Airline Pet Travel in the Cabin

airline pet travel in cabinAirline pet travel in the cabin of the aircraft does not have to be stressful if you follow some simple rules. First of all, you must make reservations for your pet to travel with you over the phone with a representative of the airline. All airlines permit only a limited number of pets on board, and there will be a cost for you to bring your pet in the cabin with you. Be sure and make your pet’s reservation before you make your own.

Secondly, does your pet exceed the size and weight limits to travel in the cabin? Remember that airlines require that your pet be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. Stuffing your pet into an airline compliant pet carrier that is too small will almost guarantee that neither one of you will get on the plane. Normally, a pet that exceeds 18″ from the tip of? nose to the base of the tail and 10″ high will be too large to travel in the cabin except in First Class or overseas flights. You can always call the airlines and ask what the measurements are under the seat in front of you on the aircraft that serves your route. This will help in deciding whether your pet’s carrier will fit.

Be sure to choose an airline compliant pet carrier. This carrier has a waterproof bottom and adequate ventilation. A?good pet pad is a must, especially for long flights. Many pets will eliminate out of nervousness, so it is best to have several layers of absorbent material in the carrier.

The closures must be secure so that the pet cannot escape. (Here are some beautiful zipper locks that accomplish this.) You must not take your pet out of the carrier for any reason during the flight, however, you should be able to slide the carrier out so that it will be in between your legs when the plane is in the air. Pack some favorite toys or something with your scent on it in the carrier as these things will comfort your pet.

A few days before airline pet travel, take your pet to their veterinarian for a health check up. The reason for this is to be sure that your pet has no fleas, ticks, or diseases. This is becoming important for in cabin travel because many people are allergic to fleas. Additionally, get your pet bathed and groomed. A clean pet is a comfortable pet and odor will not be a problem.

More than 4-6 hours before flying, you should feed your pet a light meal and water. Just prior to getting in the car to go to the airport, take a long walk and give your pet plenty of time to do their business and stretch their legs. Put your pet in their carrier before getting into the car and don’t remove them at the airport unless you are taking them to an airport dog park. Pets can be unpredictable in strange environments. Additionally, you will want to keep your pet calm prior to the flying on the airplane. If your pet is skittish, take along a treat and a natural herb relaxer to give them prior to the flight. This will only help keep them calm and should not affect their breathing in any way.

Do not feed them on the airplane if possible. Oftentimes, feeding will encourage bowel movement, and that would be very inconvenient for your both. If you are on a long flight, dip your finger in a little water and let your pet lick it through a small opening in the carrier for hydration. Again, do not remove your pet from the carrier as the flight attendant will ask you to put them back immediately.

When you reach your destination, try to find a quiet place and be sure and attach your pet’s leash before taking them out of the bag. Your pet will be happy to walk down the concourse with you. Get them outside as soon as possible so they can relieve themselves. As for cats, a portable kitty litter tray and an empty corner of the concourse could help. Be sure and keep them on a leash at all times when in and around the airport. Feed them only when you have arrived at your pet friendly hotel or other accommodations and no more car or bus rides are necessary.

Thousands of pets travel by air each day. Yours can do the same without a lot of fuss if you follow the airline rules and do a bit of planning beforehand.

More information on airline pet policies.

Traveling with a Comfort Animal

Comfort DogComfort animals (emotional support animals or ESAs) assist their owners with mental disabilities as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These pet animals are now recognized as providing a valuable service and have attained the protection of the Airline Carrier Access Act (ACAA) which also protects service animals when flying.

Therefore, comfort animals are allowed to fly at no charge in the cabin of airlines that permit them similar to service animals.

Recent research suggests that people with psychiatric disabilities can benefit significantly from comfort animals. ESAs have been proven extremely effective at ameliorating the symptoms of these disabilities, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, by providing therapeutic nurture and support.

As all US-based airlines are subject to ACAA regulations, both comfort and service animals are accepted. Requirements for notification and documentation differs greatly between service animals and comfort animals. While owners of service animals may need to provide proof of certification, owners of comfort animals will need a letter from a licensed medical professional stating the need for the comfort animal, that the owner is an active patient and providing licensing information. Find more information on airline pet policies for comfort animals.

The key to acceptance is a strongly worded letter from a medical professional stating that the well being of the pet’s owner is at risk if they are separated from their pet. The most common reason is mental anxiety or depression and a letter from a psychiatrist will generally suffice. However, individuals with a heart condition may get a letter from their physician stating that the pet calms the pet owner and therefore reduces the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Those who suffer affects from diabetes can also procure a letter from a medical professional.

If you need additional information on comfort and service animals, we offer a 26 page document that fully explains the rules regarding both Service and Comfort Animals. It also explains the rules for taking a service or comfort animal into a rabies free country such as the UK or Hawaii. Click here for additional information on Traveling with Service Animals and Comfort Animals.

End of a long, cold winter – Pet Friendly Florida Keys Await You and Your Pet!

Pet Friendly Florida KeysFor a pet friendly tropical island vacation, look no farther than the beautiful Florida Keys! From Key Largo to Key West, the islands in this balmy paradise are some of the most pet friendly destinations in the United States. World-class sport fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, camping, and eco-tours are but a few of the reasons many travelers call this pet friendly tropical wonderland “The American Caribbean.”

The Florida Keys are connected to the Florida mainland by US Highway 1, also known as the Overseas Highway. With the majestic Atlantic Ocean on one side and the sparkling Gulf of Mexico on the other, this 113-mile-long byway was named one of the 10 most beautiful drives in the United States by the Society of American Travel Writers. The Seven Mile Bridge?one of 43 bridges on the Overseas Highway?provides the perfect backdrop for viewing the Florida Keys? crystalline turquoise waters and endless azure skies. This spectacular drive has numerous places to pull off for a stroll or photo with your pet.

You will have many things to see and do as you meander down the islands of the Florida Keys…or you can stop someplace and do nothing at all but relax under a palm tree with a cool drink.

There is no other place like pet friendly Key West. The balmy weather is perfect for outdoor dining, so many of the bars and restaurants are pet friendly. Smaller accommodations such as chichy bed and breakfasts welcome you and your pet. If you have not been there, it is definitely worth checking out.

You can find more information on pet friendly Florida Keys and pet friendly hotels in the Florida Keys at

Pet Friendly Hotels – Be a Considerate Pet Traveler

Pet Friendly Hotel Considerate Traveler

Need a pet friendly hotel? Be a considerate pet traveler.
Summertime is approaching. It is time to plan for a family vacation. Unless your pet is a poor traveler, or your hotel will not permit it, there is no reason to leave the family pet at home or in a kennel while you are away. Traveling with your pet is like being invited to someone’s home. If you want to be invited back, then you need to be a considerate guest.

Occasionally, pet friendly hotels will change their pet policy. In almost every case, it is because they had a bad experience with an inconsiderate pet owner, and now all pet travelers will have to suffer for the sins of one.

Confirm with the hotel in advance the size and type of pet that will be accompanying the owner. A hotel may state that they are pet friendly, but if a traveling pet owner shows up with a 100 pound dog they may find that the hotel limits their guests to small pets. Also, a certificate of good health and vaccination record may be required by the hotel in order to certify that your pet does not have ticks or fleas or any diseases communicable to humans.

If a cat is traveling with a pet owner, contacting the pet friendly hotel is crucial. Many hotels do not accept cats due to the allergies caused in many people by the dander. Additionally, the risk from damage from cat claws is a concern to many pet friendly hotel owners.

Whether traveling by car or plane with a pet, get them bathed and groomed prior to traveling. A clean pet is more comfortable when confined which will likely happen when traveling.

Remind the desk clerk that you will have a pet in your room, and they need to notify the housekeepers. A Pet in the Room door hanger is also a great way to alert hotel staff.

After entering the room, allow the pet to get accustomed to its surroundings. Show it where the water and food will be located. If your pet is allowed on beds and furniture at home, be sure and cover the hotel’s furniture with a sheet or blanket for protection.


Do not leave a pet alone in the room unless the errand is only a minute or two. Many pet friendly hotels will not permit leaving a pet alone in a room, even when crated. Put up the Do Not Disturb sign on the door when leaving.

If your dog is not accustomed to traveling, it is best not to leave them for any amount of time. A barking dog can be a major disturbance for other guests. If absence is necessary, ask at the desk if there is a trusted person they could recommend to sit with your pet.

If a pet accompanies an owner in the car, it is important to avoid leaving them in the car alone, especially in the summer when temperatures can climb in a matter of minutes. If there is no other alternative, keep the car in the shade, the windows open an several inches, and make the errand as short as possible.

The front desk should be able to advise a good place to walk your pet. Take along not one, but two litter bags, and use them.

When on the street, or in the pet friendly hotel’s common areas make sure a pet is securely leashed, and be aware that not everyone loves animals. Pets should be kept close to their owners and not allowed to approach others unless both the dog and the other person (or animal) is comfortable with the meeting.

Always return the room to the order in which you found it. Be considerate of the next guest and the management of the hotel.

Best of all, doing these things will encourage your favorite pet friendly hotel to keep its policies and be available for other pet travelers to enjoy.

Pet Hotel in Florida Boards Pets of Seniors in Need of Medical Care

Kudos to the late Jimmy Scarborough and his wife Pat who, through their unending efforts, founded Jimmy’s Place in central Florida. Health officials were finding that many seniors are so attached to their pets that they would refuse treatment because they had no care for their loving pets. Jimmy’s Place is a pet hotel for pets whose elderly masters need medical attention. There is space for short term pet care for up to 10 pets in the facility which is sponsored by the Osceola County Council on Aging.

It is well known that the company of pets contributes to a greater feeling of well being in seniors. Having their pet cared for when they are in the hospital is a great comfort. This is the first pet hotel of its kind in the state. We hope that other areas will consider this type of facility when dealing with pet care for the elderly.

For more details, visit the story:,0,2563742.story

Traveling with a Dangerous Dog Breed

Travel with Pit Bull


Planning a trip with your Pit Bull? Relocating to a foreign country with your Rottweiler? You had better know the rules on entering a country with an breed of dog that may be classified as aggressive. The consequences for your pet could be pretty severe.

There is no disputing the fact that traveling with a dog has become a more popular trend in recent years. Countries that value tourism as well as airlines that value additional revenue have made it easier for the pet owner to see the world with their pet. Yet, even with the emergence of in-cabin privileges, more careful cargo handling and the avoidance of incidents, comes the increased enforcement of certain rules regarding the movement of aggressive types of dogs.

What dog breeds are generally classified as dangerous? American Staffordshire Terriers top the list. Why? Because in studies where the number of dog bites were measured, this breed is almost always at the top. Does this mean that your Staffie is dangerous? No, this breed can be trained and properly socialized. But numbers being what they are, the breed is included in most if not all dangerous dog laws that are breed specific.?

Other dog breeds that are generally classified as dangerous are Akita Inu, Barboels, Cane Corso, American Bulldog, Dog de Bordeaux, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, German Shepherd, Mastiff, Presa Canario, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Tosa Inu.

Also confusing is the term Pit Bull Terrier. Actually, this term includes several recognized breeds of dogs – ?American Pit Bull Terrier,?American Staffordshire Terrier,?American Bully, and?Staffordshire Bull Terrier and may include the?American Bulldog.

Many countries, provinces, counties and cities ban the import of aggressive breeds of dogs and also their mixes. We suggest you search for dangerous dog policies in your destination country. You can also contact the embassy of the country you are traveling to determine if your dog is acceptable for entry.

Know that, if your dog even resembles one of these breeds or behaves in any way aggressively during the immigration process, there is a chance that your pet will not be accepted in your destination country. DNA testing will not be accepted as proof of lineage as they are not performed at a government agency.

At a minimum, you should carry a strong leash and muzzle with you as many countries will require this while you are in public places. Also, do not trust your children to hold the leash. Strong movements can happen suddenly in strange places.

When countries ban aggressive breeds, it also means that the airlines who serve those countries must ban the breeds on routes to that country. Airlines will not carry a pet into a country when the pet does not have the proper import forms or is on the banned breed list. The consequences of ignoring this list can be distressing at the least and disastrous at the worst. Should a dog on the banned breed list make it to immigration, in most cases it will be returned to the originating country at the owner’s expense; however, in some cases, the animal will be put down.

In recent years, commercial airlines have also initiated bans or restrictions on dog breeds classified as aggressive to limit their exposure to “incidents.”. No US-based airline will fly them. Other foreign-based airlines will (Lufthansa, KLM and Air France for example); however, they may require that your dog fly in a CR 82-compliant metal or wood pet crate.

If you are flying with your dog, be sure and arrange NOT to change carriers along the way. Airlines will not interline pets. Arrangements must be made for you or an agent to get your pet, clear customs and recheck your dog on the next airline.

More information on traveling with a dangerous dog

Pet Friendly Destination – Santa Fe New Mexico

Pet friendly Santa Fe is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine wilderness in the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, visitors will find miles of pet friendly trails through meadows of Indian paintbrush and purple lupine, leading to stunning mountaintop panoramas. Pet owners might also enjoy exploring the remains of the once-thriving Pueblo civilization, including an impressive number of historic pueblos and cliff dwellings.

Other popular outdoor activities in the area include golf, mountain biking, river rafting, horseback riding, fishing, hot air ballooning, and swimming. Ski Santa Fe, which opens from Thanksgiving until Easter, features one of the highest ski areas in the continental United States and offers unsurpassed mountaintop vistas. Skiers will appreciate the steep bump runs, powder filled chutes, gladed tree skiing, and abundance of groomers.

After an invigorating day in Santa Fe, visitors can whet their appetites at many fine restaurants serving innovative Southwestern cuisine. Evening entertainment options range from live musical theater and nationally renowned opera to flamenco dancing and exciting casino action. Afterwards, visitors might enjoy a warm bath and a nightcap in their pet friendly accommodations, which include contemporary boutique hotels, budget-friendly motels with Southwestern flair, charming bed and breakfasts, luxurious resorts with full-service spas, and numerous campgrounds and RV parks with views of dazzling sunsets.

As one of America?s oldest and most beautiful cities, pet friendly Santa Fe has something for everyone. Its resplendent landscapes, world-class art, superb cuisine, incredible shopping, exciting entertainment, abundant outdoor activities, and stimulating history and culture invariably make visitors wish they had more time to spend there. It?s truly a dream pet friendly vacation destination.

More information on pet friendly Santa Fe and many other pet friendly hotels in great destinations can be found at

10th Anniversary of the Pet Travel Scheme – Avoid Quarantine entering the UK

Pet Travel SchemeToday (March 2, 2010) is the 10th anniversary of the Pet Travel Scheme which was originally championed by Lady Mary Fretwell. For more than 100 years prior to the approval of the Pet Travel Scheme, the United Kingdom had a strictly enforced quarantine program in effect. Bring in a dog, cat, guinea pig or rabbit, and they had to spend six months in one of 80 quarantine kennels in Great Britain, with virtually no exercise and with only the kennels’ contracted veterinarians to check them out. There were no uniform statutes governing these kennels–the kennel owners voluntarily agreed to provide respectable care, but this often was lacking.

“My husband was in the Foreign Service, so this meant that each time we returned to England from a post our basset hound had to go through that awful quarantine,” says Lady Mary Fretwell. “Over the years, we could see how the quarantine conditions got worse and worse.”

The final straw came in 1987, when Lady Mary and Sir John Fretwell returned to England from their final post in Paris. “We came back with our basset hound,” Lady Fretwell says, “and it was a terrible quarantine experience. Our beloved Bertie, our favorite of all the bassets we’ve had over the years, was a different dog after this horrible experience, and died soon afterwards. This pushed us into doing something about the quarantine situation in the UK.”

The result was an organization called “Passports for Pets,” and because of the untiring efforts by the Fretwells and 10,000 members and many volunteers who pushed for changes in the pet entry system, there is now in place a specific method of bringing cats and dogs into the UK without going through quarantine.

A happy note is that over 10,000 pets have been brought into the UK without any incident of rabies since the inception of the program as of the 10th anniversary. The Pet Travel Scheme was certainly a victory for pets traveling to the UK!

Updated information on bringing a pet to the UK.