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Thousands of years ago, humans began traveling with their canine companions – and the yearning for side-by-side adventures has been with us ever since. We love to take our dogs with us everywhere we go, but these are unprecedented times. Is it safe to travel with your dog during the coronavirus crisis? The answer is yes as long as certain precautions are taken.
It’s important to follow official guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer guidance for pet owners and travelers alike. They begin with reassurance that, at least for now, there is no evidence that animals play a major part in spreading the COVID-19 virus through the human population.
At the same time, CDC mentions that it appears humans can spread COVID-19 to pets. To date, such incidents are rare, with only a very few dogs testing positive, and slightly more, but still a small number of cats. That said, current guidance from the CDC encourages dog owners to treat their pets with the same caution they use to minimize the risk of exposure in human family members.
This means following social distancing recommendations and keeping at least six feet of space between your pet, other humans, and other dogs. Limiting contact is still the best way to protect your pet and yourself from potential exposure to COVID-19.
It’s often safe to travel with your dog.
Since you’re taking precautions for your own safety, you can put similar safeguards in place for your dog. Traveling during the coronavirus crisis means planning well in advance. It might mean knowing what to anticipate at the airport and during your flight, or plotting your route with a little added care if you’re traveling by car with your pet.
The CDC has issued a complete guide to travel with an eye toward keeping everyone safer, whether getting from one place to the other by air, land, or sea. Besides checking for updates at the national level, check for local restrictions in areas you’ll be traveling through.
Follow essential guidelines like washing your hands, not touching your face, using a cloth face covering in public and minimizing contact with others. These are some of the things you need to do to travel with a dog during the coronavirus crisis.
It’s OK to be friendly but keep your dog socially distant from others as well. Even though there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transferred between individuals after contact with pets; there are so many unknowns that allowing others to pet your dog simply isn’t worth the risk.
Vet checks are vital
As always, it’s important to ensure that your dog has all vaccinations required for your destination. You can find specific information on what your dog will need to travel to different destinations. Your vet can provide you with specific guidance, too.
Once your dog has had a checkup and received any necessary vaccinations, get copies of their health records to carry with you. Keep them in a spot that’s easy to access. Be sure to have electronic copies too just in case anything is lost.
Consider your destination and your own health status
As your dog’s caretaker, it’s important to look after your own health. Look for statistics concerning the spread of COVID-19 at your destination and decide if you feel that it’s safe to travel there. If not, you might be able to choose a different destination or postpone your trip until it’s safe to travel with your dog.
You might also consider a non-urban destination where there are fewer people and social distancing is easier. The countryside, fresh air and long walks will be your best friend’s preference too!
Anticipating challenges can help ease airport stress
Air travel can be challenging even during the best of times. During the coronavirus crisis, traveling, especially with your dog, may present new challenges.
Double-checking in advance to ensure that you can fly with your dog is only part of the big picture. Remember that added safety measures such as temperature checks are intended to serve as an extra layer of protection for everyone. Give yourself plenty of time to go through the process of making your way through the terminal and onto your flight, so you feel less stressed.
Know ahead of time whether your dog will be allowed to fly in the cabin or if they’ll be traveling in the cargo hold. Private jet travel is a hassle-free option if it is in your budget. It is one that’s almost certainly safer in terms of potential exposure to coronavirus, too.
Know quarantine rules
Countries around the world have used quarantine measures to prevent potentially infected travellers spreading coronavirus into their country. So, if you’re planning on traveling overseas, here’s what you need to know on quarantine rules:
- U.S. – Many states in America (e.g. Florida) require 14 days of quarantine for some out of state visitors. You can see a full list of state quarantine rules here.
- Turkey – Turkey, UAE and other countries will require 14 days of quarantine. Pet owners need to confirm that they can self quarantine at their destination address; otherwise they will need to make arrangements for their pet should they need to quarantine in a government facility
- Spain – Quarantine since May 15, not yet lifted but ministers aim to reopen borders in July
- Greece – Quarantine of arrivals since March 16, hoping to lift June 15 and at the latest July 1
- Taiwan – Quarantine since March 14, currently undergoing a trial to see if it can be lifted
- Germany – Quarantine of new arrivals since April 10, announcement it would be lifted for EU arrivals made on May 15
- Italy – Quarantine since March 28, to be lifted June 3
- France – Quarantine of some arrivals since May 3, restrictions to be “gradually” lifted from mid-June
Have a contingency plan
The coronavirus crisis is rapidly evolving and everything can change at the drop of a hat. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place, just in case.
Make plans for someone to care for your dog while you’re away, in case they aren’t able to travel with you at the last minute. Many pet boarding and kenneling businesses are still open, and private pet sitters are another option.
Prep for this possibility by putting your dog’s complete health records together. Add contact information for your vet and any other emergency contacts who might be able to help if plans change. Let everyone on your list know what you’re doing. Make sure that they’re OK with stepping up in case you and your dog need help in an emergency situation.
Have food, bedding and other essentials available in case your dog needs to stay with someone else as a last resort.
Remember to consult your vet and keep a close eye out for any changes that might affect your itinerary. With careful planning and insight, it can be fun – and safe – to travel with your dog during the coronavirus crisis.
Americans love to treat their pets as family, but we all know there are far too many pets out there who do not have a home. Homeless animals in the United States is a problem of massive proportions. Roughly 6.5 million animals enter shelters every year, and sadly 1.5 million of those animals will end up euthanized due to lack of homes and resources to care for them. If you are a pet lover, you’ve already adopted as many pets as you feel comfortable caring for, but you may wish you could still do more. For people like you, the best thing to do is to support your local animal shelter – the last beacon of hope for all homeless pets.
There are more than 3,500 animal shelters in the United States, and that number jumps to 14,000 when you include animal rescue groups. There are always more homeless pets than there are shelters to house them which is why they serve such an important role in our communities.
Let’s talk about what animal shelters do and how you can help to give them the support they need. Even if you don’t have money to donate, there are many ways to help serve shelter missions of finding a home for every pet. If you love animals and want to give back to the community, supporting an animal shelter is a fantastic way to do so.
How Animal Shelters Serve their Communities
Animal shelters offer a variety of critical services to the communities in which they are located. The most prominent role they play is taking in stray animals or pets from people who can’t keep them any longer and finding new forever homes for them. If you have ever adopted a pet, you know how good it feels going to a shelter and finding the perfect new family member.
Without this central community hub of intakes and adoptions, many pets would be abandoned by their owners, and people would be more likely to buy from pet shops or puppy mills, further exacerbating the homeless pet problem.
Animal shelters also play a critical role in reuniting lost pets and their families. Dogs and cats get out of their homes and wander into the neighborhood but don’t know how to find their way back, and animal shelters often find these animals and give them a place to stay until their owners come looking for them.
More Support for Animal Shelters Means More Lives Saved
Although animal shelters do their best to save animals and connect them with loving owners, every shelter has their limit as to the number of animals they can care for. While some animal shelters are “no kill”, the sad truth is that there are simply too many homeless animals to be adopted out. There are not enough resources for every animal to be given a temporary home for their entire lives which leads to euthanizing healthy pets that don’t get adopted.
Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals get euthanized – and we can do better than that.
Those who work at animal shelters often put in long hours and don’t get much pay for what they do, but they do it anyway because they love animals and believe in the cause. Their mission is to save as many animals as possible. Your support could make a difference in the lives of countless animals in your area.
How to Support Your Local Animal Shelter
Many people want to support their local shelter but don’t know where they should begin. Whether you’ve already adopted a pet or two or you’re looking for a new family member, there are ways for everyone to pitch in and help out. Here is a list of some great ways you can help serve your local animal shelter.
Adopt a Pet
Since most animal shelters are overcrowded, a lot of the animals will stay there for a while before finding an owner who loves them. While some animals will never find a home, you can change the life of one animal by adopting a pet from your local shelter.
Many shelters have a variety of breeds from which you can choose, and they will help you find an animal that matches your personality and lifestyle. Shelters are grateful for each person who adopts an animal from them. During the Coronavirus outbreak most local shelters are still adopting out animals; however, they require you to call and make an appointment to come see the pets.
Donate your time to an animal shelter if you would like to help and love spending time with animals. Shelters almost always need volunteers to feed and water the animals in their facilities, take the dogs on walks, and help socialize animals who never got much attention from their previous owners.
Socializing animals is a vital step in the adoption process because it gets animals used to being around people again, especially if they were treated poorly in the past. You can walk dogs or play with them in their cages so that they get to better relate to humans. After you socialize the animals in the shelter, you can help match them with caring families who will love them for years to come.
Seeing the impact you make with helping animals get adopted is a reward in itself!
Volunteering at local animal shelters is fulfilling and a great way to give back to your community. Not everyone has enough time or energy to volunteer at the animal shelter in their town, but you can still help by donating money.
Shelters have a constant need for funds to feed, house and care for the animals under their supervision. Shelters even use the money you donate to launch adoption campaigns to help animals find places to live with loving families.
The medical services that shelters provide to the animals in their care are often overlooked, but among the most important functions. Shelters have to pay for spay and neuter surgeries which cost hundreds of dollars each. There’s also a lot of preventative medicine they provide to their animals to prevent things like heartworm and tick borne diseases from harming the animals.
Shelters are always looking for pet beds, blankets, towels, newspaper, pet toys, bowls, leashes and any pet-related items you may have. If you have a pet crate or pet carrier from a previous trip that you no longer need, this will be put to good use at your local shelter. Some shelters even have an Amazon Wish List that they link to from their website or Facebook page. You can use this to take a see what they’re in need of and see if you have the supplies to donate.
If you wish to make a donation of pet food, contact your local shelter before you purchase it to see what types of food they need. Some shelters will also accept opened bags of pet food but others won’t due to safety concerns or lack of appropriate storage
If you are looking for even more ways to support your local animal shelter, raising awareness for them is more helpful than you may think. Everyone has a platform and an audience today with our social media profiles. Letting your circle of friends know about adoption drives or fundraising events can let you support your local animal shelter by getting pets get adopted and money donated second-hand.
If you see someone talking about buying a pet on a public forum you can also jump in and suggest a local animal shelter and share your story of why adopting a pet is better than shopping, especially over the Internet where pet scams are rampant.
Leave a Review
Shelters are often so focused on serving the animals in their care that they don’t have time to think about marketing or the online presence of their organization. By not proactively asking their visitors and supporters to leave a review for them online, they can often be bombarded with negative comments and reviews for very silly reasons. It’s not uncommon to see a 1-star review when someone was denied adoption because they didn’t bring the necessary paperwork with them, or the pet they wanted was already adopted when they arrived.
Get out there and leave the kind of review the shelters deserve on platforms like Facebook, Google Maps, and Yelp. If the ratings of your local shelter are too low, potential adopters might avoid the organizations and end up buying from a breeder or pet shop instead.
Spay or Neuter Your Pets
The world has more animals than people who can properly care for them, and this problem causes countless animals to be homeless each year. Animal shelters would love to hear that every animal has a home, even if it means their services aren’t needed anymore!
By spaying or neutering your pet, you potentially prevent hundreds or thousands of offspring years from now. Regardless of how old your pet is or where you got it from, spaying your pet directly serves the mission of animal shelters and will prevent more pets from being euthanized.
When in Doubt, Reach Out
Animal shelters have a difficult and challenging job. They constantly fight to better the lives of animals without a voice, knowing that the battle to end homeless pets is likely to continue indefinitely.
If you are unsure about how best to support your local animal shelter , give them a call or send them an email asking how you can best help them out. Their needs will change based on demand for adoptions and the supply of homeless pets in the area, so talking to someone at the organization is the perfect way to give them what they need while building a relationship that matters.
Kyle Holgate is a proud dog dad and animal blogger. He often writes about all things dogs and dog nutrition with a data-driven approach on his website Woof Whiskers. Kyle has a Golden/Aussie mix named Kartoffel and a Husky mix named Pidgy.
Dogs are the perfect companions for anyone at any age for many reasons. The company of a dog can help anyone cope with loneliness and also ease depression. Dogs can also provide people with a sense of purpose and structure. While you are feeding or caring for a pet, you are also doing something productive. And the love and devotion that they provide you is priceless, no matter how old they are. That said, if you like to travel, there are no reasons that you cannot bring your senior dog. Here are some tips for traveling with an older dog.
If you are a senior, a pet friendly senior living facility is one of the options that can help you stay connected with the present and a senior dog will be easier to handle. They are adopted far less than puppies, so consider adopting one if you do not have one already.
The Needs of Older Dogs
When is does a dog enter senior ranks? For small dogs, this can happen at the age of 7 and for larger dogs, they generally reach their peak at 6 years of age. This can vary according to breed, the amount of injuries a dog experiences and other breed or health predispositions that a dog may have.
Traveling with an older dog requires planning, care and attention. Most older dogs have passed the high intensity stage and are slower and more subdued which makes them great travelers. However, senior dogs can also be more anxious due to previous experiences, strong bonds or simply because it is typical of their breed. For these personality types, it is crucial that you acclimate your pet to travel. More information on acclimation to pet travel can be found here.
As dogs age, they can develop physical problems such as:
- Joint problems
- Loss of eyesight
- Loss of hearing
- Dementia (Canine Cognitive Disfunction)
- Gastrointestinal and/or kidney problems
- Heart problems
Many of these ailments require medication at regular intervals and other attention that owners must plan for when traveling. Obesity can cause breathing issues as well. Try to get your pet in the best shape possible before travel.
Do Research & Plan Ahead
Formulating a plan to address any disabilities that your pet may have with your veterinarian is the first step in traveling with an older dog.
If your dog is flying in the cargo hold, you will provide the airlines with instructions on the medical needs of your pet on a Shipping Declaration which is attached to your pet’s crate. The airlines will do what they can to attend to your pet while on the ground; however, once in the air, they will be unable to dispense any medication.
If you are driving, set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you of any medication or procedure that your pet will require while on the road. Remember that, unless your dog can hear well and is trained properly, never let them out of the car unless they are securely leashed.
Most importantly, find veterinary hospitals along your route and at your destination. Have contact information available so you can access it quickly in the case of an emergency.
If your dog is not a regular traveler, it is best to plan short trips before embarking on longer endeavors. Trips to the park, pet store, friend’s house nearby are happy experiences that your pet will remember next time you say, “its time to go!” Then make the trips a bit longer. Each time you give your pet an experience, it will draw on that experience the next time you travel.
Travelling with dogs may be a bit challenging because they are your responsibilities. This is why you have to be organized. Make lists to be sure you bring everything you need when traveling with an older dog. This is also one way for you to make sure that you have brought all the things that you need. Better to be prepared than spend time on the phone with your vet getting a prescription filled when you are out of town.
You should pack extra medical supplies and pee pads especially when you know that your pet needs it. Being organized means you can locate all the things that you need for your dog whenever you need them. Consider packing a separate bag or backpack just for your pet.
Pack Medications Separately
If you and your pet are taking medications , you should make sure that you pack your meds in a separate location. That way, you will not be confused when you look for the bottle that you need. It may seem like a very simple issue but when you are travelling, things may become a bit complicated. This is especially true if you are getting all your things from one suitcase.
Bring Familiar Things
Your pet may also feel anxious during the trip because of the unfamiliar surroundings. Should this occur, think of ways to make them feel comfortable even outside their comfort zone. One way to do this is to bring some familiar things that will let them feel like they are still in a place that is safe. If your dog sleeps with a blanket, bring it. You can also bring their favorite toy. And treats; don’f forget the treats. After all, every dog should be rewarded for good behavior.
Plan to spend extra time with them once you stop for the night or reach your destination. Walk them slowly around the surroundings and give them the opportunity to discover new smells and get grounded.
Make Necessary Arrangements for Pet Care
Pet care should be regular and, even if you are not in your hometown, you should not skip it. When traveling, you need to consider arranging this before your trip. By doing this, you do not have to be spending time driving around looking for a pet care center as opposed to enjoying your vacation.
Consider Pet Friendly Destinations
ad to say, there are hotels and businesses that do not allow pets. This is the major consideration that you must keep in mind if you are going to travel with your dog. You may be comfortable knowing that you will be able to get some perks for seniors, but don’t forget about your pet. Checking all the places you are planning to visit and asking about pet policies will save you from unnecessary expenses and unhappy experiences.
You should always request for a ground floor room whenever you go to a pet friendly hotel. This way, it would be more convenient for you and your senior pet to get outside quickly, and it would also limit exposure to other dogs.
Plan Laid Back Trips
When traveling with an older dog, it may not be a good idea to plan a trip where the focus will be strenuous activities like long hikes, bicycling or theme parks. Depending on your dog’s health, a pet friendly beach or small town where you can casually stroll down village lanes and enjoy coffee at street side cafes may be a better option. Remember that you can also enjoy your non-pet-friendly activity as long as you provide care for your pet while you are gone on your excursions.
Splurge on a Pet Friendly Jet Charter
If you plan to fly with your dog, it is important to know as a pet owner is how commercial airlines deal with live animals. For pets flying in the cargo hold, dogs and other animals are confined to a special area that is pressurized and temperature controlled. However, if you have a senior dog, you may want to consider some other options.
If your dog is small, you can fly with it in the cabin in an airline-compliant pet carrier. You can discuss sedation with your vet or opt for an all-natural pet calmer if you feel that your dog will be overly stressed when flying.
Because your pet may have disabilities or medical requirements, it may be a bit difficult for you and your pet to fly on a commercial airline, This is why a private charter is safer and more comfortable for you both. With a pet-friendly jet charter, you do not have to worry about your pet flying in the cargo hold. They can fly right next to you or on your lap for that matter. When flying in a private jet, you and your pet can enjoy the amenities and the special treatment that comes with it. And, with your pet by your side, you can monitor their well being.
Traveling with an older dog is fun and challenging at the same time. Being well prepared will go a long way in enjoying each day with your dog. Always consider that your pets should also be comfortable while you go on vacation with them. This will save you from unnecessary stress and worry while you are trying to relax somewhere away from home.
Contributing to this article is Holly Kramer, a pet lover who owns a dog and loves to write about everything related to pets. She is a frequent writer and contributor to top online pet publications and blogs including Dog Breeds 911 and Pet Friendly Senior Living.
This is an unprecedented time in world history. All over the world, people are mandated to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel to stop the spread of the corona virus. How can adopting of pet during a crisis ease the anxiety and boredom caused by confinement? Here are a few reasons.
Saving a soul
The Humane Society always encourages people to adopt or foster a pet, but especially in times of confinement due to a crisis. Many shelters across the country have placed record numbers of dogs and cats, and many applications are up by 50 percent or more. Why has fostering or adoption become so popular?
Having spare time
Most people not involved in “essential” work have plenty of time on their hands during lockdown. What better to fill the hours that a loving dog or cat that so appreciates not being housed in a cage but part of a family that has time to devote attention to it.
Wanting to help
We are involved in a situation which cannot be referred to as anything else than a crisis. Most people want to help where they can. Adopting a pet during a crisis can ease the burden on shelters that are currently being staffed by a skeleton crew, and is a great way that people can help.
A sense of normal
Fostering or adopting a pet during a crisis can help your family survive the boredom of a lock down, especially for children. Pets teach responsibility when it is a child’s job to feed and walk a pet. Schedules are established which bring structure and meaning to the day for everyone.
Pets can fill our extra time by demanding our attention, whether it be for fun, love or exercise. Shelter pets especially crave attention and we have time to give this to them during confinement.
Isolation and loneliness
Confinement brings particularly lonely times for people who live alone. Reaching out to friends and family is important. If you have a pet in your home, you will never be alone. The comfort and devotion that a pet offers is priceless in times of isolation.
The worry of getting sick and having financial issues associated with a crisis can produce great uneasiness and anxiety in many people.
Pets provide the comfort that produces measurable health results. It has been proven that being around pets can cause a chemical chain reaction in the brain that may help to lower stress hormones. It also increases the production of serotonin which is a hormone that makes us feel good.
A recent study from the Mayo Clinic, looked at 1,800 people between the ages of 25 and 64 who had healthy hearts, and found that almost half of them owned a dog.
All dogs and some cats require exercise and people need that too. This is something you can share with benefits all around.
Love and devotion
Most importantly, the comfort and devotion that comes with a dog or cat can be very settling to an individual or a family, and is proven to ease anxiety, give meaning and produce positive attitude to a family with a pet.
A pet can bring everyone together to love, play and exercise. A pet can bring companionship and build unity within a family unit.
How to care for your pet during the crisis
Take time to get to know your pet
Understand that your home is a “known” environment for you, but a new environment for your pet. They may be scared or overwhelmed at first, especially if they are an older dog. Give them the opportunity to choose a master. This is usually the one who feeds them or doles out discipline. Most pets bond to everyone but tend to gravitate to one person above others.
Have a plan for your pet in case you get sick
You should have a plan for your pet in case you develop symptoms of the virus. Someone should be available to care for your pet should you need to seek medical attention, isolate or go to the hospital. That person should be familiar with your pet’s feeding, walking and medication schedules.
Identify your pet
If your pet is microchipped, then register your information in the chip manufacturer’s database or make sure the shelter has your contact information, if for any reason it is separated from you. If not chipped, then be sure that your cell phone number is on a tag on your dog’s collar.
Gather supplies for your pet
You should have at least 2 weeks of pet food on hand and bottled water if you do not drink your city or county water.
You should visit your local pet store for fun toys and treats. Toys can provide extra exercise for home bound pets and treats can be used in training. Be sure and pick up some waste bags as well. Everyone should do their part to keep our green spaces clean.
Consider an all-natural pet calmer. The attention that your pet receives from a new family can over stimulate them. When it is time to chill, it may be useful to have something that will encourage your pet to calm down.
Address any medical issues
If your pet has any medical issues or requires medication or supplements, be sure you understand what you need to do to maintain their health. You can speak to the shelter or the shelter’s veterinarian about this.
Have fun with your pet
Have fun with your pet. Teach them a new trick. Everyone can be a part of this effort and it is certainly fulfilling to see your pet learn from you.
Wash and groom your pet. This can also be a family function that is fun for all. A clean pet is a happier pet. If fleas or ticks are a problem in your neighborhood, speak to the veterinarian about treatment.
Consider a long-term relationship
Consider a long-term relationship if you are fostering. The bond between a pet and its family is strong and can occur quickly. What a disappointment will it be for your pet to return it to the shelter once the crisis has passed. If you cannot accommodate a pet under normal, post-crisis environment, try to find a loving family for it.
There is no denying that the comfort and devotion that a pet will offer an individual or family will make any period of isolation more tolerable. Consider fostering or adopting a pet during a crisis and make everyone’s life better.
If you’re a pet lover, then chances are you’ll take your dog or cat with you on a trip. But before you see yourself romping on the beach with your dog or cat or hiking in the mountains, taking selfies and posting them on social media, consider how much preparation you’ll need for your kind of trip. To ensure that the trip with your pet goes well, here are seven mistakes to avoid when traveling with a pet.
Not Booking Your Travel in Advance
Booking your transportation and hotel in advance is essential for any travel; however, you’ll have to go the extra mile if you decide to take your pet with you. Make sure that any transportation you need to use on your trip (an airplane, a car, etc.) will accommodate your pet. Also, make sure that you book a hotel that allows pets inside their facilities, and, most importantly, make a reservation for your pet. Having the right accommodations reserved will help to avoid stress from last-minute prep.
Not Checking Pet Policies
Just like any other type of travel, traveling with your pet comes with rules. Whether you’re taking a plane, a bus, a train, etc., all modes of transportations will have pet policies. Before you travel, read up on policies, procedures and charges that you must adhere to. If you have any other questions and concerns that aren’t addressed in the published policies, feel free to give them a call or shoot them an email. Voicing any concerns ahead of time will save you from the embarrassment of being turned away at the hotel, airport or train station, because of a violation that you weren’t aware of beforehand.
Not Properly Restraining Your Pet in a Car
One of the most dangerous mistakes to avoid when traveling with a pet in your car is letting your pet have free roam or hang their head out the window, especially if your dog or cat isn’t too comfortable with the riding in a car. Not to mention, your pet can become a distraction, while you’re driving – the danger posed by that distraction the equivalent to texting while driving.
Organizations like AAA have cautioned the public to use carriers or restraining harnesses on your pet, when they’re inside the car. Securing your pet in the car can prevent distractions and keep your pet from stumbling or making any wrong moves that can result in injury. But whatever you do, don’t let pets sit in the front seat; they’ll get badly hurt if an airbag is activated. Also, never leave your pet alone in a car, especially during hot weather. Like babies and little children, pets will die from extremely hot temperatures.
Not Ensuring Your Destination is Pet-Friendly
Is your travel destination pet-friendly? Do shops and establishments allow pets inside? Are there any dog parks where you’re going? These are the questions that you should consider and research when picking a destination for you, your family and your pet.
While some cities, towns and businesses allow dogs to join in on sightseeing, touring, and even being allowed inside; vacations like camping, glamping and staying in a bed and breakfast or inn tend to be a lot more pet-friendly since they are less confined and your pet is exposed to less hustle and bustle.
Also, take note of the time of year that you plan to travel. Summer tends to be the most popular time to travel with your pet, especially if you’re a dog person. Be aware that airlines will not fly live animals in the cargo hold during periods of high temperatures. If you must fly in the summer, book flights that depart and land early in the morning or late at night when temperatures are not extreme.
Additionally, consider finding a travel destination that has patios or parks that welcome pets. In other words, do your research on places and activities first, before considering your “vacay” spot for you and your pet.
Not Having the Right Documentation
Like humans need passports, pets need to have their own pet passports (i.e. documentation), when you travel abroad. In fact, many countries require the following for international pet travel:
- Pet health certificate
- Pet health insurance (not mandatory, but recommended)
- Prove of vaccinations including rabies
- Rabies titer test (some countries)
- Import permit (some countries)
- Parasite treatment (some countries)
- Passport for your pet – collection of all documentation
- Endorsement of documentation by government veterinarian
In addition, your pet must be microchipped, before you travel internationally, since many countries require this. So, don’t get caught unprepared – have documentation available.
Not Providing Proper Care During Travel
Not thinking about the care your pet will need during travel is one of the common mistakes to avoid when traveling with a pet.
Pets need food and water; and they need frequent care as well. Traveling is no exception. Granted, if your pet is flying, it cannot be attended to during flight; however, you can take some steps prior to travel that will help them adjust.
It is a good idea to taper down the amount of food you give your pet slowly prior to travel unless it has medical needs. Pets should not be fed within 4-6 hours of travel. However, make sure that your pet gets plenty of water, and that they get necessary potty breaks every so often prior to boarding.
You’ll have to pack for your pet as well. Pack all the necessary items, such as a sturdy leash, toiletries, pet hygiene products, treats, toys, towels, and any medications that your pet takes. Though, you may want to check the rules and regulations that your mode of transportation may have (an airline, for example, if you’re flying). Just like booking your travel and hotel stays, not planning ahead is a mistake to avoid when traveling with a pet.
Not Considering that a Change in Routine and Environment can be Upsetting to your Pet
One way that pets learn is through routines as well as past experiences. If your pet has not traveled before, the changes in environment and stimulation can be very unsettling to them.
Home is where your pet is comfortable with their surroundings. But when you and your pet are traveling, not only can they exhibit shyness when going to a new place and learning a new routine, but they might be frightened at the prospect of traveling.
So, before you take that big leap with your pet, consider smaller, shorter trips, so that they can get acclimated to traveling. As you build that trust with your pet, they’ll eventually be more than willing to tag along on your next adventure.
Acclimating your pet to its crate or carrier is one of the best things you can do to lessen stress on your pet. More on carrier and crate acclimation here.
Prepping for pet travel may take a lot of work and effort; but in the end, it’s totally worth it for you and your furry friend. Learn from these common mistakes to avoid when traveling with a pet, and your trip will be easy and enjoyable for everyone.
Catherine Meisner is writes for Luckyassignments.com. Not only does she show great interest in social media marketing, but she also loves writing about topics related to health, food, and beauty. In her free time, she loves gym-going and visiting new places.
Today is travel day. You have loaded up the car, heading to the airport with your family and your pets with plenty of time to spare in the case of heavy traffic or other delays. You get to your airline’s check-in counter, and your pets are denied by the check-in agent. Your flight cannot be rescheduled and you must leave your pet behind.
Or, you have packed up the car with family and your pets, you turn the key in the ignition, and nothing happens. You must leave today, and the taxi you summon does not accept pets.
These are the last things you need to happen when traveling, but they do happen, nonetheless. If you prepare in advance, you can cope with emergencies like this and know what to do when you must leave your pet behind at the last minute.
Leaving your pet behind suddenly when you have planned carefully for your vacation can be extremely stressful for both you and your pet. This is especially true if you are traveling internationally or will be gone for an extended period of time. In these cases, most pet owners have made preparations necessary to bring their pets with them.
Thankfully, the travel industry has made it easier to take our pets with us no matter how we travel. More hotels are allowing well-behaved pets to stay on the premises. And published pet import policies for foreign countries makes it easier for pet owners to understand what kind of documentation is needed to cross borders with their animals.
But no matter how carefully you may plan, unforeseen situations may occur that cause your pet to be left behind. Here are some scenarios to help illustrate this point.
Problems with Documentation
What if the requirements change for importing your pet into a country or you did not understand what vaccinations were needed? Or perhaps the documentation you provided was not properly endorsed by a government veterinarian?
In these cases, your airline will not permit your pet to board. If they are negligent in checking the paperwork, and your pet arrives at a foreign destination, it will be refused entry, quarantined and returned to the origination at your expense if it does not comply with the rules.
Crate or Carrier Issues
Maybe your crate or carrier was deemed by agents as being inadequate to transport your pet safely. Your carrier was too big or too small, did not have adequate ventilation or was not secure enough. Or your pet’s crate was not IATA-compliant.
Maybe the aircraft that serves your route is not approved to fly animals because the temperature and pressure in the cargo hold of the aircraft is not regulated.
Maybe you did not make a reservation for your pet far enough in advance, and there is no room on your flight for their crate or carrier.
Maybe your airline has restrictions on the breeds that can travel on their flights, and your pet is a snub-nosed or aggressive dog breed..
Maybe your pet is not in visible good health.
Maybe the stress of the situation makes your dog display aggressive behavior.
Finally, maybe there may be problems with your connecting flight, and your pet may not have clearance through to its final destination.
Pet Owner Emergencies
Sometimes pet owners may experience emergencies that cause them to have to travel at the drop of a hat. This may mean that the pet owner has been unable to make the proper travel arrangements before they are forced to leave the country. Preparing a dog or cat to travel takes time. Sometimes there is simply not enough time and your pet must stay behind.
Pet Health Emergencies
As with children, pets can get sick at the last minute. The worst thing you can do is expose them to the stress of traveling when they are sick.
What if your pet becomes lost while you are traveling? If your pet is not microchipped, the chances of them being reunited with you are significantly reduced. In fact, one study shows that over 80% of pets that are not microchipped and registered are not returned to their owner.
Despite the fact that you had your car serviced prior to travel day, it won’t start when you need it to and you need to take a taxi to the airport. The ride may or may not accept pets, especially larger ones.
So, what is a pet owner to do if their beloved pet must be left behind? Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.
Always have a backup on hand
Find someone to care for your pet in the short term. If you are lucky enough to have a family member, neighbor or friend in the vicinity, ask this person to care for your pet and help you arrange for their transportation home. Know that pets can fly without their owners through airline air cargo services.
If you don’t know anyone where you are, contact a veterinarian or a licensed boarding facility. Most people who work with animals will understand the stress of the situation and will do anything they can to help reunite you with your best friend.
Know the pet import regulations of your country
If your pet is flying (or driving) internationally, it will need a new health certificate. The health certificate you intended to use may no longer be valid as many certificates expire in 3-10 days.
Arrange for someone to take your pet to a licensed veterinarian for the certificate.
If your pet was restricted due to health reasons, make sure the person left in charge of your pet understands that care may be needed before your pet will be allowed to travel.
This party may need to use your pet’s health insurance to get the proper vaccinations or care required before boarding the plane. If your pet is not currently covered by health insurance, you can get a free quote here.
Make sure your pet’s crate is airline compliant
Your pet’s crate should be large enough for your pet to move around, but small enough to fit in the cargo space. Check the International Air Transport Association website for specific information regarding the appropriate size. Be aware that you will pay a cargo fee based on the weight of the animal and the weight of the crate.
Pick your flight carefully
Your pet may undergo stress during the journey home. To make the trip as stress-free as possible, find flights that are nonstop. If your pet is traveling through high temperature regions, consider booking overnight flights. Be aware that most airlines won’t allow pets in the cargo hold if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees F (30 degrees C) or drops below 45 degrees F (7 degrees C).
Prepare for take-off
Ask your caregiver to make sure proper care is taken by the airline before leaving your pet in their care. Ask your overseas helper to take care before leaving your pet at the airport. Ask them to double-check that the cargo hold is pressure and temperature controlled. Ask them to make sure that the your pet and its crate are correctly identified. Ask your helper to make sure your pet has enough food and water to last the trip.
Hire a transport agent
Consider hiring the services of a pet transport company.
If you are not able to find an individual you trust with the task of transporting your pet, hire professionals for the job. Ask for recommendations for a pet transport company in the area or search for a licensed agent at IPATA.org. These transporters know the international requirements for unaccompanied pet travel and will make sure your animal arrives home safely.
Even though being separated from your beloved pet may cause you to panic, know that millions of unaccompanied pets travel safely each year. Prepare for the unexpected emergency and, in case something happens, you what to do when you must leave your pet behind.
Kristina Marshall is a stay-at-home blogger. After having kids, she began sharing some of her diy tricks for around the house with people in the community. She then started answering some questions on Yahoo and Quora, and now she writes full articles on tips for around the house, lifestyle tips and more.
Reptiles can be great pets. They don’t need a lot of effort to thrive in our homes. If they have the correct environment and adequate attention, they will be happy. Their lack of care requirements extends to moving them as well; however, there are precautions that must be taken to ensure their safety. Knowing how to transport a reptile safely is essential and preparations prior to the move must be made.
Reptiles are tetrapod (four-footed) animals in the class Reptilia, including turtles, crocodiles, alligators, snakes, amphibians, lizards, tuatara, and their extinct relatives. Because reptiles have a slow metabolism and cannot maintain a constant body temperature, they are particularly sensitive to changes in in their environment.
Because reptiles maintain their body temperature through their surroundings, it is important to provide materials that will help mimic the humidity and temperature of their natural environment. More on this later.
In this post, we will discuss the transport of smaller reptiles such as turtles, frogs, snakes and lizards. We will leave the transport of alligators and crocodiles to the experts!
If you plan on transporting your reptile yourself, here are a few of the most important tips to keep in mind.
Properly and safely packing as well as transporting your pet reptile doesn’t just begin on the day you move. There are a number of steps you should complete before that day arrives:
- Purchase the proper container or have one made for your pet. Whether you choose a pre-made or custom-made container will be determined by the size and type of your reptile and the method of transport. Poisonous reptiles need to be wrapped in a cloth sack before being placed in a secured container. Tie off the sack and place it in a stiff-sided container with ventilation holes and a “live animal” sign on the outside. For more information on container requirements, read on.
- Once you have your container, it is time to get your reptile acclimated to their carrier or crate. Don’t disrupt their entire daily schedule, as this could stress them before moving day even arrives. However, you will want to place your reptile in their carrying container for an hour or two every day for a week or more leading up to the move. This allows them time to get used to the new environment and may cut down on their stress when it is time to move them.
- Before you move your reptile, it is also a good idea to ensure that your pet is in good health. Make sure to visit your veterinarian within 10 days of traveling. They can check out your reptile and provide a health certificate for your pet. For exotic animals, a health certificate is essential for travel.
- Local and state laws in the United States may restrict what types of reptiles can be imported. Many countries have laws restricting reptiles as well. Make sure you are aware of any laws pertaining to your specific reptile.
How to pack your reptile
Now the big day has arrived. You’ve followed all the steps outlined above, and everything is ready for you to move your reptile. However, you still need to ensure that your pet is properly packed. Here’s how.
- As mentioned above, the container you use to pack your reptile should neither be too big nor too small. If it is too small, your reptile won’t be able to move properly. If it is too large, your pet could get thrown around and injured during transport. More on this below.
- You may want to consider adding either heating or cooling elements (and thermostats or hygrometers) to the container to keep your reptile’s body temperature stable. Whether you need the heating or cooling pads will depend on the season and type of reptile. This step is especially important if you will be moving your pet via air.
- When flying with your reptile, the IATA Live Animal Regulations state that food and water will not be necessary unless it is a very long trip. In the case of flying long-haul with your reptile, water and food containers (troughs) are required to be attached to the inside of the container with feeding instructions taped to the top of the crate.
- If your reptile needs a moist environment, make sure to purchase a water-proof container. You can then line the bottom of the container with moist towels to provide the wet environment they need it. If your pet does not need a moist environment, you should consider placing dry towels at the bottom of the container to cushion it during travel.
- If you are flying or traveling internationally, you will need to visit your veterinarian within 10 days of transport. Attach your pet’s health certificate on the outside or top of the container in a plastic bag marked DO NOT REMOVE. It should be in plain view at all times. See more below about flying with a reptile.
- Do not add rocks, sticks, or other items to the contents of your pet’s crate. While these items could make the container feel more like home, they can also move during transport and hurt your pet.
How to transport your reptile by car
When your reptile is securely and properly packed in their container, it is time to load up the car. Follow these steps to make moving day as stress-free as possible.
- Again, make sure you have the right size pet carrier for your reptile. The carrier should be large enough so your reptile can move around, but not so big that they can slide around on the drive. Always plan to secure it in place, either with a seat belt or other items in the car that will discourage the carrier from shifting.
- Make sure to keep your reptile out of the direct sunlight or invest in window visors to block out light.
- Keep your stops to a minimum, and never leave your reptile unattended in the car. If you must leave them for a minute, make sure there is a window left slightly open.
- Cars can get too hot or too cold quicker than you might guess, so make sure you control the temperature inside the carrier as we explained earlier. If you’re traveling from a hot climate to a cold one, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel will keep your reptile cozy. Or if it’s the other way around, a cold pack in your reptile’s carrier will keep your pet cool. Either way, the surface of the container should not touch your pet’s skin.
- Check on your pet every time you stop to ensure that they are comfortable and safe. Although they may be hiding in the folds of the towel, do not open their carrier as this will provide an avenue for escape.
How to Transport your Reptile by Air
Sometimes driving is simply not possible and you need to fly your pet. Commercial airlines will require that your reptile fly as air cargo. In this case, you must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel.
You may need an export permit issued by a government agency responsible for the import and export of reptiles. In the United States, this is the US Fish and Wildlife Association.
You will also need to verify that your reptile is not covered by The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) regulations. Generally, permits are issued by the government agency in your country responsible for the protection of wildlife.
Many foreign countries require import permits for reptiles so be sure and verify those requirements.
There are also are specific requirements that must be met regarding their crates and these can be confirmed by contacting your airline’s cargo department.
- When sizing your pet’s crate, measure your pet from tip of snout to vent (end of body not including the tail) and also the body width and length of tail. Your pet’s crate should accommodate the snout to vent length + half of the tail length.
With snakes, measure the widest part of the body and the length of your snake. Always measure your pet while in an extended, resting position. Your crate should allow every inch of the bottom of your snake to touch the bottom of the crate.
The height of the crate should not be more than 1-2 inches higher than the height of your reptile to avoid injury if jumping. Smaller tree frogs will need 3 inches in height clearance.
- Crates should have adequate ventilation. If you are transporting your reptile to and from areas with high temperatures, your crate will need more ventilation than if you are transporting to areas with low temperatures.
- All crates must be labeled and marked prior to transport. Labels should not interfere with ventilation. A shipping declaration should be included reflecting your name and contact information. LIVE ANIMAL and THIS WAY UP labels must be adhered to all 4 sides of the crate.
- Your pet’s crate must be sturdy and well-constructed out of non-toxic materials while not offering any sharp edges or other protrusions that could injure your pet during transport. There must be no gaps that would allow any escape from the crate. The door must be constructed so that your pet cannot open it or squeeze through a grid. The crate must have a handle or spacers to allow baggage handlers to move the crate without danger of being harmed.
Plastic crates are permitted for snakes less than 24 inches in length and turtles less than 4 inches in length.
- Absorbent bedding that is appropriate for your reptile should be placed in the bottom of the crate. Straw and moss are not advised as many countries will not allow it. The bottom of the crate should have spacers to avoid direct contact with the floor which would encourage temperature change.
- Inner containers made of polystyrene may be beneficial to maintain a constant temperature.
- Hot and cold packs can be used; however, check with your airline’s cargo department to see if they will accept hot and cold packs. These packs should not come in direct contact with your reptile and should be insulated.
- Reptiles that are cannibalistic should always be packed separately. Any dividers in the crate must be attached to the crate and sturdy so that they will not collapse during transport.
- Pet owners of aquatic amphibians should provide an inner enclosure of rigid plastic or double plastic bag with 1/3 water, 1/3 pure oxygen and 1/3 air.
Of course, if you are unable to transport and move your pet yourself, you can always hire Pet Travel Transport to do the job for you. They have plenty of experience safely and properly packing, transporting, and moving reptiles domestically and internationally.
Once you get there
You did it. You have arrived and successfully and safely transported your reptile. Now what?
Now it is time to begin acclimating your pet to their new home. Make sure that their normal environment is set up before you take them out of their container. Also, remember that moving day was probably quite stressful for your pet. Handle them with more care than normal, as their behavior may be different. As soon as you can, return to your pet’s normal daily schedule. This will ease their transition to their new home.
Properly packing, transporting, and moving a reptile can seem like a challenge. The tips provided here will help you with how to transport a reptile. Of course, there will always be some stress. But, when you approach the move with the right attitude and follow the correct steps, you and your reptile can get to your destination safely.
Contributor: Anoop Nain is the proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. Although his “puppers” are grown up, each day with them is a new learning experience for him. He has a degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare.
Using pet seat belts. It’s one of those reflex actions you don’t think about much.
You get in the car and reach for the seat belt – most times before even starting the engine. And if there’s a kid or two in tow? They’re buckled in snug and tight before you even leave the driveway. It is the law, after all.
But what about your pet? It seems like the most natural thing in the world, especially with dogs, to have your pup jump in and share the ride with you. And let’s be honest, doesn’t it make you smile when you see a car with its windows down and a dog’s face in the wind? What could possibly be wrong with not using pet seat belts?
Potentially, quite a bit from both a legal and safety perspective for both the passengers in the car and your pet.
Imagine this scenario. Your small fur ball is curled up on your lap. Cute, right? Nope! It only takes a second for something to go very wrong with this picture. An unrestrained 10 lb. dog involved in an accident at just 30 mph will exert roughly 300 lbs. force – more than enough to inflict serious harm on itself or a passenger.
Click-it or Ticket – A State Issue
It’s easy to understand why most people think there are no guardrails governing pet restraint during road trips. The fact is that there is no federal law that specifically outlines what is legal and what isn’t when a companion animal shares a vehicle’s passenger compartment. While the federal Animal Welfare Act, which first passed in 1966 and has been amended eight times since then, does place restrictions around the transport of very specific animals used in special circumstances, it is not a broad animal protection law.
Instead, the responsibility of animal protection is assumed at the state level. The good news is that each and every state has legislation currently in force to protect animals. The bad news is that these laws can vary wildly from one state to another. Additionally, many state statutes allow individual cities or towns to enact their own animal protection ordinances.
What does all this mean?
Both pet owners and professional pet transporters alike need to do a little research regarding animal protection, most typically referenced as animal restraint, when traveling across town, across state or across country with a furry friend riding shotgun. Those who don’t do their homework could face steep fines, damages not covered by insurance, and in some cases, even criminal charges for not using pet seat belts.
States with Existing Pet Seat Belt Laws
Pets in Passenger Compartments
Acknowledging that many pet protection laws can be complex and multi-layered, let’s start with one that isn’t.
Currently, New Jersey has a law that flat-out stipulates pets must be restrained while in the passenger compartment of a moving vehicle. Specifically, in New Jersey, a pet must be in a carrier or wear a seat belt when a vehicle is moving. Period. The fine for not complying can reach $1,000.
Rhode Island’s laws come close to meeting the same standard, but with one caveat. Rhode Island mandates that an animal in a vehicle passenger compartment must be placed in a carrier, cage or secured with a seat belt, unless it is under the physical control of someone in the car other than the driver.
It’s not a straight up restraint law, but it might as well be since the police officer pulling you over is who determines if your animal was being controlled or not. The cost for not adhering to the law can reach $200.
Additionally, the following states require that your dog must have a canine specific restraint (such as a harness which buckles into a pet seat belt) when riding in an automobile: Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island
Pets in Open Truck Beds
How unsafe is it to put your dog in an open truck bed? The American Humane Society reports that an estimated 100,000 dogs die each year untethered in the bed of a truck. And that’s just an estimate.
When it comes to animals in an open truck bed, primarily dogs, a number of states have laws stating they must be tethered or restrained in a cage or crate. Failure to do so will result in fines. These states include: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Oregon
At first glance, the fact that a limited number of states have such laws on the books might suggest that enforcing pet restraint isn’t a priority. The truth is similar legislation is gaining traction in an increasing number of states across the U.S.
A Push for More State Laws
What’s the big deal?
Simple physics explains why the trend toward pet restraint is gaining steam. An unrestrained pet that weighs 50 pounds, in a 35 mph collision, can be projected forward like a cannonball with 1,500 pounds of force The possibility of severe injury to your pet and other passengers when riding unrestrained in a vehicle is real. This reality and the awareness of it will surely fuel additional states to adopt specific pet restraint laws in the near future.
Also growing in popularity is legislation that limits pet transport to the back seat of the vehicle for the same reasons small children are placed there. Air bags. Restrained or not, an airbag deploying at 200 mph, can deliver devastating injuries to any animal that is impacted.
Factoring in Distracted Driver Violations
Now let’s talk about the states where an unrestrained pet can get you in hot water, even when there isn’t a specific law about it in force. This is the realm of states with distracted driver legislation.
In ten states, driving with a pet on your lap puts you at risk of being charged with distracted driving. Some states mention animals in laps specifically in their distracted legislation, such as Hawaii. Others reference anything that interferes with maintaining control of the vehicle or obstructing view – both of which are distinct possibilities from a lap-riding animal.
Distracted driving states include: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The consequences of violating distracted driver laws vary from state to state. In some states, a pet on a lap is reason enough to justify a traffic stop. Other states view distracted driving as a secondary offense, one that is attached to a primary offense, such as speeding. The bottom line is all can result in tickets and fines.
An Additional Consideration – Insurance
Certainly, a distracted driving ticket for an unrestrained pet is costly; and an injured pet as the result of distracted driver accident is awful beyond measure. But there’s one more thing to think about if you’re in an accident with an unrestrained animal in the car. Some insurance companies will not cover the cost of the incident if it was the result of distracted driving. Suffice it to say, the emotional and monetary cost may be substantial.
Anti-Cruelty Laws May Also Have Impact
We’re not done yet. Pet restraint regulations get even murkier. Sixteen states have animal anti-cruelty laws that can be applied to unsecured pets in moving vehicles. In general, laws in these states consider it illegal to transport animals in a cruel manner or in a way that puts an animal in danger.
The catch is that there are no hard and fast rules or a specific definitions of what constitutes “transporting in a cruel manner.” This means that it is up to the discretion of the legal authority pulling a driver over to determine what constitutes an offense and what does not.
The states where this ambiguous application exists include: Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Again, the consequences of violating anti-cruelty laws in these states vary. Fines are a given. More important, you need to understand that breaking animal anti-cruelty laws can carry misdemeanor, or in extreme cases, felony charges.
Beyond the Law: The Case for Pet Seatbelts
Without question, widespread adoption of pet restraint laws has a long way to go. But as previously mentioned, the movement does have considerable momentum and new, more comprehensive legislation is definitely on the horizon. This makes it a good idea for pet owners and transporters to check the rules of the road periodically in the cities and states they travel through.
Or maybe there’s an easier solution. Many pet owners and professional pet transporters already understand the benefits of pet seat belts and have taken the law into their own hands – choosing to use restraints, even when they are not required. This is especially the case as information linked to potential injuries from unsecured pets, airbag dangers and insurance denials become more widely known.
That’s because most people consider pets furry family members – precious cargo whether in an owner’s vehicle or a transporter’s care. And when all is said and done, it comes down to being a matter of love, not of law.
Julie Bina is a writer for CitizenShipper, an online community that brings pet owners together with pet transporters. She is part of a team of passionate pet owners committed to improving and enhancing the lives of furry family members.
As we begin to wake from our hibernation and start to thaw from the long cold winter, plans for spring or summer vacations start to come into focus. If camping or hiking in a national park is your thing, and you plan to take your furry friend with you (of course you do because, for sure, it is their thing), then consider enjoying the wonders and beauty of nature by visiting one of the great pet friendly national parks in the United States.
While there are many parks that allow your pooch to explore trails and other park attractions with you, ignoring rules and regulations imposed on both pets and their owners while planning your travel is not wise. Keeping everyone safe and happy is important. Don’t try to avoid park rules as they are posted for very good reasons.
The first rule to know when visiting any national park is that your dog must be leashed at all times. Federal regulations require all pets to be restrained on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m). This is for your dog’s safety as well as the safety of others. Why? Because you never know what type of animal you will bump into when hiking in national parks. Also, straying off trails can be dog-gone dangerous! Make sure your dog as well as other dogs, people, and wildlife stays safe by obeying all park regulations.
As with bringing your dog any public place, make sure you clean up after your pet. No one wants to step in a smelly mess when walking along the trails. Outdoor activities bring fleas and ticks, so make sure you take proper precautions to protect your dog.
Acadia National Park – Maine
At 3.1 million visitors per year, Acadia National Park is, not surprisingly, one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the country, and there is a good reason why. Referred to as the Crown Jewel of the Atlantic Coast, its rich cultural heritage and natural habitats make for a beautiful place for both you and your dog to be in summer or winter.
When bringing your dog to this beautiful park, there are a few limitations as to where they can explore.
The park has 158 miles of hiking trails total, and there are 100 miles (161 km) of hiking trails and 45 miles (72 km) of carriage roads in the park where pets are permitted. Make sure to check with park rangers to find exactly which trails your pet is permitted to explore with you.
There are also some areas that are off-limits to all dogs except for seeing-eye dogs and service dogs.
- All lakes
- Some trails
- Sand Beach – from June 15 to Sept 8.
- Echo Lake – from May 15 to Sept. 15
- Duck Harbor Campground (dogs are permitted in Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds)
- Public buildings
- Ranger-led programs.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio
Located only a short distance from Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place to escape. Its namesake, the Cuyahoga River winds its way through all sorts of surroundings, from forests to hills to farmlands.
There are some rules for your pup at this Ohio park. There are many trails your pet can walk with you on a leash, including 30 miles of the Towpath Trail. This trail follows a historical canal and was once used for mules to pull boats through the canal.
Even though your furry friend is like family to you, they will not be allowed in any public building, or the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train, or the East Rim mountain bike trails.
There are no restrictions as to when you can bring your pets to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous pet friendly national parks in the United States. There is no need to describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Its immense size, picturesque geologic color and amazing erosional forms are jaw-dropping, but it is extremely important that you follow all park guidelines for your dog to avoid any issues.
Your pets are allowed on the trails above the South Rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout developed areas.
The Grand Canyon only has one lodge with pet-friendly rooms. That is the Yavapai Lodge. If you are planning a day trip to hike down to the Colorado River or the North Rim, boarding them at the South Rim Kennel may be the best solution as this hike is not suitable for our furry friends.
You and your pet can visit at any time, however, proof of vaccinations is required before entering this pet friendly national park. The North Rim is closed during the winter; however, the South Rim is open year round.
Hot Springs National Park – Arkansas
Something out of paradise is best used to describe Hot Springs National Park. Located just north of the city of Hot Springs in Arkansas, this national park has 143 degree thermal waters to relax and soothe your every aching muscle. The park even provides pet waste stations for your convenience. Amply nick named “The American Spa,” you will leave this park in a better frame of mind.
The only places pets are not allowed are the visitor’s center and other public buildings, and of course, the hot springs. Rest assured, your dog will be ready for a rest after exploring all of the trails in this park and so will you!
This is another park that welcomes you and your pet, and there are no restrictions on when pets can enter.
Mammoth Cave National Park -, Kentucky
With over 400 miles of underground caves, Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the world’s longest known cave system on earth! But that’s not all. There are over 70 miles of trails, 13 back country campsites, three campgrounds, and a river that is over 20 miles long for you and your pet to explore and enjoy.
If you are thinking of bringing your pet to this park, you should know that service animals are the only pets permitted in any of the caves; however, there is a kennel for your dog available. You can crash with your pet at the Woodland Cottages.
Check the park website for more information. It looks like this is another pet friendly national parks in the United States that would love your pooch anytime!
Natchez Trace National Parkway – Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee
Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This historic road follows the “Old Natchez Trace” a road used by American Indians, European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and even past presidents.
While you and your best friend cruise along this parkway, you can enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. This is a great place for a vacation, and if you bring your dog, there are very few restrictions. You can enjoy the park trails and viewpoints with your dog; however, keep them out of public buildings. You must always keep your pet on a leash and remember to pick up after them.
Shenandoah National Park – Virginia
Two hundred acres of protected lands are awaiting you and your pup at Shenandoah National Park. This is a pristine place with cascading waterfalls, vistas, and wooded hollows and well worth a visit. It is a beautiful park and very pet friendly.
There are over 500 miles for you and your four-legged hiker to enjoy and only a mere 20 miles are off limits to pets. Check the website for exact locations.
The other pet-friendly areas in the park are the campsite and pet friendly lodging locations. Remember to always keep your dog on a leash and to pick up their mess.
Unfortunately, the Ranger family programs such as The Wild About Bears program and Shenandoah Kid Explorers are off limits to pets.
Although there are no limits on what time of year your pet can accompany you, keep up to date on the weather conditions, and make sure you have enough water for you and your pet at all times.
White Sands National Park- New Mexico
Known as one of the world’s great natural wonders, the 275 square miles of white gypsum sand in White Sands National Park is truly worth your time to visit.
If you are heading here and are bringing your pet, there are a few things you should know.
Although there are not a ton of restrictions for your dog, you may not bring them into any public building such as the visitors center. Keep in mind that the temperatures may be high; so remember to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog to avoid overheating and dehydration. Of course, never leave your pet in the car unattended, not even for a minute.
There are only a few simple rules, but these rules can make a huge impact on the safety of your pet. White Sands National Park would love to have your pooch visit any time of the year. Keep in mind the hot, dry climate, especially in the summer.
Yellowstone National Park- Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most iconic national parks in the United States. Hosting millions of visitors each year, both winter and summer seasons offer an abundance of hydrothermal and geologic wonders. After all, who hasn’t heard of the famous geyser, Old Faithful?
As this park is so popular and your dog will be around many other people, park pet policies are very important.
Pets are only allowed in developed areas. They must remain within 100 feet from roadways and campgrounds to lessen the chance of getting lost. For the safety of your dog and others, it is necessary to keep your dog either on a leash, in a crate, or secure in your car.
Because this park hosts so many “look but don’t touch” natural attractions, and, because the park is full of wild animals, your dog will not be allowed on trails, in thermal areas, the back country or on the boardwalk. These rules are made for the safety of all people and animals.
There are no kennels in Yellowstone National Park. Pet owners will need to find accommodations for their pets in nearby communities should they want to venture into the back country or wander along the boardwalk.
Lassen Volcanic National Park – California
Lassen Volcanic National Park is full of geologic wonders like clear mountain lakes, jagged peaks and, of course, many volcanoes. There are also fumaroles which are holes in the ground where steam escapes. (Who knew?)
Generally, your pet can go anywhere in the park in an automobile. It can be in the campgrounds, picnic areas, and along the shoulders of roads. Because the wonders of this park can also be dangerous, your dog is not allowed on any hiking trail, in the back country, or anywhere that is snow-covered. Swimming is also out, so if your furry friend loves to swim, best to distract them with other attractions.
You need to keep your pets physically restrained overnight at your campsite. They may be left unattended in your vehicle, providing the temperatures are safe to do so. Your pet is welcome anytime; however, in order to get the full experience, it is probably best to come during the summer. Fewer snow-covered areas equals more exploring!
These are just a few of the pet friendly national parks in the United States. You can enjoy the wonders of nature with your pet in 61 recognized parks in the national park system. Just make sure you are aware of the pet policies beforehand. Remember, clean up after your pet, and keep them on a leash. It is respectful and makes for a better trip experience for all.
Marina Yoveva is originally from Bulgaria but she considers herself a citizen of the world. Having traveled to over 20 countries and counting, she loves writing about her adventures, experiences, and advice on her blog Exploreist.
Getaways are great for resting the body, rejuvenating the mind, and soothing the soul. But if you have to leave your furry friends behind, it can somewhat spoil your fun. Not only do you miss them, but there is no doubt that they they miss you. Consider solving the problem by choosing to vacation in the laid back, pet friendly Netherlands. It is a great place to visit with a cat or dog.
The Netherlands has plenty of accommodations for both cats and dogs, and also green spots, holiday parks, even many restaurants, bars, and cafes that welcome dogs.
Pet friendly Accommodations in the Netherlands
I was amazed at the variety of dog-friendly accommodations in the Netherlands. Choices range from hotels, apartments, even houseboats. After much debate, my sweet dog Bella and I began our Netherlands getaway by checking into the very posh, yet dog-friendly Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, a 5-star Hyatt hotel. Upon entering our room, she was greeted with a jar of treats, a designer dog bed by Fatboy, designer bowls, and a bottle of mineral water. I was equally delighted by my queen bed canal view suite and loads of amenities. Bella cuddled up with me in the cozy reading chair by the window to enjoy the picturesque view and plan our itinerary together.
The Andaz was a splurge for me; however, one well worth it. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly stay with your pet in the Netherlands, check out the Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre a little over an hour away in Rotterdam. The pet-friendly 4-star hotel is right on the water at the foot of the Erasmus Bridge. You’ll have a choice of views from the Rotterdam skyline to a panoramic view of the bridge over the Maas. The rooms and suites are fully-equipped and comfy and start at €99 with a charge of €15 per night per pet. The hotel is within walking distance of the Witte de Withstraat where you’ll find great bars and restaurants with outdoor terraces that will welcome your four legged friend.
Houseboat rentals in the Netherlands are also pet-friendly, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful stay floating on the water. One that caught my eye is the Pantheos Romantic Houseboat. It’s near the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and next to the Jordaan with its hip pubs, eateries, and boutiques. The price to rent a houseboat can fall between budget and luxury.
Getting Around With Your Pet
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to the pet friendly Netherlands without some sightseeing. If you don’t want to leave your dog behind, no worries. While dogs aren’t allowed in the museums; they are almost everywhere else. Any sized dogs are welcome on buses, trams, and all public transportation systems, and they can travel for free except on trains which charge €3 a day for an all-day ticket unless your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier or ride on your lap. This is another reason why the Netherlands is a great place to visit with your pet.
Bella and I spent hours wandering along the laneways and historic canals in Amsterdam, which has always been on my European bucket list. I loved the gorgeous well-preserved old buildings, and this was one of the highlights of my trip. Although it’s common to see dogs roaming the streets, it’s best to keep them on a leash in unfamiliar territory. You’ll find plenty of room at parks and green spaces where your dog can get some exercise off-leash.
Dog-friendly Parks and Green Spaces in the Netherlands
On the second day of our journey, Bella and I took off for Vondelpark, the city’s largest park and the most famous one in the Netherlands. We felt right at home among the joggers and other dog walkers as we stopped to admire the statue of Vondel, one of my favorite poets, the cast iron music dome, and the historical pavilion. Bella was quite tired by the time we got back to the hotel, and it was time for a long nap for her. This gave me the chance to explore the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.
The next morning, we headed for Oosterpark in East Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful open green space with ponds, streams, and a sculpture garden. We ran into a little trouble here, though, because of the large population of grey herons which brought out the hunting instinct in Bella; so, this time it was me who napped away the afternoon.
Beatrix park in the Zuider Amster neighborhood was my choice for the next day. It’s a good way out of town, and the Metro ride was relaxing. The park was less crowded and quite lovely with beautiful gardens. Best of all, Bella got to swim in the canals, even if we got some odd looks from some of the locals.
Between the lovely green spaces, sightseeing, and dog-friendly cafes and bars, Bella and I had a ball in Amsterdam; but once the weekend came, it was time to leave the sights and sounds of the city behind and join my cousin Joost and his wife Hannah and their two kids from Alkmaar at a rental cabin at Park Westerkogge in Berkhout.
Park Westerkogge is one of many dog-friendly holiday parks scattered throughout the Netherlands. Near the North Sea, Lake Markermeer, and Lake Ijssel, it’s the perfect holiday park for water lovers. Joost keeps a boat moored at the jetties, and we were up for lots of swimming and fishing.
Park Westerkogge has great facilities for kids and adults. Bella loved playing on the grassy grounds with the kids, and the onsite restaurant serves fresh hot coffee every morning and marvelous a la carte dishes for lunch and dinner. There’s a terrace on the water where we could enjoy drinks and the sunset on the terrace.
We rented bikes and Bella trotted alongside us at a lively pace. There was no traffic to worry about. We enjoyed the heated outdoor swimming pool on the chilly evenings
Our dreamy vacation was over too soon, but Bella and I are already planning a return trip to the pet friendly Netherlands.
How to import your dog or cat to Pet Friendly Netherlands?
When entering the Netherlands with your pet from another EU Member State, your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and an EU Pet Passport. If your pet is not currently chipped or vaccinated for rabies, it will need to wait for 21 days before traveling.
When entering the Netherlands from the United States, Canada or another rabies-controlled country, your pet will need an EU health certificate instead of an EU Pet Passport.
Mike Jensen is addicted to both adventure and travel, so decided to combine the two to form TheAdventourist. There he shares his journey from one adrenaline rush to another, always exploring new places as he goes.