If flying takes a toll on us humans, imagine how four-legged passengers must feel! I asked every doggie’s favorite diva, Wendy Diamond, to share her expert tips on flying with your pooch. Wendy is the founder of Animal Fair – the premier lifestyle magazine for animal lovers and pet owners. She and her famous Maltese, Lucky, have traveled the world raising money and awareness of animal rights. True to her name, not only was Lucky a rescue animal but she has cuddled with many of the world’s most famous people including President Bill Clinton and Sean Connery.
Here are a few travel tips from Wendy and Lucky. For more advice on everything from pet health to choosing the perfect pet, buy Wendy’s new book It’s a Dog’s World: The Savvy Guide to Four- Legged Living.
1. Fly the Pet-Friendly Skies! American Airlines and Sherpa have introduced the “Guaranteed on Board” program. Of course, Lucky is always guaranteed a spot on- my lap!” Continental Airlines is also one of the most pet friendly airlines. Check with your airline before you reserve anything – policies differ for each. Also, make advanced arrangements. Just like Noah’s Ark, only two animals per plane!
2. Check with your veterinarian before taking a long trip. Give your “doggie doctor” all of your necessary travel information, make sure your pet has had the proper vaccinations and make sure your pooch is able to travel. Some dogs may be too old, young, or just not ready, so it may be better for them to be with a dog-sitter.
3. Sedatives for your pet when flying are a red flag! Ask your veterinarian for the best way to calm them down! Sedatives + high altitude = danger! The last place you want your pup to get “sick as a dog” is an airplane! Also, bring necessary health documents, proof of vaccinations, etc.
4. Your pet needs proper ID! Make sure your name and contact information is on the collar, the crate and anywhere else. With all the travel commotion, you don’t want little Fido to end up thousands of miles away!
5. If your pet is traveling in a crate, make sure it feels comfortable and gets used to being inside. Fill it with your pet’s favorite blanket and toys so it feels more like home. Make sure your canine can lie down, sit, stand, rollover and fetch. Well, not the last one.
6. Check your hotel’s pet rules. For example during the holidays, Loews Hotels launched the Houndly Holidays Package. This real-life “Hotel for Dogs” treated four-legged companions like VIP’s, providing them with walking and sitting service, as well as food and toys.
7. Bring plenty of water, food and snacks, his or her favorite toys and blanket so they feel comfortable. Make your pooch feel like he or she never left their comfy dog house!