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

Why You Should Never Leave Your Dog or Cat in a Disaster

Do not leave your pet in a natural disasterAdopting or buying a dog or cat is a bit like adopting a child. They will give you unconditional love and loyalty; they will be an important part of your family, and they will provide true companionship to you and your family.

Yet pet owners should not forget that dogs and cats need to be fed, loved, disciplined and protected. They will depend on you to keep them safe for their lifetime, especially in uncertain times.

Perhaps it is a drop in barometric pressure, but animals know when a change in weather is imminent.  They can feel your concern and see a change in your schedule. They can hear the noise of the wind as the speed and intensity increases.

On a personal note, despite being 2 blocks from an evacuation zone, we decided not to evacuate as our home is hardened for storms and we did not want to remove our dogs from their home. For 18 hours, our dogs lay on our feet and looked at us with worried faces while the wild winds and rain of Hurricane Irma pelted our windows. It was difficult to comfort them despite all the attention that we showed them.

They could not understand what was going on and were visibly disturbed. If we went to the next room, they went to the next room right on our heels. They followed us to the bathroom, to the kitchen and to the bedroom all day and night. When we snuck them outside between weather bands for a bathroom break, they strained on their leashes with wild eyes wondering where they should run. (We did have them on leashes.)

We got through the storm together and, we would not have done it any other way.

It is very important that pet owners must have a plan to deal with disasters such as hurricanes, floods or fires, and this plan must include their pet. You should never leave your dog or cat alone in times of disasters.

What can you do to prepare should you need to leave your home?

Call your local government and identify pet friendly shelters as they fill up quickly. Find pet friendly hotels in areas that are deemed safe and make reservations early.

Get a pet crate or pet carrier for your pet if they will be with you in a shelter as shelters require that your pet be contained during their stay. Be sure you have good pet pads to keep your pet dry and clean. You may also want to bring your pet to the hotel in a crate or carrier to keep it safe and secure.

Put a used t-shirt in your dog or cat’s crate so they will feel comfort with your scent.

Bring your pet’s leash and be sure your contact information is on a tag on your pet’s collar.

Bring at least 4-5 days supply of food and also a food and water bowl.

Bring all of your pet’s medication and a copy of your pet’s rabies certificate if it does not have a rabies tag.

Bring a chew toy or a few more of your pet’s toys to help keep it occupied.

Bring a spare towel for easy clean ups.

What to do if you need to evacuate and cannot take your pet?

Ask friends or relatives in areas not threatened by the crisis whether they can care for your pet during the disaster. Drive them if you can and relocate them well in advance.

If you elect to fly, your pet can accompany you, so make reservations early and make sure your pet is fit to fly with a visit to your vet for a health certificate.

The very last resort is to surrender your dog or cat to a shelter. Although it is hard to understand how a pet owner could choose this option, it is certainly better than abandoning them in an empty home or, worse yet, in the middle of a storm or fire. Just know that you are giving up your rights to your dog or cat. After surrendering, it will be put up for adoption.

There is no excuse for leaving your pet with no means to protect itself during disasters. Pet owners take on the responsibility to care for their dog or cat for its lifetime when they get their pet. If they cannot fulfill this commitment, they simply should not get a pet.  Period.

Traveling with Snub-Nosed Dogs or Cats

Snub-nosed pets need special care when travelingTraveling with a snub-nosed pet, whether in the car or in an airplane, can bring added risks that owners of these breeds should know about. These risks have brought on restrictions from many commercial airlines due to the number of snub-nosed dogs involved in incidents when flying in the cargo hold.

Which breeds are affected?

All snub-nosed or flat-faced breeds suffer with some degree of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). This is a condition that results from the foreshortening of the facial skeleton which is a mutation that is present in and required for the selective breeding of many dog breeds. The American Kennel Club identified the following breeds as being snub-nosed early on: Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Pugs, Griffon Bruxellois, Japanese Chin, Boston Terrier and Shih Tzu. Of these breeds, Pugs, French Bulldogs and Bulldogs have been found to be most at risk from BOAS.

As studies on breeds with BOAS have become prevalent, other breeds have been identified to be at more moderate risk such as the Affenpinscher, Chow Chow, Lhasa Apso, Shar Pei, Tibetan Spaniel, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Terrier and Pomeranian, and many commercial airlines have also banned them from the cargo hold.

Affected cat breeds are Persian, Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair, as well as Netherlands Dwarf and Lionhead rabbits.

Why do we love them?

Why are these breeds so attractive to pet owners? Perhaps the flattened face takes on more human-like appearance? The bulging eyes that some breeds exhibit are more expressive? The snores remind us of our sleeping habits? Whatever the reason, snub-nosed breeds are in high demand, especially the French Bulldog which just took the place of the Labrador and the most popular breed.

Why is traveling risky for snub-nosed breeds and their crosses?

Because the length of the muzzle is so short in snub-nosed breeds, soft tissue blocks the airways in the nose and throat impeding airflow in dogs or cats at a young age and progressively worsens as the pet ages. Additionally, the condition is aggravated when the dog or cat is exercising or under stress as is the case when traveling. Increased respiratory efforts can lead to a collapse of the airway which is why owners of these breeds must take great care when transporting them.

A snub-nosed dog or cat will have a muzzle length less than half of its cranial length. This measurement is defined as the length from the occipital protuberance (crown of the head) to the stop (base, not tip, of the nose).

Generally, this condition is commonly but not exclusively accompanied by a thicker neck girth, nasal fold, wide chest, extended elbows, snorting, snoring and sleep apnea.

Studies have found that obesity will increase the degree that these breeds will suffer from BOAS. This is why it is really important to keep your pup at its ideal weight if it is to travel.

Crosses of these breeds can be similarly affected. Remember, it is not necessarily whether your pet is a purebred member of these breeds; it is the length of the muzzle and the presence of other snub-nosed characteristics that count.

What can owners of these breeds do to travel safely with their snub-nosed dogs and cats?

Obviously, ground transport is much safer than air transport for these breeds. If this is not possible, then consider the Queen Mary 2 if you need to get to Europe. If flying is the only alternative, then in-cabin is much preferred to cargo transport. If your snub-nosed dog or cat is too large to fly in the cabin and must fly in the cargo hold, then avoid summer months at all cost as higher temperatures increase the amount of breathing that your dog or cat must do to keep cool.

Hydration is incredibly important and can’t be stressed enough. Whether your snub-nosed dog or cat is traveling by car or in the air, it must have adequate hydration available to it.

If you are driving, keep the air conditioning running and the windows up so that the air in the vehicle is cool. Stop often and make sure to offer your pet water every time you stop.

If you are flying with your pet in the cabin, be sure and get a bottle of water after passing security and use a bottle top or ask for a glass of ice from the flight attendant. Try offering it to your pet by extending your hand in the carrier being sure not to let your pet escape.

If your pet is flying as air cargo, get the largest water bowl you can find to attach to the crate door, fill it with water the night before you leave and freeze it. You can find large pet crate water bowls by clicking here. You can also consider training your dog or cat to use a water bottle as well. Confirm that your airline will check your pet’s water bowl during layovers.

Be sure and plan ahead when you travel with a snub-nosed pet. Acclimating it to its carrier or crate will cause less stress on travel day and make it easier for both of you to enjoy your trip.

You can find more information about snub-nosed pet studies here.

Traveling with Your Pet: Tips for Happy Vet Visits

happy vet visits before traveling with your petThe mere thought of traveling with your pet can cause people a great deal of stress. Conforming to rules and regulations involved in pet travel can be difficult. In fairness, it’s never going to be easy, but there are things you can do to make the whole experience a little less stressful for the two of you!

Before traveling with a dog or cat, it is a very good idea to take it to your veterinarian for a check-up, and it is mandatory before traveling internationally.

Here are several reasons why a vet visit before traveling with your pet is a good idea:

  • Your vet can check your pet for overall wellness.
  • Your vet can verify that your pet’s rabies and other vaccinations are current and issue a vaccination certificate..
  • Your vet can microchip your pet. This is very important for pet identification and is required to enter many foreign countries. Don’t forget to register your contact information in the chip manufacturer’s database.
  • Your vet can renew any prescriptions your pet may be taking so you can bring them along.
  • You can discuss any sedation your pet may need when traveling with your vet.
  • Your vet can complete a health certificate as required by many airlines and foreign countries.
  • Your vet can check and treat your pet for fleas and ticks.This treatment is required by many foreign countries.
  • Your vet can trim your pet’s nails.

Very few people like going to the doctor for a heath check-up. People even struggle in the days leading up a doctor’s appointment even though they know it’s for their own good. Now imagine how your dog feels when he’s being poked and prodded in a place full of unfamiliar smells and sounds. It’s hard for them to know what’s really happening and therefore, it can quickly become a very traumatic experience for them.

How to Make Visits to the Vet Easy

Making vet trips easier is really about removing elements of stress at every step of the process. It’s unlikely that you’re going to arrive at a stage when your dog loves going to the vet, but you may get them to reach a stage of acceptance – just like people do!

Give Them a Safe Place

When traveling with a dog or cat by car, you need to secure them to keep them safe. Whether it be a carrier, crate, booster seat or harness, restraining your pet not only protects them but also the driver and other passengers in the car. Getting your pet used to its restraint is so important in keeping it calm. Your pet will feel more secure in a carrier or crate if you take the time to acclimate it. Practice, practice, practice, and don’t forget to give lots of hugs, praise and treats during this process.

Plan Other Adventures

If the only time your pet gets in the car is to go to the vet, then it will be hard to convince them that this will be a great experience for them. It is good to remove your pet from its day-to-day routine occasionally and give them the stimulation of a new environment. Take them to a dog (or cat) friendly place – the beach, a park, a pet store or restaurant so they will not always associate a ride in the car as going to see the doctor. If nothing else, just take them for rides in the car and give lots of love and treats when you return home.

Practice Calmness

As we all know, dogs and cats are so good at picking up on emotional cues, and if they can see you’re stressed before you even leave the house, they’re going to pick up that something “bad” is about to happen. Try to remain calm and comforting as most dogs and cats already know that they’re leaving their territory once they are in the car. Try to act as if everything is fine! Speak to them consistently in soft tones as much as you can.

Try a False Alarm

You can also try to visit the vet first – without actually seeing the doctor! Give your pets a few minutes to become familiar with the waiting room and exam room, give them a few treats, and head on home. Hopefully, when they go back to familiar surroundings, they’ll remember the treats they received!

Avoid the Crowds

Another issue your dog may face is with all the other animals in the waiting room. Depending on your schedule, try to pick a time when the vet’s office is a little on the quieter side. Of course, this is not possible in emergencies, but it may be worth keeping in mind for more regular check-ups.

Make it a Happy Ending

Another tip is to combine your trip to the vet with another happy experience. After your vet visit, go to a pet store or dog park, visit a friend or relative or just take a long walk. Be consistent though – your pet will remember the previous experience and expect the reward at the end.

Using these simple tips can get you both through the stress involved in a vet visit before traveling with your pet. Stay positive and know that your support will help your pet get through the experience.

Contributor to this article is Greyhounds As Pets, a non-for-profit initiative for the adoption of greyhounds.

Information on traveling with a pet can be found at

Airline Cargo Pet Crates: Is Your Dog or Cat Crate IATA Compliant?

pet crateIf your dog or cat will be flying in the cargo hold of an airplane, then the pet crate it will travel in will be subject to International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations for the transport of live animals.

If you have a crate for your pet, here are the requirements that your airline will be looking for when you check in your pet.

Your crate must be a closed container made of fiberglass, metal, rigid plastic, solid wood or plywood. This article will address rigid, plastic pet crates only. The specs for wooden crates depend on the animal being transported.

You should select your crate according to your pet’s measurements. Your cat or dog must be able to stand up and turn around in the crate. More details on measuring your pet for its crate.

Your pet crate must be well constructed and able to withstand freight activities. Your dog or cat is most at risk during travel if your crate is damaged allowing your pet to escape.

pet crate cornersAll hardware required to secure both halves of the crate must be present and installed. Most crates come with sturdy plastic hardware. Many airlines will require that your pet’s crate be secured with metal hardware. Openings should be present on each corner of the crate allowing the door to be zip-tied closed.
The interior of your dog or cat crate must have no sharp edges or protrusions that could cause injury to your pet. Do not put any toys, chews or other items in the crate with your pet.

The floor of the crate must be clean, leak-proof and solid. Absorbent bedding such as a pet pad must be provided. Pet owners should be aware of restrictions imposed on their destination country – straw, litter or wood chips are not advisable. Wheels must be disabled or removed prior to check-in.

The sides must be solid with adequate openings over the upper two thirds of the crate measuring a minimum of 1″ (2.5 cm) for ventilation. Openings must be 4″ (10 cm) apart (center to center). There must also be ventilation holes on the fourth side if your dog or cat is traveling internationally.

pet crate forklift riser ridgeOn larger crates where the total weight exceeding 132 pounds (60 kg), then 2″ thick (5cm) forklift spacers running down the sides of the crate are required. Smaller crates should be equipped with handles or means for handlers to move the crate safely.

The roof of your pet crate must also be strong. Ventilation holes are permitted but not if they compromise the strength of the roof.

pet crate door hingesOne end of the crate must be fully open for a door which can be sliding or hinged. Thick, welded metal mesh must have openings that are nose and paw proof. This will mean openings in the mesh of no more than 3/4″ (19mm) for cats and 1″ (25mm) for dogs. The door can also be made of plastic if the hinges and locking pins are metal and there is no way your dog or cat can compromise the strength of the crate door. The door hinge and locking pins must be seated in the container a minimum of 5/8″ (1.6 cm) above and below the door opening.

Water/food bowls must be present and accessible to handlers to refill. Bowls that attach to the door of the crate are ideal for this purpose.

Crates must be labeled with Live Animal Stickers as well as a Shipper’s Declaration sticker with feeding and watering instructions.

See more information on CR 82 crates for dangerous dog breeds.

All crates and accessories mentioned here can be found at