Do You Really Want to Take Your Pets Along?
Lots of you, I'm sure, enjoy your vacation more when have your longtime dog or cat companion along with you. But traveling with a pet can be dangerous to the pet's health -- a fact vividly demonstrated by last week's story about the death of seven puppies on an airline flight. Whenever anybody asks me for "tips" about how best to take pets along on a flying vacation, I say I have three: "Don't do it; Don't do it; and Don't do it."
Often, the only feasible way to take pets along on a flying trip is to ship them as baggage. They go into one of those plastic pet containers and travel in the hold of the plane, just as suitcases do. But unlike suitcases, dogs and cats are at significant risks traveling that way, mainly from heat:
-- Although baggage compartments are supposed to be climate controlled, the temperatures can sometimes rise to unhealthy levels if the plane is delayed on the tarmac for any reason.
-- If you (and your pets) have to change planes at a hub, the pet containers may unintentionally be left in overheated areas waiting for the connecting flight.
Most of the problem reports I've seen have been due to excessive heat, which can have the same effect as leaving a pet in a closed car parked in the hot sun. But presumably extreme cold could also be harmful or fatal. And, over the years, I've also heard reports of pets that got out of their containers and got lost or hurt running loose around the airport.
These risks are not trivial. You probably saw that those seven puppies died because of overheating and dehydration. And, in my experience, even in a relatively uneventful flight, the extreme noise, isolation, and confinement are extremely traumatic to even a healthy dog or cat.
My considered opinion is that, if at all possible, you forego the pleasure of your pet's company for the length of your trip -- the pet will benefit far more from the safety than you will suffer from separation. With all their problems, boarding kennels or pet-sitters are a far more humane solution.
If you really can't do anything else, my second suggestion is that you drive. Finding pet-friendly accommodations along the way is easy: Several online resources post such lists, including PetTravel (www.pettravel.com), Petswelcome (www.petswelcome.com), DogFriendly (www.dogfriendly.com),
Sometimes, however, you have no alternative to flying. If you're moving permanently from the mainland to
-- Ship your dog or cat on the one airline that actually specializes in pet transport.
-- If your dog or cat is small, some airlines allow you to take it in a container as cabin carry-on baggage. That's a good solution for cats, but it's limited to really small dogs. And fees range from
-- If you have no choice other than to have your pet travel as checked baggage, avoid connecting flights. Book on nonstops, even if it means traveling farther to/from your departure/arrival airports. At least that way your pet is not likely to sit around a baggage shed for hours between flights.
But prevention is the best guarantee of safety. Leave the pet at home and have a happy reunion when you return.
Recent Vacation Ideas & Travel Destinations
Taking the Kids to Boston
Time Traveling Back in History in Boston
- Stockholm's Island Getaways
- Shorter Vacations? Tighter Budgets? Welcome to the New 'Normal' in Travel
- Do You Really Want to Take Your Pets Along?
- Travel Taxes: Bad, Getting Worse
- What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway
- Rambling Through the Ruins of Europe's Castles
- Taking the Kids to NYC for the First Time
- Eco-Friendly Camping is About Putting Nature First
- Take a Magical History Tour
- Fall Travel Bargains Will Abound and Here's Where to Find Them
- If It's Called Secure Flight, Why Do I Feel So Insecure?
- Using Opaque Travel Web Sites Effectively
- Eldergadget: Creative or Condescending?
- Taking the Kids Aboard the Newest Megaship Epic
- 6 Tips for Taking a Summer 'Daycation'
- Ticket? Check. Bag? Check. Insurance? Pre-check
- Warning: Tour Operators Can Still Fail
- Go Camping and Bring the Kids
- On-the-road Rx: Family Vacation Safety Tips
- Communing with Nature in Austria's Hallstatt
- Barefoot in Venice Italy
- 5 Beach Safety Tips
- How Much Should We Tip These Days?
- Advance Baggage Shipment: Does it Make Any Sense
- Airline Passengers Get Chance to Be Heard on Proposed Regulations
- Best 'Value' Destination Cities
- One-Sided Cruise Contracts
- 4 Things You Should Take -- and Leave -- When You Travel
- Outwitting Hotels' Maximum Occupancy Rules
- Taking the Kids to Theme Parks This Summer
- Taking the Kids to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Another Kind of Travel Plastic
- Airline Tickets: How Much Will They Really Cost?
- Traveling Light: Healthy Eating for Business Junketeers
- Planning Family Summer Vacations on a Budget
- Taking the Kids To the Caribbean in Summer
- Taking the Kids To Lake Placid
- Lisbon: Portugal's Salty Capital
- Irish Soul Music
- More Than Ever Gulf Needs Tourists to Swim Against the Tide
- Airline Alliances: Benefit or Plague?
- Travelers Be Wary of 'Data Passing' Online
- Car Rental Craziness: 6 Odd Rules and How to Steer Clear of Them
- Flying to Europe? It Pays to Know EU 261
- Airport Shuttles: Update 2010
- When Finding the 'Best' Airport Matters
- Airline Round-up: Re-Bundling Satisfaction
- Biking in Europe: A Bridge Over Cultural Barriers
- Verona Italy: City of Romance
- Taking the Kids To California Wine Country
- Travel in Hurricane Season
- Beware Hidden Traps in Your Travel Contract
- Crazy Cruise: 7 Absurdities of the Sea
- Lost Luggage in London Phishing Travel Scam
- What You Can Do About New Hotel Lodging Fees
- Taking the Kids To Clean Beaches and Avoiding the Oil
- Airline Fees: The $7.8 Billion Question
- New Airline Bumping Rules Less Than What They Seem
- Air Travel: Disabled or Need Help?
- Have a Healthy Vacation
- France: Basking in France's Dordogne River Valley
- How to Rent a Car in Europe
- Avoiding Cruise Port Rip-offs
- Promotions and Features -- a Summer Grab Bag
- Where the Summer Discounts Are and Are Not
- World's 'Best' Airlines -- Do You Care?
- Taking the Kids To the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- TSA's Liquid Rules: So Long, 3-1-1?
- Rejected? Enjoy the Art, But Appeal
- Right Hotel, Wrong Room
- Vacation Rentals: 9 Things to Know
- Salzburg: An Austrian Symphony
- Taking the Kids To Cooking School
- Lessons Learned From Your Worst Travel Gaffes
- Help! My Refund is Missing in Action
- Confessions of a Frequent-Flier Program Skeptic
- Airlines Annoyances -- Can You Avoid Them?
- Frequent Flyer Payout -- Great to Lousy
- Taking the Kids to a Broadway Musical
- Tips for Traveling Solo
- How to Save on Summer Vacation Travel
- What You Can Learn From First-Time Air Travelers
- Sunscreen Facts You Need to Know
- Hotels Connect the Dots Between Guests and Online Reviews
- Putting on the Ritz in Orlando
- Airlines Unbundle then Repackage: What's the Deal?
- New Tarmac Rule: Fewer Airline Flight Delays
- Germany's Mix of Perfume Chocolate and God
- Giving Mom Best Mother's Day Present She's Ever Had
- Amtrak 2010: Sightseeing Ideas
- I Didn't Mean to Buy Travel Insurance
- Continental - United Airlines Merger: the Consumer View
- Will the United - Continental Merger Raise Airfares
- Krakow: Poland's Historic and Cultural Gem
- Europe this Summer: Mixed Bag of News
- 'Qualify' for a Fleecing?
- Forget Your Travel Agent: 4 Trips You Should Book Yourself
- I Had to Pay Twice For My Flights to Mexico
- What's Next For Airlines Paying by the Pound?
- What Parents Say About Family Vacations
- New-Style Vacation Trips Trip with the Grandparents
- Princess for a Day at Disney World
- Easter in Europe
- Where Are Cheap Round-the-World Airfares
- Premium Economy for Overseas Trips
- Healthy Hiking With Your Dog
- Taking the Kids to Bermuda
- Taking the Kids to Chile
- Too Sick to Fly? When to Put Yourself on the 'No Fly' List
- Lowest Airfare? You May Have to Connect
- Europe 2010: Pricey, But with Some Good Deals
- Totally Kidcentric and Affordable Ski Resorts
- Taking the Kids to Alaska and Meeting Some Bears
- Taking the Kids to Mohonk Mountain House
- Taking the Kids to Patagonia
- Taking the Kids - Skiing in Telluride
- Taking the Kids - Skiing this Winter without Busting the Budget
- Taking the Kids - How Snow Sports Can Transform a Child's Life
- Taking the Kids: Skiing in Austria
- Getting Up-close & Personal with Olympians
- Travel Apps for Your Smart Phone
- 6 Ways to Save: Family Vacations
(c) 2010 Ed Perkins
World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food, share that passion. They make great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Recipes Click Here
Movie Reviews, commentary and more. Plus Trailers from movies currently in theaters and available on DVD.
Movie Reviews Click Here