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A Guide to Travelling with your Pet Photo by Raymond Barlow via FlickrWe love our pets so much, and for many of us going on holiday without them has becomeunthinkable. Bringing them along does require a little extra planning. You need to make additionaltravel arrangements and ensure your destinations are pet friendly. This guide will offer some adviceabout how to ensure they are well looked after and can enjoy the holiday as much as you do.
Pet Passport – Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)Issued by your vet, this passport scheme was implemented to stop the spread of rabies and otherdiseases, but still allow easy travel with your pet between member countries. All animals susceptibleto rabies must go into quarantine for six months if they do not meet these requirements.Eligibility:Before leaving, you need to make sure that your pet has a: Microchip – logging your pet’s number can also reunite you with a pet that has become lost or run away Rabies Vaccination Blood Test Not been to a non-PETS country within the last six months. photo by anthonyatinterlink via flickrYou must also travel on a PETS approved sea, air, or rail route and update tick and tapewormtreatment before your vet will issue your pet passport.Pet Friendly DestinationsPlanning ahead and knowing which places are pet-friendly will make both of your lives much easier.Many hotels offer amenities specific to pets and pet owners, and it’s wise to check to see if yourhotel is pet friendly before booking – there are many resources online to make this easier.Beaches, gardens, parks and other attractions are often pet friendly, and doing proper research asyou plan your itinerary will help you include your pet in most of the activities. If you knowbeforehand that an attraction is not accessible, it’s much easier to arrange a dog-walker or othercaretaker while you’re away. Some dog friendly hotels and cottages have kennels onsite to facilitatethis.
Travelling by airSmaller animals can travel with you in the cabin on some airlines, provided the pet carrier is smallenough to be stowed under the seat. Larger animals must be checked in as baggage and stowed inthe cargo area. Airlines charge hefty fees for animals (sometimes as much as your own ticket), andits best to check availability when you book your own ticket to ensure you’re both on the sameflight. These are the PETS approved air routes and carriers in the EU.Travelling by rail and by seaPets are allowed on most trains in Europe, but are not allowed on some local routes or on theEurostar. Small dogs often travel free, and larger ones usually travel at half the second class fare.Some railways require dogs to be on a leash or in a carrying case. Many ferries limit where your dogor cat can go while on board, but they usually have some kind of pet area on the vehicle deck. Theseare the PETS approved routes by sea and rail in the EU. You will often be required to be travellingwith a vehicle as part of your PETS Passport. Carrying container Your pet’s carrying container should be well ventilated and roomy enough for the animal to move around. Familiarize them with the container before the trip and put a favourite toy or cushion in there with them to help them settle. Feed your pet a light meal a couple of hours before putting them in the container and make sure to stock it with adequate food and water for the trip.Car RentalDollar, Enterprise, and Thrifty do not allow pets to ride in their rental cars with the exception ofassistance dogs. Other rental companies do accept dogs, but charge additional fees. If you’rerenting a car, any damage your pet causes by chewing or scratching will not be covered by yourtemporary car insurance, and companies will bill you to repair damage and clean up any accidents orpet hair.
Canine seat beltsAs much as your dog may love to have their head out the window, thisis not allowed on some roads. This is to limit the distraction to thedriver, but also because it is safer for the animal in the event of anaccident. Many places require pets to be restrained by either a specialseat belt harness or chair, or to ride in a carrying case. photo by mockstar via flickrLeaving your pet alone in your carAs responsible owners we need to plan ahead, because there are consequences to leaving an animalin your car, even if it’s for only a short time.On a warm day, a dog can suffer heat stroke in as little as twenty minutes; the car acts like an oven,greatly amplifying the temperature outside. A dog can only handle a temperature of 107° for a shortwhile before it starts to cause damage, and on a 73° day, the inside of a parked car can heat up to107° in as little as twenty minutes.It’s inevitable that there will be times that you’ll need to leave your pet in the car for at least a shorttime, but you’ll have to take steps to help keep your pet cool Park in the shade Leaving windows open for ventilation Leave them water to drink Let them out of the car to relieve themselves before leavingThis will only provide temporary relief; a dog can still overheat in as little as twenty minutes evenwhen you have done these things. Therefore, you should try to keep your absences as brief aspossible, and avoid errands that could potentially drag out and cause your dog to be left alone.If you suspect a dog may have heatstroke, you should slowly try to rehydrate them and cool themwith a wet cloth and have them checked by a vet. The symptoms to watch for are restlessness,excessive thirst, heavy panting, tiredness, poor appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever,vomiting, or lack of coordination.Returning homeIf your paper work is in order, your pet should be allowed back in to the UK without having toendure a quarantine period. Consult your vet for advice before you leave.