Traveling with pets, whether by land, air or sea, is not easy. Running a pet to the vet for a check-up is one thing, traveling with them for an extended period of time is quite another. Experts agree that good planning and the right equipment can make a big difference.
“If you have to travel long distance with pets, then you need to make sure they are safe and comfortable. My carriers and training devices fulfill those needs,” said entrepreneur Benjamin Short of Premier Pet Carriers in Virtual-Strategy.
At home, having the right sized crate or kennel helps with good dog care and training, and traditional wire, plastic or even wooden cages that look like furniture are available.
When traveling, Short recommends using a “system” designed for the type of travel you have in mind. One such system, by Italian designer Emanuele Bianchi, is the Pet At Work travel system. Perfect for taking a small pet to work or while traveling, the pet can be carried safely in the backpack carrier that also has room for a laptop and can turn into a portable doghouse later.
Another travel system, the Contour Messenger Pet Carrier, is an airline approved pet carrier with ultra thick padding, a contoured spine and a shock absorbent shoulder strap. Designed to be comfortable for the pet and the pet owner, the Contour Messenger Pet Carrier features an expandable mesh “tower” that gives more room inside for the pet as well as increased visibility.Equipped with a zip opening in the top for the pet to stick their head out of, along with a convenient pooper-scooper bag holder, one might think they have all the bases covered with products like this. But having the right equipment is just one part.
If travel means flying, pets need a wellness exam, food in-transit and they too will have to go through security at the airport. We told you about PetRelocation, a company that specializes pet travel and offered some advice.
“If you’re traveling for the first time with your pet on a flight you need to put some extra effort not only to make the reservation and get the documents completed, but also to train your pet physically and psychologically,” blogged Caitlin Moore, new media coordinator for PetRelocation.com.
Clients receive their pet’s flight schedule the week before the flight with the PetRelocation.com service, detailing all of the flight numbers, departure and arrival airports along with the pet’s “Air Way Bill” (or ticket) number. 24/7 flight-tracking instructions keep pet owners informed.
Sound like overkill? Rather stick with hollering, “Who wants to go for a ride?” then watch them run excitedly on the direction of the car/bus/train as your go-to travel with pets strategy?
While not advised, Premier Pet Carriers has us covered there too.
“Dogs have oil in their skin, so if they accompany you a lot in the car, then the car seat will get dirty,” notes Short who also sells pet covers for auto seats.
Veterinarians disagree and paint a vivid picture of what might happen.
“If you’re in an accident, your dog will be sent flying through the windshield or possibly out of the vehicle. He’ll be lucky to survive even a relatively minor collision,” Dr. Marty Becker told VetStreet. “And that’s why I recommend restraining dogs in the car with either seat-belt harnesses (don’t ever snap a seat belt to your dog’s collar) or in crates that are securely fastened to the back seats or in the cargo area.”
[Flickr photo by Darwin Bell]