Thursday, August 7, 2014

Planes, Trains and Automobile Travels With Your Pup!!!

If your are traveling with your pup, here are some helpful tips to make the ride smoother. Whether you are boarding a plane, a train or an automobile these tips can help?

See your vet. If you are traveling across state lines or out of the country, you’ll need a health certificate dated within 10 to 30 days of travel.

Research emergency vets. Find several veterinarians at your destination or along your route.


Keep your dog in the back. Driving with her in the front is unsafe—and illegal in some places.

Coordinate rest stops. Each time you pull over for a bathroom or water break, be sure to extend the same courtesy to your dog.

Consider your pet’s comfort. If it’s hot, park in the shade and leave water out and the AC running—cars can warm up rapidly in hot temperatures, resulting in fatal heatstroke. Likewise, in extremely cold temps, keep the heater turned up to prevent your pooch from freezing.

In a minivan, SUV, or station wagon: A crate is a smart choice, says Christie Hyde, automotive/driver safety spokesperson for AAA National. Even a divider between the backseat and trunk/cargo area isn’t enough to protect your pet in a crash. Make sure the crate is large enough for her to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around—but not so large that she can pace. Place the crate in the back, facing forward (to prevent car sickness). Pick a hard crate for safety and un-clip her leash to prevent dangerous tangling. 

In a sedan or sporty two-door model: A crate might not fit in the backseat. A seat-belt harness, available at pet stores for about $20, will keep her secure. Look for one with a broad front, lots of padding, sturdy metal hardware, and wide straps that are made of a seat-belt like material.


Locally Amtrak currently doesn't accept pets unless they are assistance dogs. The HSUS supports the Pets on Trains Act (H.R. 2066/S. 1710) before Congress that will allow Amtrak to permit passengers to bring their beloved pets on certain trains. Some smaller U.S. railroad companies may permit animals on board. Many trains in European countries allow pets.

Generally, it's the passengers' responsibility to feed and exercise their pets at station stops.Therefore exercising similar precautions as in driving are appropriate. Smaller animals may even find their carrier the most comfortable space while making their commute.

Investigate airline regulations. Each carrier has its own set of policies—make sure you know the requirements weeks in advance so that you have adequate time to prepare.
Carry on your small breed. Some airlines will allow you to take little dogs or cats on board in a soft-sided carrier. The fee is usually $100 each way, and your pet must stay in the carrier under the seat at all times.

Fly direct if possible. And choose early morning or late-evening flights in the summer to avoid peak heat hours.

Feed your pet 3 to 4 hours before the flight and make sure he relieves himself. Some owners freeze water in a dish that attaches inside the crate so their pet can lick it when thirsty.

Content imput from:
By Justine Lee, DVM, with additional writing by Martha Barnette and Melanie Mannarino


  1. I've decided to take my dog with me when visiting my mom this weekend. I'll be flying out of state to see her, so it's good to know what I need to do so that my dog can go on the flight with me. I'm a little worried about her health right now though. It seems like a good idea to have her checked out by her vet before putting her on the plane. I want to make sure that she's healthy enough to fly.

  2. Absolutely! This will help make the trip a pleasant experience for both of you. Safe travels!!