muzzled depending on airline policy For longer drives, you’ll need several dog boxes if different family members are taking turns driving Your dog will still have to wear a collar and leash at all times (even though it might be attached to its crate) Disadvantages of trucks on wheels: It’s slower than flying Might not be allowed at the hotel (The Fairmont in Montreal is one example) May require travel permits depending destination
Taking your cat out of the country? The best way of getting anywhere is with paws so you want to take your cat to Europe for a vacation, but what’s the best way of transportation? Well, according to airlines there are only two options: fly or drive. But if you have multiple cats and dogs that all need to be taken somewhere at different times then trucking becomes a far more attractive option. Especially considering that it can often lead directly from your front door to your hotel room! This means fresh air and maximum exercise for your pet(s). And since they won’t be cooped up in their carrier(s) all day long waiting for you. Furthermore, cats are generally less stressed out by road trips than airplane rides, especially if they were socialized at an early age.