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Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

Traveling with pets is anything but easy.  There are many conflicting rules and regulations that you must sort through in order take your pet along.  Here are a few tips to try and help make your trip planning easier.
Airline Travel
Most major airlines will allow small pets, usually less than 20 pounds, in the passenger cabin.  There are however exceptions to this rule so you will have to call the airline directly to find out what their regulations may be.  With all airlines the pet must be in an approved carrier that fits underneath the seat in front of you and it is considered to be one of your carry-on items.  The pet must be at least eight weeks old and it will cost a minimum of $50 each way.  Larger dogs must go in the hold with luggage and the fees vary.  There are some airlines that will not take checked pets at all.  Some airlines have restrictions on the time of the year and will not allow checked animals when the temperatures are drastic.  You will usually need a  health certificate signed by your veterinarian as well as proof of current rabies vaccination.  The required paperwork will vary by state. The number of animals per flight is limited so you must make reservations in advance.  Since all airline regulations vary be sure to get all of the details from the airline you are traveling with and read the fine print.   The last thing you need to to show up at the airport with your beloved pet and you can't get on the plane.

Car Travel
If you are traveling in the car with your pet it is a good idea to use a seat belt.  It simply attaches to the harness or the kennel.  If your dog gets car sick talk to your veterinarian there are drugs available that will help.    Remember never leave you animal in the car in the warm weather even if you open the windows.  Always have water available in the car.  Remember bags to pick up after you dog.  
Hotel Visits
There are many pet friendly hotels that are available but again policies vary.   Some hotels require an additional cleaning fee or a damage deposit while others have no restrictions at all.  There could be a weight restriction or your barking dog could be a present an issue in some locations.  There are hotels that provide a animal wing while some others refer pets to smoking rooms.  Other pet friendly hotels provide treats, pet massages and pet psychic consultations. You can purchase a directory called Traveling with your Pet, created by AAA, that will give a detailed list of pet friendly hotels and campgrounds.  In addition, it will include the policies for each. 
Be sure to check that once you arrive at you destination your furry friend will be able to enjoy the visit.  Beaches and parks are a top spot for excursions with dogs however most do not allow free reign.  In fact, many resort towns have ordinances against dogs on the beach.  You can find some in North Carolina that allow animals on the beach.  Many national parks have designated areas for pets in the parking lot or at campgrounds.  So be sure to do your homework before going on your adventure.