Pet Travel in an RV

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, nearly 4 million RV owners hit the open roads with their pets every year. RV life with pets can be challenging, even for the more experienced travelers. Fortunately, you can keep your pets happy and safe with a little work and preparation. The suggestions listed below will help insure a great RV experience with you and your pet.

Know the pet policy of your campground. Most campgrounds and RV parks have pet and noise restrictions. They might charge extra for pets or have leash rules or designated areas for dog walking. Also, a campsite that is a little more remote may increase the chances that a spirited pet won’t bother other campers. (If your pet barks at people passing by, selecting a campsite next to the restrooms makes little sense.)

Let your pet get acclimated to your RV before hitting the open road. Dogs and cats are much more comfortable examining a new space on their own. Give your pet time before travel to explore your recreational vehicle.

Consider restraining your pet During a sudden stop or accident, loose pets can be hurt or even killed. They can also distract others should they be allowed to roam while the RV is moving. To help keep your pet and family safe, it is sensible to have your dog restrained in some manner during travel. Some people prefer a pet carrier or cargo crate, while others prefer an automobile pet harness. A pet booster seat is another great option for smaller pets. Don’t forget your pet’s leash.

Take items that are familiar to your pet. A favorite dog bed or blanket, favorite toy or scratching post.

Make sure you have your pet’s medical records and your vet’s phone number. It is also a good idea to research the number of a local veterinarian in your destination town just in case of emergency.

Bring an ample supply of your pet’s food. Also, bring plenty of water from home. The last problem you both need is indigestion.

Provide plenty of stops for your pet when on the road. Like humans, dogs and cats need to take care of business and get in some stretches periodically when on trips. This will help reduce accidents. If your cat is litter trained, a portable litter tray can also come in handy.

Be prepared for the inevitable accident. Have a supply of paper towels, rags, and carpet and upholstery cleaners on hand, as well as floor cleaner.

Do not leave your pet alone in the RV! Extreme temperatures could seriously affect or even kill your pet. Consider the services of a pet day care if you plan to spend considerable time away from the RV once or twice during your trip. Otherwise, inquire in the community center or other campers for the services of a pet sitter.

Obey the rules wherever you stay. Don’t try to sneak your pet into any place not allowed. Please remember: places remain as pet-friendly as the last poorly behaved human allows.

An RV is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about finding pet friendly hotels and restaurants. There is no reason why you and your pet cannot have a great time in a recreational vehicle with a bit of planning ahead of time.

Pet Travel by Air – Tips for Flying with a Pet

Family Flying with their petTraveling with your pet by air? Follow these simple steps for a safe and stress-free experience flying with your pet.

Airline pet travel can be an enjoyable experience, but can also be stressful without the proper preparation. It is important to remember (especially on international flights) that there is specific documentation that will need to be completed in advance of travel.

Identify Your Pet

First thing is to get a pet microchip for your dog or cat. The chip should have 15 digits and  thus will be ISO 11784/11785 compatible and accepted worldwide. Microchips are required to enter many countries and also used as the official identification of your pet. (Don’t forget to register your contact information.)

Research Your Destination’s Import Requirements

If you are traveling internationally by air, you will need pet passport forms for the specific country you are traveling to. Do not procrastinate! Some countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom all have quarantine policies ranging from up to six months. There are ways to avoid your pet being quarantined in these countries, but you must prepare in advance.

Find Your Air Carrier

The next step is to find the airlines which serve your origination and destination cities. Once you have a few airlines to choose from, take a look at their individual pet policies. Each airline is different with regard to pricing and pet policy. Doing your homework at this stage of the process is very important. Find an airline that flies your entire route. The airlines do not interline pets and, if you change airline companies, your pet will need to clear customs in your layover country.

Here’s a tip! Once you find the airline that suits your needs, (and those of your pet) print out a copy of their pet policy. This will ensure a hassle-free experience once you get to the airport. You can find airline pet policies at

The next step is to decide whether your pet needs to fly in the cabin of the airline or in the cargo area. This will depend solely on the size and type of your pet. Most airlines that permit pets in the cabin specify cats, dogs, and small birds only. (rules on birds vary, however). If your pet is small enough to travel in the cabin, you will need an airline compliant pet carrier. Your pet will need to be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. It must have adequate ventilation, a waterproof bottom, and secure fasteners. A general rule is that your pet needs to be less than 10” high and 18” long to be able to travel in-cabin.

Another tip: call your airlines and ask them how much room there is under the seat in front of you on your specific flight. This will tell you if you will have problems with your pet’s carrier.

Larger cats and dogs and other pets not approved for in-cabin will fly in the cargo area of the plane. There are many myths about pets traveling as cargo such as “the area is a dark cold place where your pet is going to suffer.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Did you know that the cargo area where pets fly is temperature and pressure controlled just like the regular cabin? Also, all airline personnel who handle your pet have been specifically trained for this purpose. Airlines have to report all incidents to the US Department of Transportation for recording. Certainly, they want to avoid any problems with traveling pets.

If you cannot accompany your pet, or your pet is too large to travel with checked baggage, you need to contact the cargo department of the airline. You will need to check your pet in at their cargo facility located on airport grounds, but likely not in the terminal.

Your pet will have to travel in a pet cargo crate that is compliant with International Air Transport Association specifications. The crate will have to have adequate ventilation, (all 4 sides on international flights) a spring lock door, sturdy fasteners, (steel in some cases) food and water bowls attached to the door, no wheels, and live animal stickers on the outside of the crate. Your pet needs to be able to stand up and turn around in the crate. Here is more information on IATA-compliant pet crates. If the flight is a long one, we would also recommend a pet pad to keep your pet dry and comfortable.

No matter whether your pet travels in-cabin or cargo, it is crucial to call the airlines before booking your flight to let them know you will be traveling with a pet. Most airlines only allow a certain number of pets on each flight, so it’s best to make your pet’s reservation early.

Visit the Vet

The final step is to visit your vet for a health certificate. We highly recommend this although not all airlines require it. The form should be completed less than 10 days before your date of departure. The health certificate will state that your pet is up to date on immunizations and exams and is free of ticks, fleas, and diseases communicable to humans and other animals. The cost varies depending on your veterinarian, but it’s something you have to do if you want your best buddy to travel with you.

Groom your pet before traveling. Your pet will feel and look better after a bath and combing. Cut back on your pet’s food and feed them about 2 hours prior to flight time. Be sure they are hydrated, and take them for a long walk before heading out to the airport.

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Most of it is common sense. We cannot stress enough the importance of preparation. Give yourself enough time to prepare the documentation and acclimate your pet to his/her carrier or crate. Simple steps such as these will go a long way in insuring a pleasant flight for both you and your pet.

More information on flying with your pet dog or cat.

United to change Pet Safe Plan Concerning Dangerous Dogs

Update to this post – United has acquired Continental. Find United Airline pet policies

United Air LinesSeveral recent incidents has caused United to re-evaluate its pet policy for transporting certain breeds in cargo through its SafePet Program.

United’s PetSafe Program will be amended in several ways. They will no longer allow Series 700 (giant) pet crates. Additionally, they will no longer allow the following breeds in the  cargo hold:

Dog Breeds: Affenpinscher, American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier/”Amstaff,” Belgian Malinois, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bulldog, American Bulldog, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Old English Bulldogges, Shorty Bulldogs, Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chow Chow, English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel, Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff, American Mastiff, Boerboel/South African Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff, Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff, Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff, English Mastiff, Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila, Indian Mastiff/Alangu, Kangal/Turkish Kangal, Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano, Pakastani Mastiff/Bully Kutta, Pyrenean Mastiff, Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol, Tibetan Mastiff, Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa, Pekingese, Pug, Dutch Pug, Japanese Pug, Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei, Shih-Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier/”Staffys,” and Tibetan Spaniel.

Cat Breeds: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan and Persian.

Additionally, United will be comparing all paperwork associated with your pet (health certificate, titre test, rabies vaccination, etc.) to be sure that the breed reference is correct and consistent. This action is to assure the safety of the animals, passengers, and employees.

Owners of breeds that are considered dangerous need to be concerned about this policy change. Pet and passenger safety is of primary concern to the airlines. Obviously, many of these stronger breeds cannot be confined in a plastic cargo crate. Changes that will insure that events do not reoccur must happen in order for pet owners to be able to transport their pets safely.

Keep Your Pet Safe on the Fourth of July

July4 fireworks

July 4th is a day for celebration for all Americans. This day is filled with barbeques, picnics, parades, loud music, laughing, and most of all, fireworks. As with every family/friendly gathering, your pet will want to take part! It is important to keep in mind that the 4th of July can present dangerous and stressful situations for your pet.

The Moore family of Maitland, Florida was visiting friends for only a few hours when they came home to an empty house. Their two year old German Shepherd was gone. The Moores believe that their dog, who wasn’t normally scared of thunder or other loud noises, panicked from the cumulative effects of the fireworks, the excited voices outside, and being left alone inside the house. The dog had frantically broken through the patio door and dug a hole under the fence to search for her family.

The Moore’s story isn’t unique. Dogs and cats often become frightened and frantic by the noise and commotion of Independence Day. According to The Humane Society of America, animal shelters across the country are accustomed to seeing “July 4th” pets—dogs and cats who run off during fireworks celebrations and are rescued by animal control officers or good samaritans who take them to the safety of a local shelter. It happens more than any other time of the year!

Fortunately with a little planning and forethought, you can have a memorable Independence Day knowing your pet is safe and sound. Here is a list of precautions to take to insure your pet is protected:

Get some exercise. Before the merriment starts, take your dog (or cat) for a nice long walk and/or play session. Exercise may be helpful in getting your pet to relax during the party.

Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays. This may sound like fun, but the loud noises and bright lights may aggravate even the most stable of pets.

Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Also, your pet will likely pant more when nervous. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, and they also provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death. Make sure that your fences are not in need of any repair and you do not see signs of holes under them.

If you know that your pet is seriously stressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before the holiday for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety they will experience during fireworks displays.

Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep them company while you’re attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.

Watch the doors. If you have guests over, advise them to be careful when opening doors to prevent your pet from slipping out unnoticed.

Watch out for signs of distress like change in behavior, lack of interaction, excessive grooming, labored panting, shaking, drooling, crying, barking, spraying, scratching, nausea, aggression or loss of bladder control or appetite.

Consider boarding your pet for the night if you will be out late.

Make sure your pets are microchipped or wearing identification tags so if they do escape, they can be easily identified. Remember to contact your local animal control facility quickly and inquire about your pet with a detailed description. Keep a photo of your pet as it will be helpful for officials and neighbors that may assist in finding your cat or dog.

If you plan to go away for the holiday weekend, read our information on traveling with pets.

A bit of common sense and consideration can go a long way in ensuring a safe and happy holiday for both you and your pet.

Preparing your Pet for a Hurricane

With hurricane season in full swing, it is important to make a plan when preparing your pet for a hurricane. Natural disasters occur all over the world, and whether it be a flash flood, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, you will need extra arrangements made to insure your pet’s safety.

Get what you will need in advance

A Pet Survival Kit should be prepared using a waterproof, covered container. It will not take long and will save you time to make other preparations to evacuate. The kit should include:

  • Food and water for 2 weeks
  • Water and food bowls
  • 2 weeks worth of any medications your pet may be taking
  • A photo of you with your pet in the case of separation.
  • Extra leashes and collars with ID tags
  • Puppy training pads in case your dog cannot go outside due to severe weather
  • Cleaning supplies
  • A pet crate or pet carrier large enough for your pet to stand and turn around and pads
  • Treats and toys
  • Blankets or bedding
  • Copies of your pet’s rabies certificate and other health certificates or tests sealed in a zip-lock bag or waterproof container
  • Cat Litter and portable litter box (if necessary)

If you are taking your dog or cat to a pet friendly shelter, you will be required to provide a crate or carrier to contain it. If your pet is not used to  being contained, work with them to get them acclimated. More info about training your pet to be in a crate or carrier.

Plan an evacuation route and shelter from the storm

Besides an emergency kit for your pet, planning an evacuation route for you and your pet is crucial. When your family includes a pet, evacuating will involve extra planning. If you plan to stay nearby, check your local emergency shelter to see if they will accept pets. If they do, you will most likely have to pre-register in advance. If your local shelter does not accept pets, be prepared to check neighboring cities outside of the projected path of the storm. Finding pet friendly hotels or other accommodations well in advance of a natural disaster will help ease the stress.

Whether you plan on evacuating or staying at home, it is crucial that you don’t leave your pet alone. “Abandoning your pet is not an option,” emphasizes Lisa Mendheim, Public Education Coordinator, Broward County Animal Care. “It is cruel and against the law.”

Identify your pet with a microchip

Get your pet microchipped. If, for any reason, you are separated from your pet, a microchip is one sure way they can be identified. Be sure and register your contact information with the chip’s manufacturer. There are also other websites that offer free microchip registration.

Schedule a vet visit 

Shelters will require proof of updated rabies and other vaccinations. If your pet is due, schedule a visit to have this done. Get certificates for their vaccinations. 

Keep your pet clean and groomed

When relocating your dog, keeping them clean and free of  parasites will make things easier for both of you. Keep their nails trimmed as well. Shelters will appreciate that as well.

In short, plan, plan, plan. Pay attention to the weather and know ahead of time whether you will need to evacuate or stay home. Reservations at shelters, kennels, hotels and stables must be made in advance, so make your storm decisions early – your animals are depending on you to keep them safe.

We would love to hear from you! Do you have a personal experience dealing with a natural disaster with your pet? Post your experiences in our blog or forum.

Browse our pet articles for more interesting information about caring for your pet.

New! Pet Travel Forum – everything about traveling with a pet. We need to hear from you!

We have recently launched the Pet Travel forum, and we want you to be a part of it. Have you traveled with your pet recently? Our visitors would love to hear about your experiences, whether by air, sea, or auto. Stayed in a great pet friendly hotel? Prefer a particular airline’s pet policy? Have suggestions for preparing your pet for travel?

You can help others who are planning their pet travels! Click here to help us provide a comprehensive resource for pet travelers all over the world! We thank you for your help.

Pet Travel to Europe – changes in requirements

Pet travel to the European UnionStarting in July, 2011, all EU countries will require that your pet have a microchip and all documentation supporting the microchip number to permit entry. Some EU countries will accept all major brands of microchips and others will only accept the 15 digit ISO microchips. If your pet is micro chipped with a microchip other than a 15 digit ISO microchip, it is recommended that you carry your own microchip scanner. Additionally, EU 998 Regulations do not call for blood titre test for pets entering Europe from a third country. Three members of the EU have exemptions from this regulation: UK, Malta, and Sweden. This exemption expires next year and it remains to be seen whether it will be extended.

ISO microchips and microchip scanners are available at More information on pet microchips

For more details about taking a pet to any country in the EU, visit our pet passport page at

UPDATE: updated information on bringing your pet to Europe.

Pet Friendly Hotels and Attractions in Orlando, Florida

The kids are getting out of school and thoughts of summer vacation with the family are looming. Visit pet friendly Orlando for a fun, fabulous vacation! Although known throughout the world for its theme parks, Orlando also offers first-rate tourist attractions, world-class outdoor activities, and a vibrant artistic and cultural community. The area’s scenic landscape and abundance of pet friendly hotels and resorts provide a welcoming atmosphere for people traveling with their furry companions. As a result, leading travel groups have long recognized Orlando as a premier pet friendly destination, with AAA naming it one of the top ten “Most Accommodating Cities” for travelers with pets.

When most people hear the word Orlando, Disney is the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is a complete vacation destination in itself. It includes four major theme parks—Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly known as Disney-MGM Studios)—as well as the water parks Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Walt Disney World is so much more than a theme park with adrenaline-inducing rides, however. The resort also offers superb accommodations; casual and fine dining; exciting entertainment; terrific shopping; luxurious spas; and championship golf and other outdoor activities. Although Walt Disney World does not allow pets at the resort, pets can stay on-site in air-conditioned kennels while guests enjoy its theme parks. NEW! Beginning August 27, pet owners can bring their pet to a brand new pet care facility, Best Friends Pet Resort, across from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. The pet resort can accommodate up to 270 dogs and 30 cats for both daytime play and overnight boarding.

Even with all that Disney has to offer, no trip to Orlando is complete without a visit to the area’s other theme parks. SeaWorld Orlando,
which includes SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica—provides a unique look at the wonders of the oceans, with up-close animal encounters and thrilling water rides. Also not to be missed, Universal Orlando Resort features two world-class theme parks where movie sets come alive, including Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Universal’s newest offering is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, set to open on June 18, 2010. Here, non-wizarding guests can experience Harry Potter’s weird and wonderful world of magic in attractions that are virtually identical to Harry Potter movie sets. Pets are not allowed at SeaWorld or Universal Studios parks, but air-conditioned kennels are available on-site.

Pet friendly Orlando may be most famous for its theme parks, but it also offers an abundance of stimulating outdoor and cultural activities. With its year round warm weather and world-class golf facilities, Orlando has evolved into a well-known golf vacation destination. Other exciting outdoor activities include hang gliding, hot air ballooning, bi-plane rides, kayaking, airboat rides, horseback rides, bicycling, eco-tours, and snorkeling with manatees. Visitors will appreciate the rich diversity of cultural opportunities in Orlando, from visual and performing arts to museums and pet friendly parks. If your pet needs a reprieve after all the sightseeing, you can take him to romp and play in one of Orlando’s many off-leash dog parks.

Shopping is a favorite activity in Orlando, with numerous upscale malls, outlet centers, and trendy boutiques from which to choose. Many visitors enjoy strolling and window shopping with their pets, and some pet friendly shops may even provide water or treats. After dark, downtown Orlando comes alive with its thriving nightlife. Visitors can hang out in a nightclub playing the latest indie sounds, drink martinis in a trendy bar, or check out a concert featuring a top artist. There’s something for everyone.

Many pet friendly Orlando hotels and resorts go out of their way to make pets feel welcome. Special amenities may include food and water bowls; toys and treats; leashes and scratching posts; and pooper scoopers and litter boxes. Pet walking and pet sitting services can be arranged through the hotels’ concierges, and some hotels provide a map of area dog-walking routes and pet friendly businesses. Pet friendly dining options are plentiful as well, as Orlando’s inviting weather lends itself to outdoor dining where pets are often welcome.

So what are you waiting for? Make your reservations at a pet friendly hotel today and prepare for a fun-filled magical experience of world-class theme parks and exciting activities. Orlando awaits you.

Find pet friendly hotels in Orlando.

Costs for taking your pet to England

taking a pet to EnglandWe receive many comments regarding the costs of taking a pet to England. Every pet flying into England must arrive as manifest (air) cargo. You cannot fly into England with a pet in the cabin or as checked baggage unless it is a service dog or an emotional support animal entering the UK directly from the United States. This is a rule of commerical airlines; it is not a requirement of the United Kingdom.

Here is the procedure as to how your pet will be handled once arriving in England.

If you are flying into London Heathrow (LHR) with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, an agent will collect your pet from the aircraft and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will pick it up. If you are flying into Heathrow on any other approved airline, a handler from the Heathrow Animal Reception Center (HARC) will collect your pet and take it to the HARC. The fee for an agent will vary per agent used. Estimate for an HARC employee is £166 per hour. These estimates are for London Heathrow only..

Consignment fee for mammals entering the UK at Heathrow is £177 per animal for up to 24 hours of holding time for cats, dogs or ferrets arriving from outside of the EU. Additional animals are  £42. An additional minimum fee of  £210 will be charged for animals staying at the HARC for more than 24 hours.

For mammals entering Heathrow from another EU Member State, a handling fee of £42  per animal is charged in addition to the collection charge of £83.

Consignment fee for assistance dogs checked at the airline is £210.

Any pet landing in the UK without an OK To Forward from the arrival airline will be charged an additional £630. This document is the responsibility of your agent to obtain from the transporting airline.

There is an EU Border Inspection Fee of about £76.00.

DEFRA imposes a fee for their services at the ARC of about £250.00

If you want to leave your pet’s crate at Heathrow, there will be a disposal charge of £15.

You should expect the entry fees to be between £400 and £450; however, some of these fees may be included in your pet’s transport price. Check with your airline to confirm.

Prices good for 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019

UPDATE: 2020 – We have received reports that expenses have increased to approximately £600.

There will also be Value Added Tax (VAT) charges due when entering England. They will amount to 20% of the value of your pet’s breed + the cost of their transport. The minimum charged is £70 for a cat and £100 for a dog. If you are visiting the United Kingdom, the VAT will be refunded when you and your pet depart. If you are moving to the United Kingdom, then you will need to file a Transfer of Residency (ToR) form with England’s custom department (HRMC). Your VAT will be refunded to you as soon as the form is processed. More details on filing the Transfer of Residency Form.

Please note that these charges are being updated and are subject to change. Costs for taking your pet to England certainly needs to be budgeted. Similarly, so does preparation as the rabies titer test needs to be done 3 months in advance of travel for cats, dogs and ferrets entering from high-rabies countries.

More information on our taking your pet to England.

Airline Pet Travel: Delta Cargo Announces New Summer Live Animal Program

cat in cargo crateUPDATE: Note that, as of October 1, 2016, Delta Cargo will no longer accept snub-nosed pets of any kind (see list in step 6). Delta will also discontinue their Summer Live Animal Program and temperature restrictions (10 F/-12 C and 85F/29 C) will be imposed for all cities that Delta flies. Additionally, Delta will no longer accept pets traveling as cargo on flights with an average duration of over 12 hours.

Find Delta Airlines current pet policies.