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Many animal lovers who can’t bother with energetic dogs or unpredictable cats opt for fish as pets. They require very little in terms of maintenance – you don’t need to walk them, and they won’t run around your home, potentially destroying your favorite vase, TV, or that unique gift your grandma gave you when you were younger. That said, we all like or need to travel at some point of time and we want to bring our pets with us. So, how do you travel with your fish?
Although you may think that transporting fish is just as easy as other pets; but, it’s actually much more difficult than cradling a kitten or bringing a puppy in a pet carrier.
Given that even a single fish requires daily feeding and regular monitoring in terms of water temperature, quality and pollution, if you can’t provide for that level of care while you are gone, you’ll probably want to bring your pet fish along when you’re traveling and certainly when you’re moving. Here is what you need to know to do it properly and safely.
What to do before your travel with your fish
Keep the tank’s water as clean as possible prior to transporting your fish
Any drastic change in the ambient quality of water can have devastating effects on your pet fish. Some fish can live in tanks that are pristinely clear while others actually welcome a bacterium or two. While you will be able to adjust, clean, and re-water the tank while it is stationary, you won’t get that opportunity as often while you’re traveling.
Your pet fish will need to get accustomed to the change in water’s temperature and cleanliness, and the smaller this change is, the better its odds of survival will be.
The best way to ensure that your fish will be in a healthy environment while you’re on the move is to keep your fish tank as clean as possible before filling the plastic bag with its water.
Do not feed your fish for a few days before you travel
Most fish types can survive approximately seven days without any food, so you should also time its last meal before the trip.
All fish types have different digestive systems, but most of them can digest food within a day. After that, your pet will contaminate its water. This is usually not a problem at all – most aquariums feature filtering systems, and even those that do not can be re-watered in a matter of minutes.
However, the bigger problem in this situation is the fact that most people don’t transport their fish in aquariums; plastic bags are far more practical. Plastic bags, however, contain a smaller quantity of water, which means that the effects of pollution through feces are far more impactful and dangerous.
Bringing an actual aquarium can be a viable solution if it’s decently small. Medium-sized and larger containers are not only impractical, but they’ll create bigger waves with each hard turn, which will stress your fish significantly.
Don’t place anything in your fish’s container
Generally speaking, the only thing that needs to be in the fish’s container (whether it’s an aquarium or a plastic bag) is your pet fish. Their bodies are fragile, and any item regardless of its weight can and will move with every turn, which can harm your pet.
Also, any outside object may end up polluting the water or even change its temperature. Any kind of temperature fluctuation can make your fish sick.
What to do when driving with your fish
Timing is crucial
The first thing you’ll need to think about is how long you’ll be on the move. Most fish will be able to survive approximately 48 hours outside of their fish tank. Traveling beyond this time limit will invariably increase the many factors that impact your pet’s survivability.
Making stops and resting between locations on longer trips will certainly benefit the driver and the passengers, and it’s absolutely necessary for fish. Even though they demand much less than most other types of pets, the restrictions in terms of feeding and water changing can be stressful for them, not to mention the shaking with each bump in the road.
Bring extra water
Fill clean and new plastic bags with water from your fish’s tank before traveling with your fish. Should your fish contaminate their water, you should have ample spare clean water they are accustomed to available to them.
Watch closely for signs of unease
You’ll need to monitor your pet frequently and check for signs of distress, and make a stop if you notice anything strange in its behavior. Here are some things to look for.
Gasping near water’s surface
The most typical sign that your fish is not feeling well during the trip is gasping near the water’s surface. It could be that the water had become polluted, or the environment is unsuitable (the temperature is either too high or low), or the beneficial chemicals in the water have evaporated.
Given that fish can only absorb a small amount of oxygen through the air, they may die fairly quickly if you don’t react.
The second most common sign is poor appetite, but that’s not something you’ll be able to notice since you shouldn’t feed your pet during the trip. If a fish is fed while on the move, it will inevitably soil the water and therefore contaminate it. Even so, if your pet refuses to eat once you’ve stopped, you may want to call a vet just to be sure.
Odd swimming patterns
Every fish has a different kind of swimming pattern. Some may be more energetic, some may be lethargic, and it’s important to note before traveling with your fish what is the default swimming pattern for your pet specifically. Obvious deviations from this pattern are usually a sign of distress.
Finally, try to inspect your pet fish’s color to the best of your ability. Healthy fish are always of the same color while those who are struggling with any kind of stress or disease tend to be bleaker. The color of any fish is dictated by its endocrine system, which will secrete corticosterone whenever it’s enduring huge amounts of stress.
What to do when flying with a fish
If you are moving a long distance or overseas, you may need to fly your fish in order to reduce its travel time. Due to security regulations, commercial airlines will not allow fish to fly in the cabin with their owners. Airline pet policies dictate that fish must fly in the cargo hold in secure containers that will ensure their safety. All containers must be able to withstand handling and flight conditions.
Smaller fish such as goldfish or tropical fish can travel in leakproof plastic bags filled with a minimum of one quarter (¼) water and three quarters (¾) oxygen. Your fish should be able to swim freely in the bag.
After filling with oxygen, the bag should be twisted, looped and secured. To protect against temperature fluctuations, the bag can be wrapped in a polyethylene sheet or two.
The bag should be placed in a rigid outer container made from material that will protect your fish during handling and loading. The container can be made from strong fiberboard or wood according to the regulations of your airline. No nails, screws of any hardware that could puncture the bag are allowed. Larger species or aggressive fish (betas, etc.) will require dividers.
The container must clearly labelled with Live Animal Stickers. Before sealing the container, the attendant at the cargo facility will need to inspect your fish’s container. Contact your airline’s cargo department to make reservations, discuss check in procedures, and any questions you may have regarding your fish’s safe transport.
What to do when you reach your destination
Put your fish back into its aquarium/tank
When you reach your destination, you should put your fish back into its aquarium as soon as possible. If you didn’t bring the exact aquarium your pet is living in with you, do everything you can to recreate the living conditions it has to offer.
Use the cleanest water you can provide; if tap water is out of the question, bottled water without any additives might be your best solution. Once your fish is in the bigger container, you can feed it again.
Monitor your fish for several weeks for any signs of illness
Any infections or results of stress can surface days after you return your pet to its tank. A new source of water may also cause an imbalance that could affect sensitive fish. Additional attention is good for both you and your fish once placed in a new environment.
It is also a good idea to research a veterinarian in your destination in case complications arise once you arrive.
We hope that this rundown was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on how to travel with your fish. A few simple steps can result in a safer and happier trip for both of you.
A poet, a writer, and a full-time nurse. When she’s at home, she spends her time with her fishy and four-legged friends. She grew up in Alberta with her parents and then moved to Ontario to take care of her only aunt. Kimberly dreams of moving to Australia and wants to spend at least a few years there.
Whether you are young, middle aged or retired, adopting a dog is an exciting prospect. Your new furry friend essentially will become a member of the family and a loyal companion who can’t wait to greet you when you walk through the door. However, the sad truth is that many dogs are abandoned because their owners are simply unaware of the amount of time and care needed for their long-term health and happiness.
Before adopting a dog, you need to evaluate whether you can commit to giving the care and attention that your dog will need for its lifetime. If you have never owned a dog before, it can be difficult to know what is expected of you as an owner. In this guide, we have put together useful information for what you need to know when adopting a dog.
1. Ask questions
The more you know about your dog’s past, the better you can be prepared to care for it. Before bringing your new friend home, ask your shelter about whether your dog has any medical issues, how long it has been in the shelter and what they know about your dog’s history. How they have been caring for your pooch is also important (feeding and walking specifically) and whether your dog gets along with other dogs.
2. Define who does what
Dogs need to be fed, walked, bathed, brushed and loved. It is important to define who in your household will be responsible for what duties when it comes to your new family member. Assigning different duties is a good way to teach your children responsibility and structure. Rules must be in place in advance for walking and feeding and consistency is the key.
3. Get ready
When bringing a dog into your home, you need to make sure that their surroundings are safe with minimal hazards. Dogs love to explore their environment, so it would be advised to create a dedicated ‘dog zone’ where they are free to play and sleep. If there are any areas in the home that are off-limits to your pooch, it would be wise to install baby gates as a precaution. Some of the most important aspects to take into consideration include:
- Keeping electrical wires out of reach
- Removing any cleaners or chemicals that may be stored within reach (inside and outside)
- Storing away shoes, socks, and other chewable items
- Picking up any small items that may be tempting to eat
- Keep a lid on trash cans to prevent curious puppies from foraging for leftovers
4. Go shopping
Collars, leashes, bedding, food and water bowls, dog shampoo, treats, food, brushes, nail clippers, cleaners for accidents and of course, toys to play with are some of the basic items you will need for an adopted dog. You may want to go shopping with your new friend and let them pick out toys they lilke as well.
5. Find a good veterinarian
You might not be thinking of your dog getting ill as soon as you choose to adopt, but dependent on the age of your pooch, they may need to have essential injections for common illnesses. It is an excellent idea to take your adopted dog to the veterinarian to establish a baseline record for it and check for any health related issues.
Any dog owner needs to choose a vet that they have full trust in when it comes to diagnosing conditions; therefore, it would be wise to see how the vet interacts with your pooch and if they can answer your queries confidently. Your vet should be able to provide information on the widespread illnesses your dog is at risk of and the appropriate vaccinations that should be administered.
If your shelter has not already microchipped your dog, you should consider getting your dog a microchip. Either way, be sure and register your pet with the chip manufacturer and add your contact details. If they get lost, stolen or run away, the first thing that animal control officers will do is to scan for a microchip and contact you through the chip database. A microchip will also prove ownership and can’t get removed or lost like an ID tag can.
Take time for introductions. Your dog will need to process everyone in your home and decide where they fit in. Take time for as many strokes and hugs as your dog will allow, and don’t be upset if they don’t warm up immediately. Some relationships must be nurtured, and this takes time. Generally, a dog will bond to a trusted person first, then extend relationships with others when they feel comfortable.
7. Get to know eachother
Dogs learn a lot from experiences they have had and, in the case of an adopted dog, not all past experiences are happy. It is crucial that your family (or you) build up a cache of new and happy experiences from the very beginning. This is best done around your home so your dog will learn to bond with its new environment.
8. Stick around and set the rules
After bringing your adopted dog home, you will need to keep a close eye on your pup. Your home is a new place and they have no idea what the rules are. Be patient, firm and loving when teaching them what they can and cannot do. Reward them with treats when they display good behavior and be mild but consistent with discipline in the beginning.
Don’t plan an extended vacation, going back to work, or any type of excessive stimulation right away. This can add to the confusion that an adopted dog already feels when they come to a new home. Keeping activity low-keyed will help your pet relaxed and allow them to learn more about their new environment.
9. Commit to a high-quality diet
The number of different types of dog food on the market can be quite overwhelming as a newbie dog owner, and you may not know which one to choose for your pooch. There is a vast array of sizes, flavors, and textures that are suitable for various dog types, so if in any doubt, it would be advised to do some research on which type of food your breed should be eating or ask your vet for recommendations.
As an absolute minimum, the food should list real meat in list of ingredients, not meat-flavored or grain, as this indicates that the food contains protein which is essential for dogs. A poor diet can lead to a whole host of health issues, including sickness and diarrhea. Unless you are ready to dedicate your trips to the grocer and time spent in the kitchen fixing home cooked meals for your pet, you should aim to limit human food from their diet, as this can cause an imbalance in nutrients and vitamins which keeps your dog in good health.
Ask your veterinarian how much you should be feeding your dog. It is much easier to keep your dog trip and fit than dealing with health issues related to an overweight dog.
10. Keep them clean and tidy
While grooming may be considered a novelty for your pooch, it is, in fact, an essential aspect of maintaining your dog’s health and wellbeing. During the summer months, in particular, fleas and ticks can be an issue, as well as perspiration which can cause skin irritation and further scratching. Professional grooming can be a huge monthly expense; however, there are DIY dog wash options in which you can bathe your dog yourself. Before bathing, ensure that all knots and matting are cut and brushed out.
Not only will your dog feel better, it is a perfect time to bond with eachother.
11. Consider insuring your pet
You cannot predict when your dog may become ill or injured, so it would be highly advised to take out pet insurance as a form of financial protection if the worst-case scenario were to occur. Vets’ bills can be extremely steep, but a monthly premium policy should help cover costs up to a specific limit. Always ensure you research the very best premiums available in accordance with your budget to see what coverage they will provide.
12. Get lots of exercise
Some dogs need more exercise than others; however, all dogs should be getting some form of exercise every day. A small dog may be suited to playing fetch or short walks, while a large dog such as a Rottweiler or Golden Retriever may need a minimum 30-minute walk per day. Plenty of exercise burns off exercise energy as well as keeps their muscles and joints supple. The amount of exercise each dog needs may help you decide which type of dog would be best suited to your lifestyle.
13. Make lots of friends
Socializing your dog is a major factor in helping them become more well-balanced and well-behaved as they grow older. From as young as weeks old, your adopted dog should be exposed to a range of sights, smells, sounds, and as many different people as possible to refrain from building up fears later in life. If you have rescued your dog, try not to overwhelm them with too much too soon, as this can have the opposite effect and lead them to develop irrational fears. Nervous dogs need a gradual introduction to new experiences, which should help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. Acknowledge good behavior, so they become accustomed to being rewarded if a certain action is repeated.
14. Treat your dog with respect
It can be frustrating when your dog isn’t obeying your commands, but you should never use physical force to encourage them to perform. For example, in the early puppy stages, it’s extremely normal for them to urinate around the house and chew on objects as they haven’t been taught otherwise. Likewise, adult dogs may misbehave as a result of human action; therefore, you should always acknowledge how your own behavior may have led to bad behavior.
Giving a shelter dog a new home is certainly a worthwhile and gratifying experience. That said, it is not always easy. An adopted dog cannot tell you about its past, so you need to understand if it takes time to adjust to its new life. If you’re considering adopting a dog in the near future, we hope this guide has provided some useful care basics about what you need to know when adopting a dog.
Maggie Hammond is a proud mama to two little people and has one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors and animal welfare.
Do you like traveling? Do you have a cat? Traveling with your kitty makes those days away from home more adventurous and fun! Whether you want to enjoy the outdoors or visit friends, don’t let your furry baby miss out on all the fun.
But there are lots of mistakes that you can make when traveling with your cat. Your fun adventure could end up frustrating if you forget to pack some of the necessities. We are here to help. Here’s a list of 13 things not to forget to pack before you leave.
1. Litter box
Of course, you’ll need a litter box. When she’s gotta go, she’s gotta go! You could opt to carry her litter box, but that could be bulky. Alternatively, try a portable litter box or a disposable one or two. They are lighter, easy to carry, and easy to clean. A portable litter box is also purrfect for long drives. Don’t forget to bring some of your kitty’s favorite litter along as well. Familiar items always make travel easier.
2. Other Toiletries
The litter box is only but one essential toiletry for your kitty. Here’s are other toiletries to include in the list:
- Litter scoop
- Plastic grocery bags. They make excellent travel poopy bags. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle!
- Big trash bags. Carry a few; you will need somewhere to put the disposable litter box.
- A small hand broom and dustpan.
Although your kitty’s surroundings will change, your kitty’s food should not. Changing a diet can cause digestional upset which is unpleasant for both of you. Treats can help a kitty who hesitates to eat during travel, as many of them do. They also can be a reward for good behavior. Remember, you are going on a fun-filled adventure together. Rewards are inevitable.
Make sure you carry her favorite canned food and plastic can top. She won’t finish the whole can in one meal, and you’d want to keep the rest safely in the fridge for later. Feeding in portioins also means that you should remember to carry the following items:
4. Water Bowl/Bottle
Since cats don’t drink that often, it is easy to forget about the water bowl/bottle. But it’s crucial. After all, how will kitty rehydrate during the trip?
Make sure you pack a collapsible water bowl and bring plenty of bottled water.
5. Mats or a Foldable Cardboard
We may want to say that kitty is purrfect. She doesn’t make a mess on the floor when eating or drinking. But we all know that’s far from true. Spare your host or the hotel staff the frustration. Carry a mat or foldable cardboard to place under the food and water bowls during feeding times.
6. Harness and Leash
Cats like to explore new environments. They are natural hunters and, unless restrained, they can stray and get lost. There is nothing that can ruin your adventure more than losing your precious pet. Don’t overlook the harness and retractable leash when packing, especially if your cat doesn’t like to be held. It could be the best item you included in the travel list when traveling with your cat. (see more on protecting your cat from loss below)
7. Safety During Travel
Are you planning to travel by plane? Check with the airline for airline compliant cat carriers. An airline cargo hold is a scary place for a cat. Some airlines are pet friendly allow you to fly with your cat in the cabin in a carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. Of course, your cat must be in a high-quality carrier. But it’s much better than flying in the cargo hold.
Remember to check with the airline on their pet policy before making plans.
A high-quality carrier can also come in handy for long road trips. But pet safety during auto travel is a lot more complicated. For your cat’s safety (and your safety as well) your cat should be restrained when traveling in a car. A sudden stop at slow speeds can send your kitty flying. Better to ride in a crate, carrier or harness.
Remember to pack a pet sling or backpack with ventilation for your pit stops. Never leave a pet alone in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures can climb quickly and put your pet in harm’s way.
High-quality carriers also often double up as cat beds. If you can, carry something your cat is familiar with such as a cat cave, a comfy bed, or a pillow for her comfort while at the destination. Also, carry one of her blankets. It will have a familiar scent and help your cat get comfortable with their new surroundings.
9. Grooming Supplies
Cats get stressed when they travel and shed more when they are tense. Besides, all the travel and eating while on the go could cause her to look like a mess. Kitty may need a little help with grooming. So carry along a brush, cat shampoo, and a lint roller. If you want to learn more about grooming your cat as well as cat habits, diseases and taking better care of your cat, you could also consider taking a cat grooming course.
10. Your Cat’s Favorite Toys
Put one or two of your cat’s favorite toys on the packing list. They will help to keep the little kitty entertained while away from home. If you plan on a road trip, take time to stop and play with your cat. They need to get those muscles moving to counter the fatigue involved with limited movement.
11. Medication, Medical Records, and Veterinary Contacts
Does your kitty take medication? If yes, be sure to pack enough supplies and take a photo of the prescription and store it in the cloud or on your cellphone for easy reference. Make a list of veterinarians and veterinary hospitals in along your route or in your destination area. Note their addresses, operating hours, and telephone contacts. It will save you a ton of trouble and frustration if there’s an emergency and your kitty has to see a veterinarian.
12. Pack a Pet First Aid Kit when Traveling with a Cat
When we talk about emergencies, a first aid kit must be nearby. Be prepared to handle emergencies before you get to the vet. You could opt to buy one or “fix” one up from supplies you already have at home. Just make sure it has the following items:
- Non-stick Bandages
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Antibiotic ointment
- Rectal thermometer
- Blunt end scissors
- Petroleum jelly
- A syringe
13. Identification and Paperwork
Lastly, don’t even think about leaving home without your cat’s identification and paperwork. Ensure that you fit the cat with a collar with an ID tag and a vaccine tag. Better than an ID tag, get your cat a microchip. A microchip is a great way to uniquely identify your cat and can help to reunite you if it gets lost. When you register your information in the manufacturer’s database, animal control agencies will be able to contact you if your kitty is lost. Before you leave, check the details registered with the chip company, and ensure they include a cell phone number you’ll have access to on the journey!
If you are crossing state lines, carry a copy of your cat’s health certificate and rabies certificates.
Traveling with a cat can be fun. Ensure that you include the above items in your packing list. That way, both you and the kitty will enjoy the time away from home. In case you have to leave her home on short notice, learn what to do to make her feel comfortable.
Emila is a freelance journalist and blogger with a love for those with four legs! She has grown up around animals and pets and wants to use her knowledge on pet behavior, training, and lifestyle tips to help other pet parents live the best possible life with their furry friends.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR DOGS ENTERING OR RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES FROM COUNTRIES CLASSIFIED AS HIGH-RISK OF RABIES
Effective July 14, 2021, the Center for Disease Control(CDC) will impose a temporary ban on dogs* entering the United States after having been in countries classified by the World Organization of Animal Health as having a high risk of rabies anytime within the past 6 months. This includes dogs who have resided in, visited, or cleared customs and these countries within 6 months of import. Dogs intending to enter or reenter the US from these countries will not be permitted entry without an import permit from the CDC.
*Cats are not included in this ban.
Why is the CDC banning dogs from high rabies countries?
Rabies is a serious disease that kills almost 60,000 people worldwide each year. Once symptons show, there is no cure. Government agencies responsible for the import and export of live animals take this disease very seriously. The US has been free of canine rabies virus variant (CRVV) since 2007. Since that time, only 3 dogs with CRVV have been imported to the United States. On June 10, a shipment of 34 animals, including 33 dogs and one cat, entered the United States from Azerbaijan at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. One of those dogs was adopted and, after showing tell tale signs of rabies, was diagnosed with CRVV. As a result, a large scale effort to track exposure of the dog to other humans and animals everywhere along the transport in multi cities and countries has commenced.
Ninety nine percent of all deaths in humans from rabies is as a result of a dog bite. In 2020, there was a 52% increase in the number of dogs that were ineligible for import to the United States, and 60-70% of all fraudulent/inaccurate rabies documentation were from dogs originating in high rabies countries.
When a dog is refused entry to the United States, it is returned to its origination country. The cost of returning the dog is born by the owner or the airline. In these cases, dogs are sometimes held in facilities that are not in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Act, and are subject to lack of heating and air conditioning, warehouse equipment and machinery and sometimes the provision of sanitary needs is lacking.
When dogs are abondoned by their owners and the airline refuses to bear the cost of return, the responsibility falls on the Federal Government to bear the costs. The cost for housing, care, and returning improperly vaccinated dogs ranges between $1,000–$4,000 per dog depending on the location and time required until the next available return flight. During the pandemic, airline service has been reduced, further increasing costs to house and provide veterinary care for these dogs.
How long will the ban last?
The CDC estimates that this ban will be in effect for approximately one year while plans to properly handle dogs who are denied entry are put in place. Import permits will be approved on a very select basis and cannot be appealed. The CDC’s decision on whether your pet will be approved for a permit will be final.
Who is eligible to apply for an import permit?
- U.S. government personnel who are relocating back to the United States with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders or Temporary Duty (TDY) orders.
- A US citizen or lawful US resident relocating to the United States for employment or education. In this case,the application must include written documentation from an employer or other official source stating the reason for the relocation, such as a letter by an employer or university stating that the U.S. citizen or lawful resident is relocating for reasons of employment or education.
- Importers who wish to import dogs for purposes related to science or education or for exhibition or for an official law enforcement purpose.
- Owners of service animals, if the dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. In accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations at 14 CFR part 382. Emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not considered service animals and will not warrant approval of the permit due to those definitions.
Who Cannot Apply for an import permit?
- Dogs intended for commercial purposes, such as adoption, resale, or transfer of ownership.
- Dogs that will accompany owners on short-term travel to and from high-risk countries.
How can pet owners apply for an import permit?
Import permits will only be issued by the CDC on a very limited basis. Pet owners will need to apply for an Application for a Permit to Import a Dog Inadequately Immunized Against Rabies to the Director, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be received a minimum of 30 business days (6 weeks) in advance. Permits are valid for 3 or less personal dogs per permit. One permit per person per year.
The following information must be submitted with the permit:
- Proof of microchip AND
- Proof of age (must be over 6 months to enter the United States from a high-rabies country) AND
- Photo of identification page of the importer’s US passport or Lawful Residence card AND
- Photo of full body and face of your dog AND
- Clear photographs of your dog’s teeth:
- front view of upper and lower teeth
- side view of upper and lower teeth
- FOR PETS WITH PROOF OF RABIES CERTIFICATE ISSUED IN THE UNITED STATES:
- A valid rabies vaccination certificate that was issued in the United States by a U.S.-licensed veterinarian. The certificate must substantiate that the vaccination was administered to your dog not younger than 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days prior to import for primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination)
- FOR PETS WITH PROOF OF RABIES VACCINATION ADMINISTERED OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES:
- A valid rabies vaccination certificate from a non-U.S.-licensed veterinarian. The certificate must substantiate that the rabies vaccination was administered to your dog not younger than 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days prior to import for primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination). The certificate must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation*.
Serologic evidence of rabies vaccination from an approved rabies serology laboratory (RNATT – rabies titer test) with results greater than >0.5IU/mL. RNATT must be administered a minimum of 30 days after the primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination). Samples must be sent to approved labs in China, Korea, France, United Kingdom or Mexico. Test results must be in English. Test is valid for one year. Pets can enter the US no sooner than 3 calendar months after the date the blood was drawn for the test.
- A valid rabies vaccination certificate from a non-U.S.-licensed veterinarian. The certificate must substantiate that the rabies vaccination was administered to your dog not younger than 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days prior to import for primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination). The certificate must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation*.
There are two scenarios where your pet will receive a primary vaccination:
- It is the first rabies vaccination your pet has ever received after a microchip was implanted.
- Your pet’s previous rabies vaccination had expired when this vaccination was administered (even for a day).
If your origination country is classified as a high-rabies country, then the primary vaccination must be given at least 28 days prior to entry to the United States, not counting the day of the vet visit.
All subsequent rabies vaccinations are considered booster vaccinations. Booster vaccinations are not subject to the 28-day wait if they are administered in the United States before the previous vaccination expires. Be sure and have rabies certificates for both vaccinations.
*A licensed translator will issue a signed statement on professional letterhead incuding the name, address, and contact information of the translator attesting that the translation is true and accurate representation of the original document. The certified translation must have a signatory stamp or elevated seal with the translator’s license number included. A certified translator service can be found online.
Rabies certificates must be issued in English or be accompanied by a certified translation and include the following information:
- Name and address of owner
- Breed, sex, date of birth (approximate age if date of birth unknown), color, markings, and other identifying information for the dog
- Date of rabies vaccination and vaccine product information
- Date the vaccination expires
- Name, license number, address, and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccination
- Your pet’s microchip number (required if your pet received its rabies vaccination in a high-rabies country)
UPDATE: During the transitional period from July 14, 2021– October 14, 2021, return travelers who left the United States (such as temporary travel for vacation) may apply for an Import Permit if they left the United States before July 14, 2021. Dogs who are granted import permits must enter the United States at one of these 18 airports: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (ORD), Dallas, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, and Washington, DC (Dulles). where there is an approved facility for inspection. There will be more Points of Entry announced.
All dogs entering the United States with an approved import permit who are vaccinated outside of the US must be revaccinated within 10 days of arrival.
What happens to dogs who do not conform with the new ban?
Any dog from a high-risk country arriving without advance written approval from the CDC will be excluded from entering the United States and returned to its country of origin on the next available flight, regardless of carrier or route. Dogs will also be returned to their origination country if they arrive at a port of entry without a live animal care facility (JFK) or if the dog presented does not match the description of the dog listed on the permit or if the documentation proves insufficient.
Pet owners who are planning to return to the United States from high-risk countries should take note of this ban as it will affect their return to the States.
More information can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-06-16/pdf/2021-12418.pdf
Every person and their dog know that having a furry, four-legged companion just makes every trip just a little bit better. Got to walk into town? Take your dog. Heading to the beach? Take your dog. Need to get away? Take your dog. It’s quite simple really.
Of course, not everywhere will be suitable for your pet, but there are more than enough places in the UK that both you and your playful pup will absolutely love. So, if you’re after some advice on where to go when travelling with your dog in the United Kingdom, and what to do when you get there, then you’ve stumbled across what we could probably consider (humbly) to be the perfect article. From Cumbria to Cornwall, these places are guaranteed to get your pooch’s approval, so discover herein the destinations fit for canine royalty. There will be smiles and wagging tails all round.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cumbria is the first location on the list. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the single best place to take your dog in the UK, but it definitely isn’t far off. The Lake District is a pretty incredible visit anyway, but the fact that it’s dog-friendly almost makes this a no-brainer, even if you’ve been before. With about 25% of the land owned by the National Trust, you can be certain of not only picturesque scenery for you, but (more importantly) a hell of a lot of open space for the dog to play, explore, and claim as their own.
As well as all the potential walks, you can take your pup on the Windermere Lake cruises and the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway, or let them discover the gardens of castles Muncaster and Lowther. Even most of the pubs and cafes gladly welcome dogs, so having your loyal companion won’t inconvenience your trip in any way.
If your dog has too much respect for those that have already claimed the Lake District (or you just fancy something else), Cumbria is also home to plenty of viable alternatives. You can take your furry friend to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Pennines for an equally stunning walk or settle somewhere in between and visit the National Trust’s Acorn Bank. Basically, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Cumbria, and whether they’ve been previously or not, your dog is guaranteed to have a barking good time.
Next up on the list of where to go when traveling with your dog in the United Kingdom, The Cotswolds. Covering 787 square miles, it is absolutely massive, so you’re definitely not short of things for you and your pup to do. The walks here really are second to none, with places like Painswick Rococo Garden and Bibury Trout Farm always excellent options, and picturesque locations such as Woodchester Park providing ample opportunity to turn your dog into the cutest model imaginable.
There are even some hotspots in The Cotswolds that offer so much more than just a walk, for a slightly more adventurous day out. Take your dog to Cotswold Wildlife Park and introduce them to all sorts of creatures from the animal kingdom, or visit Broadway Tower Country Park to really let them loose. As well as more open grass than they could ever hope to cover (although they will definitely try), these grounds boast a dedicated pooch playground with some obstacles that will have them running and jumping all day. Take treats, because they will need the fuel!
The Cotswolds is also a great spot to take your dog because of the huge range of pet-friendly accommodations that you’ll find, so there will be no unnecessary stress surrounding the trip. If I had to recommend one company to book with, it would undoubtedly be Plum Guide, because not only do they have loads of options, but the criteria that their homes actually have to meet before they’re made available for renting guarantees a quality experience every single time.
Heading West to Wales, Snowdonia is another place that will set tails wagging. I know I said that The Cotswolds was big, and it is, that wasn’t a lie, but Snowdonia National Park is even bigger, covering 823 square miles. So while your barking-mad companion will find endless joy in the open space, you can admire the majestic views and take the time to figure out when you’re going to revisit this wonderful place again next year.
The National Park is home to the tallest mountain in England and Wales, the largest natural lake in the entirety of Wales, and even historic sites like Dolbadarn Castle, so to say there’s plenty to do is an understatement. And while the National Park is arguably the go-to when travelling to Snowdonia with your canine companion, it is not the only option in this wing of the world. Criccieth Castle, Glasfryn Parc, and Llanberis Lake Railway are just three of the other dog-friendly attractions that are well worth your time, providing enjoyment for everybody on the trip. If you’re going to Wales, Snowdonia is the place for you.
Finally, rounding off this small list of top doggy travel locations, we have Cornwall. It might be at the bottom of this list, but you have to search very far and very wide for a better UK holiday spot even without your pooch, so bring the dog here for a trip they will never forget (especially if you treat them to a new toy or two… just sayin’).
You’ve got the Pinetum Gardens, Trelissick country house and garden, Land’s End, the Eden Project, and so on (and on, and on). The options for you and your four-legged friend are literally endless. You’ll probably need numerous trips to do everything you want to do, from walks, to museums, and even to the beach.
As a dog owner, you will know full well that dogs love beaches. The sand, the water, the drive there, everything is just amazing. So if you opt for a trip to Cornwall, then head down to a beach. There’s more than 100 to choose from, and whichever one you decide on, the pup will seriously thank you. Porthcurnick Beach, Hawkers Cove, Long Rock, Holywell Bay, and Port Gaverne are just a few of the options in front of you, so when you’re packing the lead, the food bowl and the doggy treats, don’t forget your flip flops.
A UK holiday is always something to get excited about, so a UK holiday with your dog is just unbeatable. Whether you’re travelling with a Chihuahua who lives in your handbag or a Mastiff that actually walks you, these destinations will have you covered. As long as you don’t forget to pack their favourite ball, your pup will have the break of a lifetime in these locations, and (crucially) so will you. You are already doing UK travel very, very right by travelling with your dog in the United Kingdom, so put the icing on the cake and visit one of these paw-some places (sorry). With endless walks and attractions to enjoy, there will always be something for everyone, from the boss of the house… to their human.
Author: Matt Blogg: Matt graduated from University with a degree in English Literature and continues to enjoy writing in his free time. An avid sports fan, he frequently writes articles about football, and also has experience as a sports journalist. Additionally, as a proud pet owner, he loves nothing more than spending time with his furry friends and hopes to write animal-related content more regularly in the future.
If you have a fur baby, the chances are that you love the idea of bringing it with you wherever you go. However, if that fur baby is a cat, then traveling should not be taken lightly. Most cats are notoriously poor travelers and do not like being forced out of their comfort zone. It is inevitable that reasons for travel will occur, and who can leave their best friend behind? Know that there are things you can do ahead of time to help your cat be a better traveler, whether internationally or across town.
There are a few things that you should start thinking about well in advance of your trip if you want to take your feline friend with you. Here’s a look at some of the essential things you need to consider.
Consider whether you really need to travel with a cat
The first thing to consider is that cats aren’t like dogs. An important thing that people often overlook when trying to help their cat be a better traveler is that cats are extremely territorial animals, which means that they don’t enjoy going to new places.
Cats feel mosts comfortable when they are in familiar surroundings, seeing familiar sights and smelling familiar smells. Travel is highly likely to cause your cat panic and distress, so it’s important that you only travel with them if really necessary. If you are going away for a short period of time, a better option would be to arrange for a friend or family member to check on them while you are away or even pay a pet sitter to come and stay in your house with them. This task is a lot easier when looking after a cat than a dog, due to how independent your pet likely is. It will still need to be checked up on every day, with it’s litter boxed emptied regularly and it’s food and water topped up.
Consider your cat’s personality
Take a minute to evaluate your cat’s personality. Is your cat friendly and outgoing or very suspicious of strangers? Is it independent or does it follow you around the house much of the time? Has your cat been handled frequently, especially when young? If an indoor cat, does your cat long to go outside?
Generally, cats that are exposed to different environments during their lifetime can turn out to be good travelers. Also, cats that welcome visitors and new experiences may surprise you with their willingness to travel.
If you have a cat that is very independent, prefers its own company rather than the company of others and shows signs of territorial dominance, you will need to spend more time to help your cat be a better traveler.
How healthy is your cat?
Another thing to consider when planning travel is whether or not your cat is in good physical shape. If they aren’t, then traveling could put them at risk.
If your cat has a chronic health condition, they are overweight, or they are advanced in years, then traveling is likely to be difficult for them.
How do you know whether your pet is overweight enough to constitute a health risk? Some breeds are naturally heavier than others. Diamond Pet has provided a detailed source about if an overweight cat is an unhealthy cat which will give you a better idea on this.
Closely related to the health of your cat, you also need to visit your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is fit to travel, up to date on any vaccinations, treatments and health certificates that it needs for travel, primarily if you’re traveling internationally, as many countries won’t let live animals enter unless their pet import requirements are met. It’s a good idea to get your cat vaccinated for rabies, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia (enteritis), feline rhinotracheitis before an international trip for it’s own safety, as there can be harmful diseases in other countries that it might not be protected against.
Keeping your cat comfortable while traveling
If you are going to be traveling with your cat, then it’s important to do all that you can to keep them comfortable. As cats gain a lot of their knowledge about what’s going on around them by smell, a good way to do this is by surrounding them with familiar smells while they are traveling.
So, if they have a favorite blanket or toy, be sure to put these in with them, and if you’re going to be using a travel pet crate or carrier, then have it in the house for a few weeks or more before you travel. Encourage your cat to sleep in it if you can. This will help the cat build up an association to the carrier and feel more safe and comfortable going inside it. It might also be worth using a different carrier when taking the cat to the vet, so that it doesn’t build up any negative connotations with the case you intend to travel with. If you’re traveling over a long distance, be sure to let your cat out of it’s carrier every now and again to stretch its legs to help with circulation but to also release some energy that it may have built up. Be sure to use a cat lead, so that you don’t lose it.
Flying with a cat
If you’re going to be flying with your cat, it’s important that you check your airline’s pet policies on pet travel as soon as possible so that you have time to plan everything you need to. Each different airline will have its own rules about whether they allow pet travel, and if they do, whether your pet will be allowed to be carried on as hand luggage or whether they will have to be put in the hold. If your cat has to be put on hold, consider how it might react to that. The hold of a plane can be loud a little chilly, creating a distressing environment, so if you haven’t booked a ticket yet, do try to find an airline that will allow your cat to travel in the cabin, as this will be more comfortable for them. There are also likely to be rules about the size of pet carrier that is permitted, but usually, most cat cases are fine due to their petite size.
They will generally require that pets be fully vaccinated and that you acquire a health certificate from your vet to confirm that they are in good health.
Every cat owner wants to help their cat be a better traveler when the time to relocate arrives. Time and patience are a must, especially if your cat is overly independent and territorial. Dothe best you can to prepare your cat ahead of time. Every minute you spend will pay off come travel day.
The regulation that provides protections for service or assistance animals on airplanes is the Airline Carrier Access Act ((ACAA), 49 U.S.C. § 41705). Administered by the United States Department of Transportation, this statute prohibits discrimination of airline service based on a mental or physical disability of a passenger. The ACAA was enacted in 1986 for US-based airlines and amended in 2000 to include foreign carriers.
Anyone who has flown on a US-based airline in the past 5 years will attest that the number of animals flying in the cabin has increased notably. So have airline charges for small, non-service dogs and cats flying in pet carriers in the cabin. Oftentimes, pet owners pay more than their own ticket to fly their pet. All airline pet policies require many larger pets to fly in the cargo hold due to their size.
When passengers realized that they could fly their pet for free by claiming their pet as an emotional support animal (ESA) with only a letter from a doctor or other medical professional, the popularity of emotional support animals on airplanes soared. It is unclear whether it was the financial benefit or the anxiety that comes with flying a pet in the cargo hold that fueled the increase. What is very clear is that it became a real problem for the airlines very fast.
The variety of animals that were brought onboard under the protection of the ACAA was astounding. Passengers found themselves flying beside mice, ferrets, rats, birds, hamsters, squirrels, monkeys, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, miniature horses and peacocks to name a few. What followed were multiple incidents of offensive behavior, aggression to passengers and crew, damage to the aircraft and ultimately an end to the public trust for legitimate service animals.
Because the ACAA did not clarify the definition of a service animal, the airlines were basically helpless to stop the surge of requests from owners of ESAs. Additionally, because emotional support animals generated no revenue for the airlines, all damages and liabilities incurred by ESAs had to be borne by other airline resources.
On February 5, 2020, the DOT issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making providing notice of the amendment and seeking comments from the public, the airlines and various agencies. As the situation worsened, in May, 2020, the DOT issued an Advance Notice of Rulemaking which allowed the airlines to specify what animals they would accept as emotional support animals. This may have helped the airlines control the influx of non-domesticated animals they were previously forced to accept, but there were more issued to address.
In order to help mitigate the issues, the DOT sought to align the definition of a service animal to that reflected in the American with Disabilities Act with this amendment. This act does not provide protections for emotional support animals in public spaces such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, or airports. It does, however, include miniature horses which the DOT has deferred to the airlines to decide whether or not they will accept them.
Why did the DOT propose the amendment?
Aside from the inconsistent definition of a service animal in the ACAA, the DOT proposed the amendment for the following reasons:
- The large number of complaints from passengers with legitimately trained service animals, other passengers and airline employees and crews.
- Disruptions caused by the forced acceptance of non-domesticated and and other wildlife in a close environment of the cabin.
- The high number of passengers flying with documentation from online mental health professionals who were willing to provide pet owners with emotional support animal and psychiatric service animal documentation for a fee allowing them to misrepresent their pet as a service animal.
- The high number of incidents of bad behavior from emotional support animals on airplanes that were not trained to behave in the confined and stressful cabin environment. As no kind of confinement was required, the behavior of ESAs could put other passengers, crew and the operation of the airline at risk.
- To clarify how the airline should regulate with respect to these issues.
- A Congressional mandate that called for minimum standards for service animals through the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
What does the amendment cover?
These are the deficiencies in the legislation that the amendment addresses:
- Defines a service animal as a dog, regardless of breed, that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a qualified person with a disability. Because dogs can be task-trained to perform many different tasks and functions, they would be most qualified to be a service animal.
- Requires the airline not to discriminate against any specific dog breeds.
- Requires the airline to treats psychiatric dogs the same as service dogs with regard to document provision, check in procedures and the like.
- Allows airlines to fly emotional support animals as regular pets, not service animals.
- Allows airlines to limit the number of service animals per passenger to two.
- Allows airlines to require the submission of a DOT form attesting to dog training and good behavior and health of the service dog.
- For flights more than 8 hours, allows the airlines to require that a DOT form is submitted addressing the service dog’s ability to relieve itself during the flight.
- Allows airlines to require these forms to be submitted at least 48 hours in advance, online when booking or at check in. The convenience of online booking and check in cannot be denied passengers flying with a service animal.
- Allows airlines to require that service dogs are harnessed, leashed or otherwise tethered.
- Addresses safe transport of larger service dogs.
- Allows airlines to hold passengers flying with service dogs liable for damage caused to the aircraft in certain circumstances.
Breaking down the comments
There were over 15,000 comments accepted from various agencies, associations and the public at large. About 10,000 comments were directed to the transport of emotional support animals, 3,000 in favor of the amendment and 6,000 against.
Predictably, airline associations and agencies that represent the disabled argued that untrained emotional support animals were substantially more likely to misbehave in a stressful environment causing a risk to operational safety. Because emotional support animals on airplanes are not required to be contained, they are more likely to encroach on other passengers and affect the operations of the crew.
Additionally, there was concern over the increased fraudulent documentation submitted to the airlines from owners misrepresenting their need for a service animal with a fee-based online evaluation involving minimal therapeutic interaction.
Other supporters of the amendment commented on the medical affects associated with more exposure to emotional support animals on airplanes such as allergies. This is not a new argument and has been mitigated on some airlines with enhanced air filtration; however, it merits consideration.
There were also comments from medical healthcare workers and professionals as well as individuals which did not support the amendment.
The primary concern was that changing the definition of an emotional support animal would discriminate against people with legitimate psychological issues such as PTSD, autism, debilitating depression, anxiety and other emotional and mental disabilities.
The financial impact of having to pay for pets who formerly could fly for free was also raised in the comments.
Disability rights organizations were split down the middle. Some argued that, due to the increased number of emotional support animals in the cabin was affecting public trust in legitimate service animals. Others argued that physical needs for service animals were taking precedence over mental disabilities.
Many organizations such as the Humane Society did suggest a separate classifications of service animals with stricter requirements such as behavior attestations and proof of in-office visits; however, they did not agree that containment should be required. These comments were not considered due to the confusion they would cause and the “continued opportunity for abuse and increased safety risk.”
Can my emotional support dog qualify as a psychiatric dog?
In order to qualify as a service dog, your dog must undertake a minimum of 120 hours of training over a period of 6 months according to the Association of Assistance Dog Partners . Thirty hours must be spent in public settings socializing the dog and enforcing acceptable behavior. Dogs must be sociable and trainable.
Training allows service dogs to perform specific tasks for their handlers such as guiding individuals with vision impairments, retrieving items for people with mobility issues, alerting to changes in glucose levels to name a few. The exposure involved in training will teach the dog how to behave in busy airports and crowded aircraft cabins thus reducing risks to other passengers in the terminal as well as passengers and crew in the cabin.
Psychiatric dogs are also defined as doing work or performing tasks for their handlers that involves training such as alerting for oncoming seizures or assisting those with mental or intellectual disabilities.
Advocates of the amendment argued that requiring an owner of an emotional support animal to qualify its dog as a psychiatric dog would be an incredible burden and, in the end, their benefit would not include a specific task but rather simply the comfort that their presence provides.
It is important to note that the DOT did recognize that the rule does not require service animal users to incur the cost of training by third party schools or organizations; service animal users are free to train their
own dogs to perform a task or function for them
What is the benefit of the amendment?
- Reduction of confusion as to the definition of a service animal by aligning with the ADA regulation.
- Overall reduction of incidents which previously were generally caused by untrained animals flying in the cabin
- Less liability to the airlines for damage to the aircraft caused by any animal, whether service or emotional support.
- Less potential allergic reactions from other passengers.
- Allows the airlines to fly other animals in the cabin pursuant to their pet policies should they desire to do so.
Commencing January 4, 2020, the airlines will have the right to classify all emotional support animals as pets, subject to their pet policies. Due to the container requirement, only small pets will be able to fly in the cabin in airline-compliant pet carriers. Larger pets will need to fly in the cargo hold as either checked baggage or air cargo.
We have not yet seen changes to airline policies related to emotional support animals; however, we expect the airlines to revise their policies very soon. Find airline policies for emotional support animals on airplanes.
 Service Animal Final Rule, page 14.
 Service Animal Final Rule, page 9
 Service Animal Final Rule, page 23 A psychiatric service animal, like a service animal, is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a passenger with a psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. (e.g. seizure disorder or diabetes)
 Service Animal Final Rule, page 23
 Service Animal Final Rule, page 23
Famously known as “man’s best friend,” let’s be honest—who wouldn’t love to travel better with their dog? It only seems natural that our four-legged companions travel alongside us in our journeys, whether small or large. However, travelling with a canine may seem quite intimidating and it really is a test of their obedience and skills. So, how can you make your trips smoother and more fun for everyone?
We have put together our top training tips for travelling with your dog, just for you!
These training tips cover everything from car trips, to hotel visits, to new and exciting locations.
Hopefully, these tips on how to travel better with a dog can put you at ease so you can further prepare your travel plans for you and your furry friend.
Introduction to training
When you’re deciding what commands to use, keep your words short and sweet–“come” rather than “come here,” for example. Say your dog’s name to get their attention, and then give the command. Keep your commands consistent so your dog doesn’t get confused.
Always use positive reinforcement in training—never punish your dog for getting things wrong. They won’t connect the punishment to their action and will only learn to fear you. Instead, reward your dog when they get things right, with a tasty treat or a belly rub.
As for how long will it take for your dog to learn necessary skills, it can vary. Some breeds (like border collies and dalmatians, for example) are known for being intelligent and fast learners, and they may pick up skills in a matter of minutes. Other dogs will take a little more time and patience.
Now that you have an idea of how to train, we’ll move in what to train in order to travel better with your dog!
Condition your dog to car trips
One of the best tips we can offer for how to travel better with a dog begins as early as puppyhood.
Conditioning your puppy to car trips from a young age is critical to ensure that your pup is calm, comfortable, and without stress during car trips, both short and long.
John from Allthingsdogs explains to us just how essential the socialization period is in the puppy. Early socialization includes the exposure to not only other dogs and humans, but also different environments (i.e. car trips and various locations).
By conditioning your puppy to car trips, you ease any predisposition to fear, anxiety or even motion sickness woes which they may have.
You can help ease any initial or on-going car trip woes with toys and familiar blankets. An excellent idea is to have specific “car toys” which are made special by only being kept or used during car time. This helps create a positive experience when it comes to travelling with your pup!
Take short trips and build up to longer trips. And importantly, take trips to happy places like your dog’s favorite trail or park. If their only experience with the car is to go to the vet or groomer, they won’t be a happy camper in the backseat!
Just like us humans, our puppy friends may experience serious injuries from car accidents. We therefore recommend the use of harnesses or doggy seat belts when travelling with your dog.
Training your pup to “buckle up” and be familiar with the use of a harness or other car safety device is essential so that your dog is not put into an unfamiliar restricted situation which may cause distress.
A great idea is to allow your pup to get a feel of the harness or other device at home in a relaxed setting. Let them wear the harness around the house and give them lots of cuddles and treats. Your dog will begin to associate the harness with other positive things and therefore they will not find the restriction so intimidating!
Crate train your dog
Crate training your dog is a great training tip for travel.
Training your pup to sleep in a crate encourages your dog to sleep in one area. This is a great option when staying away from home.
Additionally, crate training also enables your dog to have a “safe-zone”. Many dogs begin to recognize the crate area as their safe zone which is a plus when they are in an unfamiliar environment or around unfamiliar people.
Crates are also useful for the car trips. In fact, some dogs prefer to be in a crate while traveling than to be buckled in on the seat. This is also a more relaxed approach as your pup will have free reign of the crate during travel.
Crates are the most common and often the only method of transporting your pup in-flight. As many of our pets will take to the skies at some point in their lives, the crate is an important tool that will help them feel safe in the air.
Again, positive reinforcement is the best method for crate training. When your pup enters the crate say “bed” or “crate” and then pass on over a treat and some praise. Soon your pup will make their way to crate on command, or just for a snooze on their own!
Train your pup with bathroom cues
Dogs can only hold their bladder for so long, although adult dogs hold their bladder better than puppies. Nonetheless, bathroom cues and stops are an important part of travelling with pets.
To make it easier, we recommend training your pup to go to the bathroom on command through bathroom cues. For example, using the command “potty” and popping a treat into their mouth once they go.
Potty training your pup is a common training step during puppyhood. However, we do recommend taking the extra step and practicing your dog to go bathroom on command. This will save a lot of grief during long-distance travel!
Ace your dog’s on-leash skills
Leash training is an essential tool to have down pat when travelling with your pup.
Begin leash training slowly from a young age. First, let your pup run around the house with their lead on. Then, slowly begin to lead him or her around home or the backyard. If they pull, then stop. Begin walking again once they are calm.
When they are walking nicely next to you, praise and send down a treat so that they begin to associate good behaviour with yummy treats.
A well-behaved dog on a leash is a blessing while travelling. There are so many new sights, smells, people, and other animals your dog will get exposed to on a trip. It can be frustrating, and even dangerous if your dog tries to pull toward everything that interests them in an airport or rest stop. Leash training can help greatly with this.
Teach more good manners like “wait” and “quiet”
Teaching your dog to “wait” is a great training tip to help them travel better. If your dog is an unfamiliar environment and runs off, this can be a dangerous situation. Teaching the command “wait” is simple and just requires some positive training methods.
We recommend to begin teaching “wait” before your pup enters a door way, or exits the crate. Ask your pup to “wait”, and slowly open the door, if he/she begins to head out, then close the door. Repeat until your dog finally waits and then give them a treat and some love.
A barking dog can cause a lot of angry holiday-goers, and it is not the most pleasant noise to hear when on vacation or travelling.
Dogs may bark to alert us, grab our attention, and to communicate. However, they can also bark if they are fearful or bored.
We recommend training your dog to be “quiet.” When training, it’s important not to yell or get upset, but actually ignore the barking. Don’t give them any attention. When they stop barking (even for a second!) quickly reward them with a treat and praise.
Keep your dog as comfortable as possible by bringing familiar blankets and toys, and it’s a great idea to exercise them before a trip so that they are tired and sleep through the flight or drive.
Travelling with your furry friend requires proper training and preparation in order for it to be a successful and smooth ride.
Conditioning your dog to the car and to handling new and exciting environments in a controlled manner is essential. Ensuring your dog’s safety along the way to your destination is also critical.
Through the use of positive reinforcement methods, a wide array of training is required in order to prepare your dog for travel.
A dog who is well-socialized and conditioned travels the best. We trust that our top tips will help you travel better with your dog!
Have a paw-tastic and ulti-mutt journey!
John Woods is a graduate in animal welfare and behavior, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.
Generally, wild animals do not make good pets. Taking wild creatures from their natural habitat and placing them in a domesticated setting is bad news for conservation as well as for your peaceful family life. And, if you enjoy traveling with a domesticated wild animal that you are raising as a pet, regulations for importing them to a foreign country are far more complicated than importing a cat or dog.
There are exceptions to having a wild animal as a pet. You may have rescued an injured or abandoned wild animal and are unable to return it to the wild after its recovery, or perhaps you want to care for an exotic pet that isn’t domesticated in your home country.
Examples of the more commonly kept wild animals are birds, squirrels, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, foxes, and raccoons.
It is also it is important to point out that the offspring of a wild animal that has been crossbred with a domestic animal is still considered a wild animal according to the National Association of State and Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. In the case of wolves, Bengals and Savannah cats, your pet must be fifth generation removed from the wild animal to be classified as domesticated and travel under the same regulations as other domesticated animals.
Furthermore, wild animals, even though they have been bred in captivity, are still classified as wild animals and are subject to laws related to their species.
There are things you need to know before taking a wild animal into your home, especially if you intend to travel with a domesticated wild animal.
Is it legal to travel with a domesticated wild animal?
Most wild animals require a permit; however, these protection levels differ by State, nationally and worldwide. It’s best to check out your local laws before domesticating a wild animal.
As an example, ff you have a sugar glider and intend to travel to Alaska or California, know that they are illegal in those states. You will need a permit to keep them in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Massachusetts.
This may not be problematic day-to-day but if you need to travel nationally or internationally, taking a domesticated wild animal could mean you end up on the wrong side of the law – and your animal could be confiscated and destroyed.
It’s also worth adding that owners are legally responsible for their animal’s actions. There are Youtube clips of owners taking their cute raccoon on a leashed walk, but if it were to bite someone, the owner would be liable.
Wild animals can carry rabies
Rabies is carried by some warm-blooded mammals and is virtually 100% lethal to humans if not treated quickly. According to the World Organization of Animal Health, one person dies every 9 minutes from rabies and almost half of them are children.
Any warm-blooded mammal can theoretically contract rabies; however, the more common species are bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons. Some wild animals rarely develop rabies such as hedgehogs and hares, but it has been known particularly in Russia. Animals such as squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, mice and rabbits are rarely known to contract rabies and never known to pass the disease to humans.
Rabies can be passed onto domestic pets as well as cattle which is the most common way humans are infected with rabies.
Wild animals can carry other zoonotic diseases
Wild animals can carry other zoonotic diseases aside from rabies. Any disease that ca be passed to humans is classified as zoonotic..
Salmonella is a zoonotic disease which is commonly found in reptiles. Another example is ringworm, the fungal skin disease, which affects a wide variety of wild animals, Ground squirrels, deer and another 200-odd species can carry bubonic plague.
There is also the risk that a wild animal could pass a disease to your other domestic pets. Distemper can be passed from wild animals to domesticated animals, and, more often than not, causes fatalities in unvaccinated cats and dogs.
Diseases from wild animals is a danger to everyone, especially those with suppressed immune systems and young and old people. If you’re taking a wild animal into your household, think very carefully about diseases that might come with them.
Veterinary treatment for domesticated wild animals
Most veterinarians commonly treat domesticated animals. Should your wild animal fall ill, your veterinarian might not have a good understanding of how to address its needs. Not to mention how you will find treatment for your pet in a foreign country where veterinarians may not be familiar with treating wild animals. A language barrier could make things more difficult.
Many medications, including vaccinations, are not cleared for use in wild animals. So, emergencies could turn into a very expensive and heart-breaking story.
Regulations for traveling with a domesticated wild animal
Regulations to import a wild animal to a foreign country are very different than those for a cat or dog. Government agencies responsible to oversee the import and export of wild animals must issue import permits for your pet. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are two examples of such agencies.
Furthermore, some wild animals are subject to protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and permits are required to relocate them.
Owners who are traveling with a domesticated wild animal should know that their pets can be classified as invasive and cannot be imported to a foreign country. The American Racoon is prohibited from entry to the European Union, for example.
Some countries will not permit the import of wild animals including Australia, New Zealand. Others limit many species of exotic animals such as Hawaii and Costa Rica.
Birds are especially difficult to transport due to outbreaks of Avian Influenza. Your wild bird will likely be quarantined in your origination country, your destination country, or both.
Additionally, if you leave your country with a domesticated wild animal, regulations to re-import your pet will be the same as those entering for the first time. (except for US-origin birds) For this reason, you will not only need to understand regulations to import your pet to a foreign country; but you must also need to know regulations to return home.
You must be prepared to provide evidence that you did not take your animal from the wild. Unless proof of purchase or bred-in-captivity documentation is available, your pet could be confiscated.
Flying with a domesticated wild animal
Very few airlines will fly small wild animals such as hedgehogs in the cabin or as checked baggage, even when domesticated. In almost every case, wild animals must fly as air cargo. The environment of a cargo hold can rattle any animal that has not been previously exposed to it.
Owners traveling with a domesticated wild animal must be sure that their pets are flying in IATA-compliant pet crates that are escape-proof and will keep their pet safe. Many domesticated wild animals may become upset with the introduction of confinement. This may cause them to act aggressively or destructively. Sharp claws or teeth can chew through plastic crates and metal mesh coverings. A custom crate made from heavy plywood would be best for transporting a larger domesticated wild animal.
In most cases, a transport agent must book the flight with the airlines. The agent can assist with regulations to import your pet to your destination country.
A domesticated wild animal will always be part wild
Bonds between animals and humans occur at a very young age. This makes hand-reared wild animals much easier to care for. Adult wild animals do not have this bond and are therefore more unpredictable.
Domestic animals have been selectively bred for our households for hundreds if not thousands of years. This makes them easily trained to fit in – except the occasional feral that just can’t stand it indoors. Most domesticated pets are basically diurnal where many wild animals are nocturnal.
A wild animal does not have this genealogical background. Tts instincts are right at the forefront – wild instincts such as lashing out in fear and anger, or aggression over food. These traits are not something you can tame. Stress and frustration can result in biting and other unattractive behaviours.
Where will you keep your pet?
Domesticated wild animals will need a suitable environment to live out its years.
Raccoons are clever and can quickly destroy your soft furnishings. A squirrel will climb and pee wherever it pleases. A fox will chew anything, spray urine scent marks, and bury food.
The greatest challenge will be to provide a suitable enclosure that caters to their wild instincts. Left unrestricted, domesticated wild animals can turn quickly your household upside down and create a lot of damage.
What is a suitable diet for your pet?
A wild animal probably isn’t going to happy with a convenient diet of tinned food or dry chow from the grocery store. Chances are it won’t provide them with the nutrients they need either.
Are you happy to buy specialty foods for the entirety of its lifetime? After all, foxes and raccoons can live for up to 15 years.
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What will happen if you are unable to care for your pet?
Consider what might happen if you become unwell or you have to travel without your pet. Who would look after the animal in your absence?
Kenneling won’t be an option unless your kennel accepts wild animals. A house-sitter might not be familiar with how to care for a wild animal.
Releasing your domesticated wild animal back into the environment is extremely unwise. It has become dependent on you for shelter and the provision of food. In some cases, it could be illegal.
Surrendering your pet to a local wild animal shelter would be the only responsible solution when you can no longer care for your pet.
Consult an expert
Think very carefully before domesticating a wild animal. If you find an animal in the wild that is injured, know that there are professionals trained to raise wild animals so they can be quickly released back into the wild.
As cute and cuddly as they are, caring for wild or exotic animals is a sizable responsibility. Traveling with a domesticated wild animal is, in most cases, extremely difficult.
In the majority of cases, leaving wild animals in their environment is the better result for everyone. If your animal cannot be released or it’s an imported exotic pet, then breed-specific experts can help educate you you on the legalities and the best husbandry.
Contributing to this article is Becky Simmonds of Breed Advisor is a wildlife rehabber. She rescues all sorts of hapless wildlife from netting, drains, and the roadside with the aim of releasing them back into the wild when they have recovered.
Do you want to take your pet with you on your next getaway? According to recent surveys, over 80% of pet owners are planning a trip with their pet, especially after this long period of confinement. But both pet travel and COVID can make things complicated, so how to make things safer and easier for you both when you’re ready to travel?
Many states have implemented restrictions to keep their citizens safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some cities or states require quarantine once you arrive (like Chicago), and most all states require masks when in public places. Of course, your pet doesn’t need a mask, but, if you intend to take your pet to public areas, you should be aware of mask requirements. Also, it is a good idea to keep your dog or cat away from other pets that you do not know as infections can be passed between animals.
To reduce stress and minimize the impact of unforeseen circumstances, make do some research and make preparations beforehand. To help get you started on your journey and make the most of it, here are tips for pet travel and COVID – how to make things safer and easier.
Get your paperwork in order
A few days before leaving, take your pet to the veterinarian for a checkup, rabies vaccination and health certificate. The health certificate should not be dated more than ten days before your departure. If you are traveling to another country, you may need additional documentation for pet import. Be sure you understand what paperwork will be required or authorities may quarantine your pet when you arrive at your destination. A transport agent can assist you with these requirements.
Veterinarians have also changed their procedures in many cities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should your pet require medical attention or a health certificate, you may need to wait outside while veterinarians attend to your pet. For this reason, you will need to be proactive in securing your pet’s medical records.
Do some research on quarantine
When considering pet travel and COVID-19, it’s also important to be well versed with the quarantine rules in the country you’re traveling to and to have a plan in place for this. For example, here are the current quarantine-free countries, subject to rules and conditions which you can read here:
- The Maldives
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- North America
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
If the country you’re visiting isn’t on the list, click here to read about their current rules around quarantining. You’ll need to ensure your pet has a place to stay and you have enough supplies.
If you are planning to travel in the United States know that some states require quarantine for visitors. You can find more information about US State quarantine here.
Identify your pet
Get your pet microchipped. Pets outside of their environment can get excited and get away from you if you are not careful. Over 80% of pets who are not microchipped and are separated from their owners are never reunited with them. Don’t forget to register it in the manufacturer’s database. A microchip with no information attached to it does not do anyone looking for you any good.
Take a current photo of yourself with your pet and keep it handy on your phone or printed out and kept with your travel papers. Should you become separated during the trip, it will help others identify you as the owner. If your pet is chipped, take that certificate with you as well.
Get the right-sized carrier
When traveling with your pet, whether by car, plane, or train, a pet carrier makes transporting them from place to place easier and can make them feel safer. Carriers, like pets, come in all shapes and sizes; some are hard, some are soft, some are designed to be carried on the back or shoulder, and some have wheels for hands-free convenience. Be sure it has adequate ventilation, waterproof bottom and secure fasteners. Soft carriers are ideal for tucking under a seat but don’t skimp on size.
Hard crates are much more suitable for pets making the trip flying in the cargo hold. You will want to measure your pet carefully for its crate as the airlines will not accept pets that are too large for their crate. Whether hard or soft, your pet must be able to comfortably stand, sit, turn around, and lie down inside the crate. If the airline deems your crate too small, ticket counter agents will refuse boarding.
Be sure to write your pet’s name on the outside of the crate or carrier along with your name, address, and cell phone number. Should the airlines route your pet to the wrong location, the airlines will be able to reroute it much quicker. It’s also a good idea to add a phone number of someone at the destination, just in case your pet makes it there before you do.
Acclimate your pet to its crate or carrier
Don’t wait until the day of the trip to see how Fido likes a crate or a carrier. Take it out for a spin or two. Give him or her a chance to feel comfortable in their new surroundings before adding the stress of an extended stay. Drive them to the neighborhood park, to the local shopping center, and then to the next town. By gradually increasing the amount of time they’re in the crate or carrier, they will become accustomed to it and ready for a more extended trip.
Pack a bag
Pack a bag with everything your pet needs. Familiar items such as their blanket, favorite toy, and regular food and treats can help soothe your pet during your travels. “To prevent food or water spills, use a small container with a little circle cut in the lid”, says Richard East, author of Van Cat Meow.
You will also need medications, leashes, a crate, pads, garbage bags, paper towels, and a spare blanket for any accidents. For cats, if you don’t want a kitty litter in the crate or there’s no space, take along a portable litter tray or a large container with a fitted lid so your cat relieves itself during rest stops.
Find a pet-friendly accommodation
Pet travel and COVID-19 doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s essential to find pet-friendly hotels that allow your pet to stay with you indoors. Of course, hotels are far more limited during this pandemic, so make sure to also call and confirm your stay if you usually just book online.
When you arrive, check for hazards such as insecure fences or chemicals on the premises. Be sure and protect the hotel furniture with a sheet or blanket and don’t leave your pet alone in the room.
You can also consider putting a tracker on your pet’s collar with the details of your accommodations so you know where they are, and someone can find you if your pet runs off.
See to their needs
Ensuring a mostly empty tummy will reduce gastric issues while traveling. Instead of loading up the dish right before the trip, try feeding a partial serving about four to six hours before you leave. According to Pet Food Sherpa, your pet will have more time to digest food when fed earlier. Less food will cause upset to your pet’s digestive system which is already under stress due to new surroundings and activities. Take your pet out for a romp, if possible. A bit of exercise will tire him or her and cause them to sleep more during the journey. Be sure they have an opportunity to empty their bowels and bladder before leaving and stop several times along the way.
Water, on the other hand, is important. Be sure your pet is hydrated before leaving. If traveling by car, keep a small amount of water in the dish at all times. If flying, empty the water dish before handing the pet over to the airlines. Leave the bowl inside so it can be filled by airline employees checking on the pets—especially important if there is a delay between legs of your flight.
Related: How to Travel with an Older Dog
Traveling by car
Restrain your pet while traveling to keep you both safe, as well as help you avoid getting fines or warnings. If you have a dog, a crate or a harness that connects to a seat belt, this is the best way to restrain them, says Dr. Chester. If you have a cat, put them in a crate or carrier with a lightweight sheet covering three sides, strapped in by a seat belt.
If your pet gets carsick, you can skip their morning meal or get anti-nausea medication from your vet to help them feel less travel sick, says Dr. Barnard-Nguyen. You should also take frequent breaks at rest stops away from the road during a long car trip. Your pet will always appreciate a breath of fresh air.
Related: How to Prevent Car Sickness in Pets
In some areas, rest stops have been closed due to the pandemic. It could be more difficult to find places for a quick potty break. Check with the state you are passing through or visiting to make sure you know where you can stop. Pulling off alongside the road is never safe. You could be hit by a passing motorist or your pet could dart into traffic.
Consider installing smart car tech to make driving easier and your road trips safer for everyone. These include personal assistant apps (voice commands for driving), parking apps (find, share and pay for parking), GPS units, reversing cameras, blind-spot warning systems, and advanced driver-assistance systems.
Traveling by plane
Taking your pet along for a trip that includes plane travel may not always be straightforward, but as with many things in life, it may be unavoidable. In such a case, here is some advice on how to keep pet travel safer and easier during COVID-19.
Arrive early for your departure, but not too soon. Allow some time for a walk to tire your pet out. Your pet will not be permitted to be outside of its crate or carrier once you are inside the airport. When flying with your pet, you must check-in at the counter. Approach the counter only once when you have all your documents ready, including your pet’s health certificate. Expect to wear a mask at a public airport, but pets are not subject to this requirement.
In the cabin or in the cargo hold?
With fewer people traveling due to stay-at-home orders issued by states and countries, the majority of commercial airlines are operating with fewer services for live animals, with many are suspending services altogether. American Airlines recently announced changes which include a “relaxed seating policy, reduced food and beverage service and suspension of checked pets.” Live animals cannot fly in United and Delta’s cargo hold either at the publishing of this post.
That being said, most airlines will fly you and your pet in the cabin during the COVID pandemic if your pet is small enough to conform to airline pet policies. You may find that the rules surrounding pets in the seating area of the plane are more relaxed. It’s worth calling up before making an online booking and having a chat with the airline about what is possible.
If you would like to take your pet into the passenger section, be sure the carrier can fit under the seat in front of you. You can contact your airline and ask them how much room their is on the aircraft that serves your route. Also, know that your pet must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.
If you find an airline who will take your pet. Booking your ticket early may allow your pet to travel in the passenger section. Call the airline before booking to check for restrictions. Book your ticket with the same agent to ensure your desires are not lost by switching to another agent or booking online. Request a non-stop flight or choose a weekend when planes are not as full.
Should your pet be required to travel in the cargo hold, it can be a traumatic experience—especially for timid breeds. To maximize their comfort, fly during the spring or fall and choose early morning or late evening flights. Temperatures will be cooler at those times. Be sure to include a bed or blanket to minimize vibrations.
During the COVID pandemic, many airlines will fly larger or unaccompanied dogs as air cargo. With this class of service, you will check your pet in at your airline’s cargo facility. Plan on flying between larger airports.
Should you sedate your pet?
Speak to your vet before giving your dog or cat calming products like sedatives and pheromones to reduce their anxiety while in the car, says Anne Chester, chief vet at the RSPCA, Brisbane. Benadryl is commonly used for dog anxiety relief in these sorts of situations, but you should always check with your vet before giving your pet any medication.
Sedatives are for consumption whereas pheromones are embedded collars worn around the neck or dispensed with diffusers. You can also try out all natural pet calmers when car training your pet, and if they react well, you can use them for your trip.
As for air travel, the American Veterinary Medical Association says sedatives and tranquilizer can create respiratory and cardiovascular distress at high altitudes. They can also interfere with balance and equilibrium, making the pet unsteady when being moved and put them at risk of injury. Most airlines will not accept a sedated pet flying in the cargo hold.
Give them a break
Once you arrive at your destination, get outside, take off your mask and take your pet for a long walk. It will do you both good. Renting the car, checking in at the hotel, or taking a cab should be put off for the few minutes. It will take to give your companion a badly-needed and well-deserved respite. It will also allow them to calm as their anxiety level decreases.
Be aware that in some areas, due to COVID, dog parks have been closed to adhere to social distancing. Finding a place to let your pet exercise should not be left to chance. Ask airport employees in advance where the nearest run is so you can get to it quickly.
Summing it up
Keep in mind that areas may have established strict rules in deference to safety concerns relating to the spread of COVID-19. If you have questions about your destination country, you may want to contact their embassy.
No matter how you are traveling, or where you and your pet are traveling to, call ahead and make sure you can accommodate laws that have been established to keep everyone safer during the pandemic.
With the proper preparation, you can enjoy safe and worry-free pet travel and COVID-19 will not pose surprises for you.