How to Crate Train Your Puppy for Travel

How to Crate Train Your Puppy for Travel
Traveling with a new puppy can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to have them settled in and ready prepared before you go. If flying, all dogs and cats must travel in IATA-compliant pet crates or carriers. It is always recommended to restrain your pet when driving, not only for its safety but for the safety of the driver and passengers as well.

Crate training your puppy can help give it a space of its own and will let them feel safe when traveling and also secure in a new location.

Puppies will naturally try to find a space for themselves that’s secure and enclosed, where they can rest and feel safe. Crate training a puppy can help to meet that need by giving your puppy their own private area, as well as letting you establish boundaries early on.

Why Crate Train Your Puppy

Crate training is a popular method for many reasons:

  • Makes travelling with your puppy easier
  • Encourages good behaviour
  • Affordable and easy for your puppy to understand
  • Helps your puppy settle into a new location
  • Keeps your puppy safe when unsupervised or when you have visitors
  • Reassures your dog that they are behaving well
  • Can help your puppy feel safe during storms

Training Your Puppy

Crate training a puppy takes time and patience, but by going slowly, your puppy should become gradually more comfortable with staying in the crate. It’s important to make crate training a positive experience for your puppy. Giving them treats for going to the crate and staying inside can reward and encourage their behaviour. Making the crate comfortable and throwing in some toys and a “used” t-shirt with your scent on it, can also help to make it an appealing space. Be sure and keep the door open until your puppy has used the crate for several weeks.

Crate Train a PuppyYou can try playing some fun games with your puppy using the crate. This will let them know that the crate isn’t just for being left alone in but can also be a different type of space. Bringing your puppy away from loud environments to the crate can also help them to associate the crate as a peaceful and relaxing space.

Once your puppy is familiar with the crate you can start slowly increasing the time they spend inside, making sure to give plenty of treats for good behavour. Eventually you can have them spend a night sleeping in the crate, but be prepared to let them out to pee first thing in the morning. As a general rule, puppies can hold themselves for up to one hour for every month of age, although play and excitement can reduce this time.

Choosing a Crate

Your dog’s size is one of the most important considerations when selecting a crate. The ideal crate size is small enough that your pet won’t urinate in it but large enough so that they can stand up and comfortably turn around. When buying a crate for your puppy, make sure to purchase one that will accommodate its size when it’s fully-grown. While they’re growing you can reduce the space inside the crate by adding a divider.

Travel crates are great option for training your puppy, as they will eventually become comfortable with the crate and won’t be as worried when it is used for travel.

The ideal location for your dog’s crate while training is in a room where your family spends a lot of time together, such as the kitchen or living room. You can also shift it to your bedroom when you go to sleep at night.

What Not to Do

It’s important to never use the crate as punishment, as you want it to become known as a positive place. If your dog associates the crate with a bad experience they will avoid it as much as possible.

Remember not to leave your dog in their crate for longer than necessary. They’re social animals and need breaks to stretch their legs. Plan to let your dog out for several bathroom breaks during the day as well as during play and feeding times.

While crate training can help your puppy adjust to travelling, it’s not a fix for issues like barking or separation anxiety. If your puppy experiences these issues, it’s important not to rely on crate training as a solution and instead consult a professional dog behaviourist.

Crate training can be a great method for encouraging good behaviour as well as protecting your pet. With the right preparation and a little persistence, your pet’s crate can become their favourite place.

Daniel Defendi is a writer and blogger from Perth, Western Australia. You can catch him on Google+ to discuss this piece.

Tips for Traveling with a Disabled Pet

Airline pet policies can be difficult enough to navigate when you’re simply traveling with a pet, so traveling with a disabled pet often poses even further complications that require extensive knowledge, research, and paperwork. Recent pet-related airline controversies have centered on disabled individuals that attempt to board a plane with a support animal. But, what happens when the shoe is on the other foot and you’re a pet owner traveling with an animal that has accessibility issues?

Fortunately, while there are still numerous considerations and restrictions, there are also many resources available for making traveling easier for disabled pets.

1. Invest in mobility products. Pet wheelchairs and harnesses make getting around easier than ever for your four-legged friends. They come in different sizes, meaning you can find just the right fit for your pet and don’t have to worry about carrying them around along with your other baggage. Just let their wheels do the work! These are primarily useful for road trips or ground travel with pets and may not exactly be of use for airline travel, but are nonetheless a must-have. What’s more, they help your pet experience all the travel-related adventures they can without worrying about physical drawbacks. They can explore rough terrains, accompany you on hikes, and do more with less effort.

2. Get a larger soft-sided carrier for traveling with your disabled pet. Pets traveling on domestic flights can fly in-cabin, but are usually required to be kept in pet carriers. If your dog has a disability, you’ll want to get them a maximum-sized soft carrier. Hard-sided carriers are restricting, and disabled animals need room to splay out and relax their ailing limbs. While there are varying size restrictions for carriers based on airline (Southwest, for example, does not allow carriers larger than 18.5” x 8.5” x 13.5”), you’ll want to see if you can stick to the maximum size restrictions. Much like flying in Economy class can be space-inhibiting for humans, restricting carriers can cause severe distress for handicapped pets.

3. Confirm their veterinary health. Notify your veterinarian if you plan to travel with a disabled animal, and make sure to get an expert opinion on whether or not this travel will be possible through the issuance of a health certificate. If your pet’s condition is severe, extended travel could cause them serious distress. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your pet is fully-vaccinated, as most airlines will not allow pets on board without this. Your vet may also be able to prescribe a supplement, such as melatonin or other relaxants/pain killers, to calm your disabled pet during the flight and ensure the overall experience is pain-free.

4. Call your airline and find the right means of travel. Notify the airline of your pet’s size, breed, and condition. This way, they can inform you whether they’re eligible for in-cabin travel (and under what circumstances) or if it’s best they be boarded as accompanied checked baggage or air cargo and sent to the destination through a third-party shipper. Larger dogs may sometimes be boarded as live animal cargo, and professional pet shippers are expertly trained in finding airlines that allow this, helping you compile the necessary paperwork, and ensuring the pets are as comfortable as possible. Pet-shippers are specifically trained to work with pets and understand the stress that moving/traveling can cause on their psyche. Many will even track your pet’s flight, arrange for the shortest layovers possible, and transport your pet to/from the airport. Note, however, that as larger dogs must fly as cargo, they fly unaccompanied and therefore must not require too much medical attention. That being said, this area is typically temperature-controlled and pressurized for optimal comfort. Lastly, your pet will need to be removed from its crate or carrier when clearing security (for in-cabin travel) or checking in as cargo, so you will need to be prepared to do this if your pet has physical restrictions. Using a professional pet shipping service is one of the best options for international travel, and organizations like the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association can help owners find the best provider for their situation.

5. Reconsider traveling with your disabled pet. If your pet’s disability/ailment is at an advanced stage and they experience frequent discomfort, you may want to just leave them at home. Remember also that if your pet requires any medication or attention in-flight, this cannot be administered while they fly as cargo. Unless it’s a long-term or permanent relocation, finding a pet-sitter may be a more cost-effective and comfortable option for your pet. Sure, it’s wonderful to bring our pets on vacation with us and we want them to explore new places as much as we do, but mobility issues in a pet may make this more of a task than a pleasure for them. Your pet’s desire to explore new places should be honored within reasonable means. Maybe you can’t take them on your overseas trip, but that shouldn’t stop you from equipping them with a high-quality wheelchair and hitting the road with them in your passenger seat. Modern advancements and the ever-growing market of pet products allow disabled pets to get as much satisfaction out of life as able-bodied ones. As their owner and favorite companion, you’ll find this satisfaction is, in fact, a two-way street.

Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for pet wheelchairs, harnesses, and back braces.

Best Dog Walks in Baltimore

Throughout the Baltimore area, dogs are welcome to take a hike with their favorite humans. In the city and within an hour’s drive are all the fun places a dog could dream of for outdoor fun. Whether you live in the region or are visiting, here are some of the best hiking choices.

Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

Baltimore Inner City

Best Dog Walks in Baltimore - Inner City

Starting at Boston St. and South East Street is where you’ll find Canton Waterfront Park that makes for an excellent starting place. After parking, take in the big views of the Inner Harbor as you walk towards the water’s edge. A well-marked path leads you towards the city skyline to start your hike. Of course, Fido will want to sniff and leave messages for the other canines in the area. This park has plenty of grass for such doggy actions. From this spot, you can walk all the way to the Rusty Scupper on one of America’s best harbor pathways. Along the way, some restaurants put out water bowls for dogs to quench their thirst. If you walk all the way to the Rusty Scupper, consider hiking up to Federal Hill and get a view of Baltimore’s skyline from the top of this historic mound. If you don’t want to walk all the way back the Water Taxi runs from the Domino Sugar site back to Canton Waterfront Park.

Best Dog Walks in Baltimore - Gunther and Company

After your walk, if it’s the second Tuesday of the month, Gunther & Company throws a party for dogs and their owners called Yappier Hour. Even if you miss this event, the deck is open for well-behaved dogs and their thirsty humans most of the year. Gunther & Company is just a few short blocks from Canton Waterfront Park.


Best Dog Walks in Baltimore - Inner Harbor Trail

A bit farther on the Inner Harbor Trail is one of the most historic dog walks. Even though the trail ends past the Rusty Scupper, you could either continue walking on safe sidewalks to Fort McHenry or drive there. The path around the fort is perfect for a shorter dog walk of about a half mile (0.8 km). There is also plenty of grassy lawn areas to take a step on the soft side. Smaller dogs that don’t have the endurance for a long walk so take a break at this historic site where a significant battle took place during the war of 1812.

Patterson Park is located in the Highlands neighborhood of Baltimore. On days when the weather is fine, there’s always plenty of happy dogs wagging tails at a chance to bark in the park. A hike up the hill to the Pagoda tower delivers a healthy walk and excellent views. Circumnavigate the park for the longest walk enjoying a look at one of Baltimore’s best-known working-class neighborhoods.

Best Dog Walks in Baltimore - Lake Roland Park

Lake Roland Park is north of downtown Baltimore and has several trails for you and man’s best friend. Take Jones Falls Road to Lakeside Drive and find a parking place. Head towards the lake and cross over the stream then head up past Paw Point Dog Park. This dog park is popular with locals and requires submitting an application and payment for membership. Don’t worry if you aren’t a member; you can still walk your dog in and around Lake Roland Park on several miles of trails in the woods and beyond. There are places where your dog can wade in the stream on hot days.

Best Dog Walks in Baltimore - NCR Trail

Take a drive north on York Road towards Cockeysville where the NCR Trail caters to hikers, bikers, and dog walkers all year long. The NCR is one of the best trails in Maryland offering miles of riverside beauty. There are several ways to get to the NCR Trail. If you’re driving north from Baltimore City on York Road, take a right turn on Ashland Road which becomes Paper Mill Road and look for the trailhead parking lot on the left. This lot is one of many NCR Trail parking areas. This old railway route was converted into a hiking trail with help from the Rails To Trails organization. The NCR Trail can be quite busy on weekends during summer as city residents find the shaded trial a respite from the heat and humidity of Baltimore. As long as you can find a place to park the crowds are well spread out, and it’s easy to enjoy the NCR Trail on even the busiest days.

Several places on the NCR Trail further north offer wading and tubing in the Little Gunpowder River. This scenic trail goes all the way to the Pennsylvania state line, a distance of 19.5 miles (31.3 km). Even though there are a few places along the path to get water, it’s best to pack some of your own if you aren’t familiar with the safe drinking spots. The old Monkton train station has a drinking fountain with a dog water bowl at its base, as does the Paper Mill Road parking area. Note that these watering stations are only functional in warm weather months.

Also north of Baltimore City find the Gunpowder Falls Trail in Perry Hall. This favorite trail is located just before reaching Kingsville. Take Belair Road north until you cross the Gunpowder River, and turn right into the parking area. If this parking area is full, and it often is on weekends in warm weather, park off of Belair Road like the locals do and walk to the parking lot to access the trail. Here on the Gunpowder River you and Fido will find several safe places to enter the water, and most agree the water is safe for dogs to drink. If you head upstream and hike for about 20 minutes, you’ll come to a spot where a smaller trail follows the river to a deep spot with a little waterfall. The waterfall area is a fun place for you and your pooch to take a dip in the fresh waters of the Gunpowder Falls. A word of caution is in order; there are snakes occasionally seen on the trail, but the chances are remote that the snake is poisonous.

For all of these walks, it’s recommended to bring poo pickup bags to keep the trails clean and fun for everyone. Looking for a day trip out with your best friend? Check out Trip101’s top day trips from Baltimore, or accommodation reviews, hotels and vacation rentals.

Kurt Jacobson is a travel writer for Trip101, a one-stop guide for travel enthusiasts around the world. He is a former chef traveling the world in search of great food, interesting people, fine wine, nature, fishing and skiing. New Zealand, Japan and Europe are his favorite international destinations. He has visited all 50 US states and constantly explores hidden gems. When not writing on his blog, or he posts to Facebook, and Twitter often.

Emotional Support and Service Animals – Airline Policies and How They are Changing

emotional support dog on airplane


Airline pet policies on flying with emotional support and service animals are changing, and now the Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering changes to the Airline Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and its
implementing regulation, 14 CFR Part 382 (Part 382) in order to address the issues that airlines have recently been facing – lack of training, the use of false credentials and the variety of animal species whose owners claim protection under this legislation.

During the process of collecting public comment, DOT has permitted the airlines to specify what type of animals they will allow as emotional support animals and those they will not. An airline  group, Airlines for America, is suggesting that service animals be defined as “trained dogs that perform a task or work for an individual with a disability,” which would eliminate untrained emotional support animals from flying under the ACAA.

Some of the other changes that are being considered include policies that would distinguish between different types of animals, whether or not that they will need to travel in pet carriers, whether to limit the number of animals allowed per passenger, and whether to require all service animals have been trained to behave in a public setting.

Currently, Title 14 Code of Federal Aviation Regulations § 382.117 dictates that the airline “must permit the service animal to accompany the passenger with a disability at any seat in which the passenger sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation.” Airlines may choose not to transport service and emotional support animals that are not socialized and trained to behave properly in close surroundings. Pet owners are expected to control their animals at all times when flying.

What is unclear is the species of the animal protected by this legislation, the type of disability, and the amount of information that must be disclosed to the airlines. Because of these gray areas, many of these protections have been extended to those who may not not truly qualify for them.

UPDATE: August 8, 2019
The Department of Transportation has issued a clarification to the ACAA in response to airline restrictions made for ESAs. The DOT rulings addressed the following points; 

  • Airlines cannot discriminate against certain breeds of ESAs (as Delta did against Pit Bulls)
  • Airlines cannot dictate the duration of the flight that ESAs would be allowed. 
  • Airlines must allow up to 3 assistance animals per passenger, however they can limit the number of ESAs to one. 
  • Airlines must allow miniature horses as service animals on their flights. (This is not a new rule.)

Later this year (2019), the Department of Transportation plans to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on service (and emotional support) animals. The NPRM would address the definition of a service animal and include safeguards to ensure safety for other passengers and flight crews. Additionally, the changes would reduce the likelihood that passengers traveling with their pets on aircraft will not be able to falsely claim their pets are service or emotional support animals when they are not. More information on this to come.

UPDATE: January 22, 2020
The Department of Transportation has issued a Notice of Rulemaking Change (NRMC) regarding several amendments to the Airline Carrier Access Act. The first would be to align the definition of a service animal to that defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act which is published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) which specifies a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. 

Additionally, the amendment will require that all passengers flying with service dogs submit forms developed by DOT in advance of travel which will reflect pre-training and socialization. All service animals will need to be “harnessed, leashed or otherwise tethered.” Larger service animals and effects to in-cabin operations and the safety and welfare of other passengers and the crew will be considered as well as who is responsible for the damage they may cause to the aircraft. More information on the NRMC. 

For the purposes of this post, service animals are defined as animals who have been trained to assist physically disabled passengers suffering from mobility issues, visual impairments, seizures, hearing issues, issues resulting from diabeties or other physical issues. Emotional support animals are those who assist passengers with emotional, psychiatric, cognitive or psychological disabilities and have not received specialized training.

On all airlines, service animals should be fully trained, clearly identified and leashed or harnessed. They will sit at their handler’s feet without protruding into the aisle or causing other safety concerns. Service animals in training may or may not be accepted by an airline under these regulations. Trained service dogs accompanied by their trainers and being delivered to their owners also may or may not fall under these regulations depending on airline policies. Therapy animals, rescue dogs and dogs providing immigration services such as drug or bomb detection are not accepted under these regulations.

Emotional support animals are permitted to sit in their owner’s laps if small enough not to touch any part of the seat and do not interfere or prevent other passengers from using seat amentities. They should be socialized and trained to behave around other people and pets, especially in small confines. Their owners should travel with proper documentation clearly identifying their licensed physician or medical professional, stating that they have a documented condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that necessitates that their pet travel with them and dated within a year of flight departure.

In both cases, animals are not permitted to sit in exit row seats. They are not permitted to fly in the seat next to their owner. They are not permitted to sit on the tray table. Owners should be prepared to demonstrate that they are prepared to handle the service/emotional support animal’s hygienic needs on flights over 8 hours in duration. Some airlines will require that a sanitation form is completed prior to travel.

Additionally, notification must be provided and permission granted in advance for countries that require that all live animals arriving by air to arrive as checked baggage or air cargo in the hold of the aircraft. (United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand and others)

It is also important to note that both service and emotional support animals are subject to the same requirements when flying internationally as other animals of their species. Owners should be prepared to present rabies and health certificates and all other documentation required by the airline or their destination country upon check-in.

Here are some of the new (and old) regulations regarding service and emotional support animals. For the most part, regulations concerning service dogs have not changed. Note that we will make every attempt to update this post when regulations change. We will also be adding addendums to this post with regulations from other airlines.

Delta Airlines

UPDATE:  The Department of Transportation has rejected Delta’s ban of Pit Bulls as service or emotional support animals as their regulations do not address specific dog breeds. Note that the airline may still reject any dog that shows aggressive behavior.

UPDATE: Delta will now allow ESAs on flights over 8 hours; however, Pit Bull breeds continue to be banned as emotional support animals.

Owners of trained service animals are encouraged but not required to provide a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date) through a Service Animal Request form to the Support Desk via at least 48 hours in advance of travel. As of December 18, 2018, puppies and kittens will not be accepted on Delta flights as service animals.

Owners of emotional support animals must submit an Emotional Support Psychiatric Service Animal Request form which requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via at least 48 hours in advance of travel. Additionally, a copy of vaccination records may be provided in lieu of the Veterinary Health Form as long as the vaccination dates and veterinary office information are included.

Only one emotional support animal per passenger is permitted. Puppies and kittens under 4 months of age will not be accepted as emotional support animals. 

The following animals will not be accepted as trained service or emotional support animals: hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, reptiles, amphibians, goats, non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game bird, & birds of prey), animals improperly cleaned and/or with a foul odor, or animals with tusks, horns or hooves.

United Airlines

United will accept service animals (cats, dogs and miniature horses only) in the cabin at no charge. No documentation is required; however, notice should be given as employees can provide any equipment you may need.

Emotional support animals must be over 4 months of age to be eligible to fly as an emotional support animal.  Cats and dogs are acceptable; however, other animals will be considered on a case by case basis. Owners of emotional support animals must submit documentation from a licensed medical/mental health professional, a Passenger Confirmation of Liability and Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Behavior and a veterinary health form completed by a licensed veterinarian at least 48 hours of travel. These forms must be submitted to the United Airlines Accessibility Desk by email ( including first departure date and the flight confirmation (a six-character alphanumeric code) in the subject line. Pet owners must retain the original forms in their possession while traveling and be prepared to present them to airline representatives if requested. United will be contacting your mental health care professional to validate the documentation.

American Airlines

Service animals are accepted on American Airlines flights at no charge.

After July 1, 2018, American Airlines will require that owners of emotional support animals must provide their Special Assistance Desk with a Mental Health Professional Form, Behavior Guideline Form, and an Animal Sanitation Form (only required if your flight is scheduled to be over 8 hours) at least 48 hours before their flight. All documentation will be verified.

Effective April 1, 2019, American Airlines will only allow only one service or emotional support dog or cat per passenger. They will allow miniature horses in addition to dogs and cats as service animals. All service and emotional support animals must be a minimum of 4 months of age and fully vaccinated for rabies.

The following animals and birds will not be accepted as service or emotional support animals on American Airlines’ flights: amphibians, ferrets, goats, hedgehogs, insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, & birds of prey), animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals) or any animal that is dirty or has an odor.

Air France

Guide (service) dogs are accepted as long as they are clearly marked and remain leashed. Notification 48 hours in advance is required.

Air France will require that owners of emotional support animals provide notification at least 48 hours in advance by providing a medical certificate that is less than a year old. This certificate must be provided by a mental health specialist and attest that you have regular check-ups and need to be with your dog at all times. Air France will not accept dog breeds known as dangerous as service or emotional support dogs.


Service dogs (guide dogs, hearing dogs, diabetic alert dogs, seizure alert dogs) can fly in the cabin with their handlers on all flights that Lufthansa operates.  For flights outside of the United States, a training certificate from a recognized training institute should be submitted in advance to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre via email or the Lufthansa Service Center. You will receive notice of approval from Lufthansa. 

Lufthansa will only recognize emotional support dogs and only on flights to or from the United States. That means that, if you have a layover in a country other than the United States on your itinerary, your dog must fly the leg that does not involve the United States in a carrier in the cabin or in the cargo hold as checked baggage for a fee.

Within 48 hours of flight departure, your service or emotional support dog must be registered with the centers referenced above and a medical certificate issued by a licensed physician confirming the need for you to be accompanied by an emotional support dog must be presented. You will receive notification of approval from Lufthansa. Two copies of this form must be presented at check-in.

Air Canada

All service dogs must be accompanied with an identification or card or other written document and be clearly identified. Notification must be provided a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure.

Emotional support dogs are recognized on flights to or from the United States and also flights with an Air-Canada operated flight through a US-based airline. Documentation for emotional support dogs must be provided to Air Canada reservations a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure and must include an original letter dated within the past year on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Your professional’s license information must also be provided.

British Airways

All service dogs must have been trained to assist a disabled person and certified by an organization that is a member of Assistance Dogs International or International Guide Dog Federation. Notification should be provided at least 7 days in advance. British Airways does not recognize emotional support animals.


Emirates will transport guide dogs for the blind in the cabin free of charge. Forty eight hour notice must be provided when traveling with a guide dog. Emotional support animals are not recognized.


Beginning July 1, 2018, required documentation for emotional support animals must be provided to JetBlue at least 48 hours prior to departure. This documentation will include: Medical/Mental Health Professional form issued and signed by a medical or mental health professional, Veterinary Health form completed and signed by your veterinarian and
Customer Confirmation of Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Behavior form completed by the pet owner.

Only one cat, dog or miniature horse is permitted per passenger.

Southwest Airlines emotional support policy

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines will accept both service and emotional support animals in the cabin at no charge on domestic and international flights.

Dogs, cats and miniature horses who are trained to assist passengers with physical disability as well as dogs and cats who are trained to assist with mental disabilities are the only animals that will be accepted. As of September 17, 2018, other animals cannot be classified as either service or emotional support animals.

Passengers are encouraged to notify Southwest Airlines that they are flying with a service or emotional support animal. Owners should be prepared to produce evidence of their animal’s training when asked. ID cards and registry forms will not be accepted.

Emotional Support Animals Spirit AirlinesSpirit Airlines

Both service and emotional support animals are accepted on Spirit Airlines flights at no charge.

Owners of service animals may/will be asked about the service that the animal provides.

All service and emotional support animals must display good behavior. They must fly at their owner’s feet or, in the case of emotional support animals, in their lap as long as they do not interfere with cabin operations. If the animal is larger, the passenger may purchase an extra seat to accommodate for their pet’s size.

Owners of emotional support animals must have 3 forms completed and filed electronically a minimum of 48 hours ahead of departure for every flight taken on Spirit Airlines. More details on Spirit Airlines service and emotional support animals.

The following animals are not accepted as emotional support animals: snakes or other reptiles, ferrets, sugar gliders or spiders.

Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant will permit services in the cabin free of charge if they provide identification cards, tags, or other written documentation; harnesses or markings on harnesses or the credible verbal assurances of the individual with a disability using the animal.

Within 48 hours of initial departure, the following documentation must be provided for emotional support animals: letter from a mental health professional (e.g., a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or other medical doctor on their letterhead specifically treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability). The letter must state that the passenger has a mental or emotional health-related disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM IV), that having the animal accompany the passenger is necessary to the passenger’s mental health or treatment or to assist the passenger with his or her disability during the flight or at the passenger’s destination.

The letter must also state that the individual providing the assessment of the passenger is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care. Information regarding the licensing of the mental health professional and the state in which the professional is licensed is required.

Swiss Airlines

Swiss Airlines will only permit emotional support animals on flights originating or terminating in the United States. For flights outside of the United States, ESAs may fly in-cabin if size permits or in the cargo hold at standard charges.

TAP Portugal

TAP Portugal Airlines

TAP Portugal Airlines accepts guide and emotional support dogs flying in the cabin with their owners at no charge. In either case, notification must be provided to TAP Portugal’s Service Center.

Guide dogs must be properly identified as service animals and with documented evidence that they have been officially trained and certified.

On flights to and from the United States, emotional assistance dogs weighing more than 8kg are accepted in the cabin. The maximum recommended weight and size is 40kg and 62cm in height (from the ground to the withers).

For flights outside of the United States, all emotional assistance dogs must fly in airline-compliant pet carriers and must not weigh more than 8 kg (17 lbs) including the weight of carrier. The carrier dimensions may not exceed 40 cm in length, 33 cm width and 17 cm height. (15 in x 12 in x 6 in) Soft-sided carriers are recommended to meet height requirements.

Owners of emotional assistance dogs must email this form to:
or fax to (+351) 218 ​​416 540.



KLM will allow both guide and emotional support dogs to fly in the cabin at no charge. Other animals will be considered upon request; however, reptiles, livestock and insects will not be permitted. All animals must be leashed and guide dogs should be wear a harness or vest.

Owners of guide dogs need to submit this form to KLM prior to departure and bring original document with them.All guide and emotional support dogs must be presented at the check-in desk on the day of travel.

Owners of emotional support dogs must submit this form to KLM at least 48 hours prior to departure. A signed declaration from your physician or medical professional is required. The declaration should state that the passenger has a mental health-related disability listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV); that having the dog accompany the passenger is necessary to the passenger’s mental health or treatment, that the individual providing the assessment of the passenger is a recognized mental health care provider and the passenger is under his or her professional care, and the date and type of the health care provider’s registration and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.

KLM Cares can be contacted via phone, Whatsapp or other social media outlets for pre-travel notification.

Singapore Airlines service and emotional support policySingapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines will allow service and emotional support dogs to fly in the cabin at no charge on all flights where destination countries will allow pets to enter in the cabin. Dogs must fly at your feet without affecting cabin operations. Muzzles and leashes are not required but should be available.

All service dogs should be marked with a vest or harness or other items such as an identification card identifying it as a service dog.

If your dog is an emotional support animal, you must carry documentation on the letterhead of a licensed medical professional dated within the past year supporting the need for your ESA.

No dogs included in Singapore Airlines’ banned breed list (see step #6) will be accepted as service or emotional support animals.

Owners of service and emotional support animals should contact Singapore Airlines at least 2 weeks prior to departure.



Aeroflot will permit guide dogs assisting physically disabled passengers to fly in the cabin at no charge. The passenger must present a proof of disability and a document certifying the dog’s training. If the working dog is a member of the Federal Executive Authority Canine Service, the passenger accompanying the dog must present a document certifying the special training of the working dog as well as a document proving that the passenger transporting the working dog is an employee of the Federal Executive Authority Canine Service.

Emotional support animals are not recognized.

Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines will accept your service and emotional support animal without charge.

Passengers should inform the customer service representative when arriving at the airport that they are flying with a service animal. Service animals must fly at their handler’s feet and behave appropriately. Dogs, cats and miniature horses are accepted as service animals.

Owners of emotional support animals must submit 3 forms to Alaska Airlines at least 48 hours before travel: Animal Health Advisory Form, Mental Health Form and Animal Behavior Form.

Emotional support animals must be leashed or travel in an airline-compliant pet carrier, behave properly, be contained to the owner’s seat and not interfere with the adjacent passenger. Dogs and cats are accepted as emotional support animals. One animal per passenger.

Only service dogs and only cats and dogs can be transported as service or emotional support animals to Hawaii.

The following animals are not accepted as emotional support animals: Amphibians,Hedgehogs, Ferrets, Goats, Insects, Reptiles, Rodents, Snakes, Spiders, Sugar gliders, Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, and birds of prey), Animals improperly cleaned and/or foul odor, Animals with tusks, horns, or hooves (except miniature horses that are trained to behave appropriately), any unusual or exotic animals.

Service animals being delivered to their new owner are accepted at no charge on domestic flights within the United States. Documentation must be available that training was successfully completed and they must be traveling with their trainer.

Frontier Airlines LogoFrontier

Service animals are welcome to fly on Frontier Airlines flights without charge. The only animals that will be accepted as emotional support animals are dogs and cats. One ESA is permitted per passenger. Most behave appropriately around other animals and passengers and be under control of owner at all times. A Medical/Mental Health Professional Form and an Animal Behavior Acknowledgment Form must be completed and uploaded here more than 48 hours of travel. Owners should carry copies of submitted documentation with them.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines will fly both service and emotional support animals free of charge.

Service dogs must be marked as such and have proof of training and certification. 

ESAs are only accepted on flights to or from Istanbul and the United States. All ESAs that will be connecting to other flights in IST must have pet carriers or crates when boarding the initial flight and will be subject to fees imposed on other animals on flights which do not terminate or originate in the United States.

A minimum of 48 hours prior to departure, owners of ESAs must submit official documentation in English (or translated to English) on a letterhead of a licensed mental health professional who is treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability. The document must be dated within one year from departure of the initial flight. This document shall state that the passenger has a DSM 4 or DSM 5 disability according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, why the passenger needs the ESA and that the passenger is under the care of a licensed medical professional. The license number and State where the license is issued must also be included.

In the case of either a service dog or an ESA, all dogs must be leashed and fly at their owner’s feet. No pets are allowed to fly on a seat. A muzzle must be available should any aggressiveness be displayed. On flights over 8 hours, owners must be able to provide written instructions regarding how they have prepared for their dog to relieve itself.  Owners also are responsible for any damage caused to the aircraft by their service animal. 

All rabies vaccination certificates and documentation from exporting and importing countries must be available at check-in.

Vueling Airlnes LogoVueling Airlines

Vueling Airlines only recognizes assistance animals trained to serve special needs. Certification of training must be provided to staff at check-in. Dogs must be at least 3 months old. Dogs must have proof of rabies vaccination no sooner than 3 months of age and more than 30 days prior to travel.

If your airline is not listed above, you can contact us at with any questions.


The Best Dog Friendly City in the UK: Brighton Rocks!

Brighton Rocks! The Best Dog Friendly City In the United Kingdom

Best Dog Friendly City - BrightonA study completed in 2017 by National Pet Owners indicates that there are 85 million homes in the United States where a pet is a family member. This is an increase of 56% since the survey was first conducted in 1988. By far, the most popular of pets are dogs with 60.2 million and followed by cats who make up 47.1 million of the US pet population.

Precise figures for the number of owners taking pets on vacation are not available; but a survey conducted by TripAdvisor found that 53% of those surveyed travel with their pets. The cost of boarding, and the stress for both animal and owner from being apart for several weeks, means there are more pets being taken on vacationwith their families.

If you are looking to travel abroad with your four-legged friend, and you are considering the United Kingdom, then look no further than Brighton for your vacation. It is a great location in the south-east of England and has been voted the top dog friendly city a number of times. It is worthwhile planning your trip well in advance as there are a number of important things to do before you fly with your dog.

Things to consider before travel
Just one hour away from world famous London, one of the top ten cities globally, Brighton is smaller and quieter, and the perfect destination for dog lovers. One of the things that makes Brighton an attractive place to consider is that it is much easier to bring pets to the UK, with no extensive quarantine restrictions to overcome. Preparation is the key and you should allow at least four months prior to your vacation if you are entering from a high-rabies country.

You will be required to ensure your dog, cat or ferret has been microchipped, had a rabies vaccination and a blood test to prove vaccination has been successful (high-rabies countries only); a completed EU Health Certificate or EU Pet Passport (EU resident dogs) that must be completed by your vet; and, tapeworm treatment for dogs that must be completed between one and five days before entering the UK by a licensed veterinarian. It is also advisable to check that your carrier is airline-compliant as your dog must enter the UK as air cargo if it is flying.

Dog friendly accommodations in Brighton
There are many splendid places to take your dog on holiday in the UK such as the Lake District and the Cotswolds, with wide open spaces and plenty of walking routes. Brighton has been consistently voted as one of the top cities in the UK to take your pet. Why?
Because there is an abundance of accommodations that welcome both pet owners and their dogs in Brighton. And, with such an enormous selection of places to stay on vacation, the choices are wide and varied with something for everyone. From the Tudor/Gothic Hotel du Vin & Bistro nestled in Brighton’s oldest part of town and just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque promenade; to the Victorian five star The Grand Brighton with its prime sea view location and interior splendor this makes a fine place to vacation with your pooch.

Spending quality time with your dog
What attracts many dog lovers to Brighton is the access to the wonderful beaches. There is nothing quite like fresh salty sea air to revitalise and refresh mind and body. And nothing better than doing this with your four-legged friend.

Dogs are allowed on the main Brighton beach from October through to April. During the summer months there are restrictions but there are lots of other beaches available like the West Marina Wall and Rottingdean slope are summertime dog-friendly, as are the beaches between the west of the Brighton Marina and up to Volks Railway Aquarium station, the beach opposite Holland Road, the beach to the west of the King Alfred Park and the beach opposite Berridale/Welback.

And for solo travelers, Brighton also boasts the most dog meetup groups than any other city in the UK so socializing with other dog walkers could not be easier.

Spending your valuable vacation time with your dog can be rewarding for you both. Travel beyond the United States can be daunting; but as long as it planned well, this should not present a barrier. If England is your preferred destination then Brighton offers the perfection location with a huge number of places to eat and sleep, and where both you and your dog will be warmly welcomed.

Jane Sandwood is a freelance writer and editor who spent over a decade in the tourism industry.

Dog Travel: Seven Things You Can Do With Your Dog In Switzerland

It’s exciting to travel around the world on your own, with your family, or with your friends, but one other companion makes the journey a little bit more precious: your dog.

In many countries, bringing dogs along can be a challenge. The “No Pets Allowed” can often be seen. And on the few occasions that paws are allowed through the door, people around you often may not be comfortable seeing pets in shops or restaurants.

Not in Switzerland! Europe, in general, is generally a very dog-friendly place. You’ll find dogs walking alongside you on busy streets or taking a nap under the shade of an outdoor café. And, in Switzerland, you can take in all the wonders nature can offer and have your dog be right there with you.

So if you’re ready to go on a Swiss adventure with your precious pooch, here are seven things you can do with your dogs in Switzerland:

1. Be one with nature

Going on a hike or a bike ride is probably one of the main reasons for traveling to Switzerland. If your dog is as fit as you are, you are more than welcome to bring them on hiking trails and jogging paths. Personally, I have seen and taken dogs all over the alps, and they love it!

In general, dogs need to be leashed when on trails. If you already know where you’re traveling to, look up the relevant regulations. Different cantons have different rules about pets. The Canton of Schwyz is the only canton in Switzerland with a leash law in all public places, including hiking trails. Other cantons tend to be more lenient. However, in general, as long as you don’t disturb anyone, you will be good to go. Either way though, if you are in an area where you see “Robidog” boxes (green boxes on a stand) it means you are expected to pick up and dispose of your dog’s droppings.

2. Have a dog-gone blast at the park

You don’t have to head to the Alps to breathe in fresh Swiss air. There are many dog parks in several cities for you to visit. Once again, different dog parks have different laws. In general, be prepared to leash your dogs. Some parks require the leash during breeding season, while some fenced dog parks don’t require it at all. Obviously, you are also expected to clean up after your dog.

Not all public parks allow dogs, either. Watch out for the signs so you don’t end up with a heavy fine. The Swiss do love their rules! Some great places to spend an afternoon with your dog are Parc Bertrand or Genthod in Geneva, Horburgpark in Basel, or the Allmend Brunau (technically not a dog park, but great place for all sorts of furry playmates) in Zurich.

3. City-hop with your dog

Public transportation in Switzerland is very dog friendly and a great way to travel with your dog. Small dogs in carriers can usually take a ride for free. Big dogs are issued a half-price ticket. If you can’t handle all the walking through the maze of streets in any city, then don’t hesitate to hop on the bus, train, tram, and even ferry. You can even get day cards or travelcards for your dogs to make hopping on and off public transport much more convenient. That doesn’t happen in most countries, right?

4. Take the Fondue Tram in Zurich

Take all the things that you love and enjoy all of it in one go: travel, food, and playtime with your pooch. The Fondue Tram in Zurich celebrates what Switzerland does best – cheese. The tram takes you on a tour around the most popular sights in Zurich while you enjoy a meal with fondue and drinks. The best part? Your dog is more than welcome to join you with a half-price ticket.

And even if fondue or trams are not your thing, many restaurants are happy to have your dog, as long as it behaves. Especially in summer, when you can sit outside freely on the terraces Europe is renowned for. Of course, some restaurants are dog-friendlier than others, but it pays to just ask and more often than not you will get a friendly nod.

5. Take your dog shopping

Shopping in Switzerland is a must, whether you’re actually out to buy something or just happily browsing dazzling displays. Switzerland is known for very posh shopping streets like the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, Rue du Rhone, or Place de la Rippone in Geneva. You can also find a lot of quaint boutique shops with unique Swiss finds.

Window-shop to your heart’s content with your dog on a leash. Most stores are very dog-friendly, except for those that sell food, of course. When a shop does not allow pets inside, there will most likely be a post for you to tie your dog while you browse through the store. The Swiss are very thoughtful that way.

6. Immerse in Swiss Culture and History

Every city in Switzerland has its own version of Old Town. Here, perfectly preserved structures and architecture tell the story of how the city began. This kind of travel can be a little tricky when you’re bringing your dog along. As a general rule, dogs are not allowed in museums and some cathedrals where valuable items and treasures are carefully preserved. Some castles may also restrict the entry of dogs.

So, where can you go with your dog?

It won’t be that hard to bring your dog around the city. Just be ready with a leash or a carrier. Check out the Luzern Musegg Wall for a taste of history and architecture with your dog. If you want something closer to nature, you can visit Bern Bear Park and introduce your dogs to a new kind of furry friend.

7. Enjoy a classy hotel together

After a long day of adventure and exploring, the best thing to do is snuggle up in comfortable sheets in a warm room in Switzerland. Not all hotels allow pets in the room, but it won’t take you too long to find the perfect, and dog-friendly Swiss hotel for you and your dog. Sometimes, they even go out of their way to make your dogs feel just as welcome as you do.

Now that you have an almost endless list of options for traveling with your dog in Switzerland, all that is left to do is book the trip, right? Note: One last tip. Just keep in mind, that there are always rules for entering Switzerland with a dog. But, when traveling with your dog to Switzerland from the United States and Canada, it is simply a microchip, rabies vaccination and endorsed EU Health Certificate.

Roger Timbrook is a keen traveler, lover of dogs and the outdoors. Originally from Australia, he is now living in Switzerland where he spends most of his time enjoying the amazing Swiss Alps. You can find him on his blog or on Twitter.

Pet Travel: Pet Friendly Cabin in the Woods – You, Your Dog and the Wonder of Nature

10 Things to Keep in Mind When Vacationing in a Pet Friendly Cabin With Your Dog

Tired of the hustle and bustle of the world in which we all live? Want to take a break and go where silence is king and the wonders of nature surround you and your dog?

A pet friendly cabin is an ideal place to travel with your dog. There’s plenty of room to run and play, and you don’t have to leave them at home – your best friend misses you more than you know when you leave. Depending on the personality of your dog, this can result in fears of abandonment and lead to destructive behavior. Besides, what would be more fun for you both than an experience walking through the woods?

When staying a cabin with your best furry friend, make their stay just as enjoyable as yours. Keep these ten things in mind when traveling with your dog to ensure their safety, comfort and pleasure while still respecting your accommodations:

Before You Travel to Your Pet Friendly Cabin

1. Don’t Forget Water and Food Bowls as well as Your Pet’s Food

As you pack, it’s easy to forget simple but important things your dog will need. Start with packing their water and food bowls and also an ample supply of their food. Portable pet bowls are best because you can carry them with you on your hikes.

With these items, include a mat with a sticky bottom to secure the bowls from sliding and spilling. Just as it does at home, this will prevent stains and tripping hazards in the cabin.

2. Bring Inside and Outside Toys

While on vacation, your dog will have plenty to do, so they won’t need toys, right? Like at home, your dog can get bored or will need to be occupied during times of rest. Their toys from home will be comforting to them while in a strange environment. Why not bring things for them to fetch to give them extra exercise?

Toys appropriate for inside and outside play are necessary for your packing list: Frisbees, balls and dirty ropes are perfect for outside. Rubber chickens, chews and non-squeaky toys are best for inside play.

3. Consider the Climate

Will it be hot or cold? Will your dog be able to handle the prevailing temperatures? Make the transition easier on your pet by supplying additional water, pet sweaters and blankets. Oh, and bring plenty of pet towels to dry them when they jump in the creek!

4. Prep for Sleep Conditions

Your pet will be sleeping in a completely different environment, and it’s important to make them as comfortable as possible. Bring the bed they use at home if at all possible or consider a pet travel bed.

Will your dog sleep in their typical room, even if the environment is different, or will they need to sleep by your bed? Your cabin may not allow your dog to sleep in the bed with you.

5. Bring Medications

Does your dog require important medications? Do not forget those vital prescriptions, and it may be necessary to have your veterinarian order additional medicine in case. Bring your veterinarian’s contact information with you and know where the nearest veterinary hospital is in case of emergencies.

Dogs can develop allergies during the winter, so be prepared for this when shifting from a hot to a cold environment. Your dog may get sniffly or have itchy skin just like you do when the seasons abruptly shift.

6. Prepare a Pet First-Aid Kit

Your pet needs a first-aid kit, too. You’ll need tick and flea medicine, and here are a few other recommendations similar to what goes into a human first-aid kit:

  • tweezers
  • scissors with a blunt end
  • cotton balls and swabs
  • ice pack
  • adhesive tape
  • absorbent gauze
  • antiseptic wipes
  • rectal thermometer with petroleum jelly

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting, if your dog eats something they shouldn’t. Ask your veterinarian first! Your veterinarian can also recommend a good pet-first aid kit if you prefer to buy one.

Once You Get To Your Pet Friendly Cabin

7. In Case of Weather-Induced Anxiety

One of the most prominent and understandable triggers for pet anxiety is volatile weather. Research weather conditions before you head to the cabin.

In the case of a severe storm, calming methods will help ground your pet. Simply sitting with your dog usually calms them, and you can try to distract your pet with their favorite toy. Just as you might use swaddling to help a baby fall asleep, thunderstorm sweaters are also made for dogs. A trainer may be able to help by recommending playing low recordings of storms on a regular but short-term basis to overcome their fear or develop a healthy coping mechanism. All natural pet calmers can also help take the edge off any anxiety that your pup may feel.

8. Respect Leash and Sanitary Disposal Laws

Before you leave, research leash laws in the area you’ll be visiting. If hiking on trails with your dog, must pets be leashed, or is it safe for them to run free? What about when you go into town? Best always to leash your dog when around other people in places not familiar to them, no matter how friendly they are with you and those people they know.

Observe leash laws and keep your dog happy, as many parks require the removal of renegade or noisy pets. Bring along sanitary bags to dispose of pet waste in an environmentally-friendly way when on a hike. Some parks have regulations for your pet’s bathroom breaks.

9. Make a Cabin Pet Space

An effective solution to keeping your pet comfortable and happy on your getaway is to make a cabin pet space. You can repurpose unused areas in the den to create a cozy sleeping spot by the fire, and use gates to give your dog designated roaming places. If your dog is pad-trained and appreciates privacy, place their potty place under the sink or in another out of the way place.

Try to place pet spaces in familiar areas, but with a little routine, your dog will get used to their new spaces. They’ll also feel more at home on the family vacation.

10. Establish a Vacation Routine with Your Dog

Establishing a vacation routine with your dog is one of the most helpful things you can do once you’re at the cabin. Simulate your daily routine with your dog while at the cabin as closely as possible to what you follow at home. For example, feed and walk your pet, get up in the morning and go to bed at night close to the times you do every day.

These ten tips will help your dog enjoy their stay and enhance the fun of your trip. No one wants to leave their furry best friend at home. Pack with your dog’s comfort and fun in mind, and it’ll be a memorable trip for all.

Here is one website that offers pet friendly cabins for destinations worldwide.

Kacey BradleyKacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations
and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, and more!

Pet Travel: Why Temperatures Matter

Protect your pet from low and high temperaturesSo, it’s time to travel with your pet. Whether your trip is planned or unexpected, why should you understand that temperatures matter? Simply put, extreme weather outside your door, at any place you stop along the way or at your destination, can put your pet at great risk when traveling, especially when flying.

How does a cat or dog regulate its body temperature in periods of high temperature? Our fur babies do not sweat through their skin as we do. Their coat helps protect them, keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can perspire through their ear canals and the pads of their feet, but they regulate their body temperature primarily through their respiratory system (panting). Excessive panting promotes dehydration, and that is why having water available to them when traveling is important.

How about low temperatures? If dogs and cats are exposed to low temperatures for long periods of time, body temperatures can drop and hypothermia can develop. As time passes, their body’s ability to bring itself back to normal temperatures diminishes. Depression of the circulatory, central nervous, respiratory and the immune systems commonly develop. It all leads to difficulty breathing, which is never good for any of our four-legged friends.

Every animal is different in how they handle changes in temperature. The size, age, breed, type of coat and health all play a part in protecting your cat or dog from variations in body temperature. Snub-nosed breeds are particularly at risk due to their inability to breathe efficiently.

Obviously, dogs and cats that have thick undercoats like Huskies, Samoyeds, Malamutes, Persians, and Maine Coon Cats, for example, are better protected in periods of cold weather while Chihuahuas, Sphynx cats and other small, short-haired breeds are more susceptible to cold temperatures. Makes sense, right? Does it work the other way around? Not necessarily. It depends on your pet’s normal environment and what temperatures they are accustomed to.

If your dog or cat is traveling from a warm climate to a cold climate, it is important to offer protection to them until they can become accustomed to lower temperatures. One way to help is with a self warming pad. This nifty pad can be used in a crate, carrier, cage or a car and will hold your pet’s natural body heat to be reabsorbed back into its body helping to keep it warm. Don’t forget sweaters for short-haired dogs and cats in low temperatures.

Let’s first consider ground travel as it is a less stressful way to travel with a pet. Obviously, if you are traveling in a car, conditions will be stable for your dog or cat because you will have control over temperatures in your car; that is, as long as you are in it. If you leave your pets in your car unaccompanied, know that temperatures can rise or fall very quickly in summer and winter, even if you leave the window open a bit. Takes only a few minutes to become risky for them, especially in periods of higher temperatures.

Remember, too, that our friends need pit stops when traveling and protecting their pads is important in both summer when asphalt is hot and winter when sidewalks are icy and snow is on the ground. Dry their pads well, removing any snow or ice that is caught in their pads. (Cats will especially love this.)

If your dog or cat is flying in an airline cargo hold, temperatures really matter.

When flying in the hold, the time when your dog or cat is most at risk is not after take off at 30,000 feet but on the ground during periods of holding, loading and taxiing. Most cargo areas are not heated or air conditioned efficiently and it can get mighty cold or hot waiting for hours before loading. (United Airlines offers climate-controlled holding areas.) Live animals are generally the last thing loaded, so they wait on the baggage carrier or the tarmac until it is their turn. Also, if the airport is busy and there is a wait to take off, tarmac temperatures can affect the cargo hold until the aircraft’s heating or cooling systems kick in. (like conditions in the cabin)

If you are flying your dog or cat in the cargo hold, your airline will not accept live animals when temperatures on the tarmac fall below 45°F (7°C) or higher than 85°F (29°C) anywhere on your route (origination, layover or destination). Some airlines may accept an acclimate certificate issued by your veterinarian if your pet lives in a cold climate and is a breed that is accustomed to lower temperatures. No such certificate is available for higher temperatures and rightly so. Like a hot car, periods of high temperatures are extremely risky, even to healthy pets.

OK, so what can we do, as responsible pet owners, to avoid extreme temperatures?

Travel in Spring or Fall
The best time for pets to travel is the Spring or Fall when temperatures are not extremely hot or cold, no matter how you choose to move your pet.

Travel During Non-Holiday Periods
Book your flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday when demands on the cargo hold are not as excessive. If driving, traffic will be lighter on these days. If you are traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas, go several days early before the rush and return during the week after the holiday.

Drive or Fly Directly
Unless you are traveling in an RV, get to your destination as soon as you can so you can introduce your pet to a stable environment. If flying, opt for a direct flight. It may be more expensive than a layover, but far less stressful for your pet. Never change airline companies along the way if at all possible.

Get Your Pet Acclimated to Travel
Lots of short trips in the car will help your dog or cat get used to leaving its environment and travel will become a bit less stressful.Get your pet a good restraint, whether a pet carrier or a booster seat. If flying, get a good pet crate and get your pet used to it as early as possible.

Life Happens – What to do?
Because, we do not always get the opportunity to plan our travels. Life brings sudden changes and all of us want our pets with us when it is time to go. If temperatures are high, then consider driving to an airport where temperatures are cooler if possible. Talk to your airline about holding and loading procedures.

If your destination is too hot or cold when you need to travel, you may need to leave your pet with friends or family until such time that it is safe for them to travel. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but safety is first and to lose a pet is surely a tragedy. Better to fly your best friend alone or go get them later when temperatures are more tolerable.

Find more information on traveling with your pet.


Six Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving with your Dog and Cat

Safe Thanksgiving with your dog and catThanksgiving is a wonderful time, invoking thoughts of home-cooked turkey and all the trimmings, sharing love and laughter with family and friends, as well as toasting the start of the holiday season. Diets will wait when tables of turkey and ham, gravy, mashed and sweet potatoes, rolls, vegetables and, of course, pumpkin pie are served. Food for everyone? Hold on.

Here are six tips for a safe Thanksgiving with your dog and cat.

Holiday decorations
When you decorate, think of how a child could hurt themselves if they can get a hold of your holiday decorations. (Pets are our children, after all, right?.) Decorations can be attractive to a dog and especially a cat. Be sure that they are out of reach or, if you have a cat who is comfortable with heights, make sure that decorations cannot be knocked off a shelf. Be careful with candles and consider battery operated candles if you have an inquisitive cat.

Identify your dog or cat
It is easy for your dog or cat to slip through the door when guests arrive. Be sure they have their collar on with an ID tag with their name and your phone number engraved on it. Better yet, make sure they have a microchip so you can be identified as the owner and be contacted if they are picked up. (be sure your information is registered in a microchip database).

Stick to the schedule
Keep to your dog or cat’s schedule on Thanksgiving day as much as possible. Take them for a long walk before guests arrive so they will get some exercise. Feed them at their normal time, even if they are a bit distracted by the activity around them. Not that it may make a difference, but feeding them before the big meal may cut down on begging.

Deal with kitchen confusion
Kitchens are popular places during Thanksgiving and wonderful smells quickly attract your furry friends. Take care to pick up any scraps that fall on the floor. Handle raw turkeys with great care and disinfect all counters, cutting boards and knives after contact. Take out the trash often and keep the lid securely closed. After dinner, make sure dishes are stacked where your dog or cat cannot reach them until they are rinsed or washed. Refrigerate leftovers as soon as you can.

Pets can get underfoot
Your guests may not be accustomed to pets being underfoot. Although your cat may hide, dogs, being social, will want to mingle with your guests. If your guests will be standing before dinner, or you have an overly enthusiastic pup, then consider keeping your them in another room, after introductions, until after your guests are seated at the dining room table.

Set the rules
The first people that your dog or cat will approach for food is your guests. Why? Because guests don’t know the rules of the house. If you normally feed your dog or cat while you are eating (bad habit), then prepare a plate of tid-bits (read on) so that everyone can share the feast with your pet. Otherwise, tell your guests not to feed your pets until after dinner is over.

What can your dog and cat eat on turkey day?

Your dog or cat can eat small bits of white turkey (no gravy, salt or pepper), cooked or raw white or sweet potato (remove some pieces from the pot before you whip them), macaroni and cheese, green beans, carrots, corn and a bit of baked bread. Small amounts of peanuts, almonds and cashews are also safe for your dog.

What foods to avoid sharing on turkey day?
Do not feed your dog or cat any alcohol, ham, pork, turkey bones, stuffing, gravy, onions, casseroles, marshmallows or any desserts as this can cause stomach upset. Who needs that on turkey day?

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with your dog and cat. For more tips on pet health and travel, go to