Hurricane Season Approaches – Preparing your Pet for Natural Disasters

Pet care in hurricane season requires advance planningWith hurricane season in full swing, it is important for the pet owner to be prepared and plan prior to a major storm this summer. Natural disasters occur all over the world, and whether it be a flash flood, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, you will need extra arrangements made to insure your pet’s safety.

Broward County, Florida Animal Care recommends that a Pet Survival Kit be prepared using a waterproof covered container. The kit should include:

  • Food and water for 2 weeks
  • Water and food bowls
  • 2 weeks worth of any medications your pet may be taking
  • A photo of you with your pet in the case of separation.
  • Extra leashes and collars with ID tags
  • Puppy training pads in case your dog cannot go outside due to severe weather
  • Cleaning supplies
  • A crate or carrier large enough for the animal to stand and turn around and pads
  • Treats
  • Toys and/or blankets
  • Copies of your pet’s rabies certificate and other health certificates
  • Cat Litter (if necessary)

Besides an emergency kit for your pet, planning an evacuation route for you and your pet is crucial. When your family includes a pet, evacuating will involve extra planning. If you plan to stay nearby, check your local emergency shelter to see if they will accept pets. If they do, you will most likely have to pre-register in advance. If your local shelter does not accept pets, be prepared to check neighboring cities outside of the projected path of the storm. Finding pet friendly hotels or other accommodations well in advance of a natural disaster will help ease the stress.

Whether you plan on evacuating or staying at home, it is crucial that you don’t leave your pet alone. “Abandoning your pet is not an option,” emphasizes Lisa Mendheim, Public Education Coordinator, Broward County Animal Care. “It is cruel and against the law.”

In short, plan, plan, plan. Pay attention to the weather and plan ahead of time whether you will evacuate or stay home. Reservations at shelters, kennels, hotels and stables must be made in advance, so make your storm decisions early – your animals are depending on you.

We would love to hear from you! Do you have a personal experience dealing with a natural disaster with your pet? Post your experiences in our forum.

Brouse our pet articles for more interesting information about caring for your pet.

New! Pet Travel Forum – everything about traveling with a pet. We need to hear from you!

We have recently launched the Pet Travel forum, and we want you to be a part of it. Have you traveled with your pet recently? Our visitors would love to hear about your experiences, whether by air, sea, or auto. Stayed in a great pet friendly hotel? Prefer a particular airline’s pet policy? Have suggestions for preparing your pet for travel?

You can help others who are planning their pet travels! Click here to help us provide a comprehensive resource for pet travelers all over the world! We thank you for your help.

Pet Travel to Europe – changes in requirements

Starting in July, 2011, all EU countries will require that your pet have a microchip and all documentation supporting the microchip number to permit entry. Some EU countries will accept all major brands of microchips and others will only accept the 15 digit ISO microchips. If your pet is micro chipped with a microchip other than a 15 digit ISO microchip, it is recommended that you carry your own microchip scanner. Additionally, EU 998 Regulations do not call for blood titre test for pets entering Europe from a third country. Three members of the EU have exemptions from this regulation: UK, Malta, and Sweden. This exemption expires next year and it remains to be seen whether it will be extended.

ISO microchips and microchip scanners are available at PetTravelStore.com. More information on pet microchips

For more details about taking a pet to any country in the EU, visit the pet passport, immigration, and quarantine page on PetTravel.com.

UPDATE: updated information on bringing your pet to Europe.

Pet Friendly Hotels and Attractions in Orlando, Florida

Pet friendly hotels OrlandoThe kids are getting out of school and thoughts of summer vacation with the family are looming. Visit pet friendly Orlando for a fun, fabulous vacation! Although known throughout the world for its theme parks, Orlando also offers first-rate tourist attractions, world-class outdoor activities, and a vibrant artistic and cultural community. The area’s scenic landscape and abundance of pet friendly hotels and resorts provide a welcoming atmosphere for people traveling with their furry companions. As a result, leading travel groups have long recognized Orlando as a premier pet friendly destination, with AAA naming it one of the top ten “Most Accommodating Cities” for travelers with pets.

When most people hear the word Orlando, Disney is the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is a complete vacation destination in itself. It includes four major theme parks—Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly known as Disney-MGM Studios)—as well as the water parks Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Walt Disney World is so much more than a theme park with adrenaline-inducing rides, however. The resort also offers superb accommodations; casual and fine dining; exciting entertainment; terrific shopping; luxurious spas; and championship golf and other outdoor activities. Although Walt Disney World does not allow pets at the resort, pets can stay on-site in air-conditioned kennels while guests enjoy its theme parks. NEW! Beginning August 27, pet owners can bring their pet to a brand new pet care facility, Best Friends Pet Resort, across from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. The pet resort can accommodate up to 270 dogs and 30 cats for both daytime play and overnight boarding.

Even with all that Disney has to offer, no trip to Orlando is complete without a visit to the area’s other theme parks. SeaWorld Orlando,
which includes SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica—provides a unique look at the wonders of the oceans, with up-close animal encounters and thrilling water rides. Also not to be missed, Universal Orlando Resort features two world-class theme parks where movie sets come alive, including Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Universal’s newest offering is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, set to open on June 18, 2010. Here, non-wizarding guests can experience Harry Potter’s weird and wonderful world of magic in attractions that are virtually identical to Harry Potter movie sets. Pets are not allowed at SeaWorld or Universal Studios parks, but air-conditioned kennels are available on-site.

Pet friendly Orlando may be most famous for its theme parks, but it also offers an abundance of stimulating outdoor and cultural activities. With its year round warm weather and world-class golf facilities, Orlando has evolved into a well-known golf vacation destination. Other exciting outdoor activities include hang gliding, hot air ballooning, bi-plane rides, kayaking, airboat rides, horseback rides, bicycling, eco-tours, and snorkeling with manatees. Visitors will appreciate the rich diversity of cultural opportunities in Orlando, from visual and performing arts to museums and pet friendly parks. If your pet needs a reprieve after all the sightseeing, you can take him to romp and play in one of Orlando’s many off-leash dog parks.

Shopping is a favorite activity in Orlando, with numerous upscale malls, outlet centers, and trendy boutiques from which to choose. Many visitors enjoy strolling and window shopping with their pets, and some pet friendly shops may even provide water or treats. After dark, downtown Orlando comes alive with its thriving nightlife. Visitors can hang out in a nightclub playing the latest indie sounds, drink martinis in a trendy bar, or check out a concert featuring a top artist. There’s something for everyone.

Many pet friendly Orlando hotels and resorts go out of their way to make pets feel welcome. Special amenities may include food and water bowls; toys and treats; leashes and scratching posts; and pooper scoopers and litter boxes. Pet walking and pet sitting services can be arranged through the hotels’ concierges, and some hotels provide a map of area dog-walking routes and pet friendly businesses. Pet friendly dining options are plentiful as well, as Orlando’s inviting weather lends itself to outdoor dining where pets are often welcome.

So what are you waiting for? Make your reservations at a pet friendly hotel today and prepare for a fun-filled magical experience of world-class theme parks and exciting activities. Orlando awaits you.

To find pet friendly hotels in Orlando, Click Here.

Costs for taking your pet to England

Taking your pet to England We have received many comments recently regarding the costs of taking a pet to England. Every pet flying into England must arrive as manifested cargo. You cannot fly into England with a pet in the cabin or as checked baggage. This is a rule of commerical airlines; it is not a requirement of the United Kingdom.

Here is the procedure as to how your pet will be handled once arriving in England:

The handler/agent that takes your pet from the airline to the Animal Reception Center (ARC) will charge a fee of about $150.00

There is an EU Border Inspection Fee of about $100.00.

DEFRA imposes a fee for their services at the ARC of about $330.00

This is the cost for the first animal. Additional animals are charged only a few dollars more up to 5 pets.

You should expect the entry fees to be between UKP400 and UKP450 (between $600.00 and $660.00 US)

Please note that these charges are as of June, 2010. They are subject to change. Pet travel to England certainly needs to be budgeted. Similiarly, so does preparation as the rabies titer test needs to be done 3 months in advance of travel for cats, dogs and ferrets entering from high-rabies countries.

More information on our taking your pet to England.

Airline Pet Travel: Delta Cargo Announces New Summer Live Animal Program

Airline pet travel in cargo during the summer was difficult until Delta announced their new Summer Live Animal Program

UPDATE: Note that, as of October 1, 2016, Delta Cargo will no longer accept snub-nosed pets of any kind (see list in step 6). Delta will also discontinue their Summer Live Animal Program and temperature restrictions (10 F/-12 C and 85F/29 C) will be imposed for all cities that Delta flies. Additionally, Delta will no longer accept pets traveling as cargo on flights with an average duration of over 12 hours.

Need to fly with your pet this summer to Phoenix or Miami? Is your pet too small to travel in the cabin of the aircraft? Up until now, you have been out of luck for pet cargo travel unless you want to fly a pets only airline or charter a private jet.

Delta Cargo has just announced the launch of the 2010 Summer Live Animal Program. The program, which is in effect from May 31 through October 3, 2010, allows for the shipment of live, warm blooded animals, in select cities, during the hotter months of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Delta Cargo is now accepting pets all year round; they have eliminated the Summer Heat Embargo restrictions! (NOTE: Snub-nosed breeds are exempt from this program and can only be transported at temperatures up to 75F/24C.)

As Delta advertises: “Delta Cargo has climate controlled van service for the transport of live, warm blooded animals during our normal operations. This service is handled by specially trained Delta Cargo agents who work closely with a variety of internal partners to ensure safe, seamless, and comfortable movement of your animals.

Drivers are responsible for pick up and delivery of all warm-blooded, animals to or from the aircraft, animal holding areas, and cargo facilities. Because safety is our number one priority, live warm-blooded animals shipped as cargo are loaded or unloaded following specific time requirements in all cities.”

There are a few restricted routes. Pet cargo travelers should contact Delta Cargo at Pet First Call Center – 1-888 SENDPET (1-888-736-3738). All applicable pet fees and rules apply. Terminal fees, veterinarian fees, or overnight fees may apply when applicable. Visit DeltaCargo.com or call for additional details.

Because of long wait times in the loading area and on the tarmac, most United State based airlines will not ship pets in the cargo hold of the aircraft during the summer due to heat exposure to the pet. The absence of appropriate handling procedures has been a tremendous inconvenience to owners traveling with a pet to hot climates in the summertime. We are thrilled that Delta has taken the lead on providing the safety measures that will accommodate summertime pet cargo travel. Hopefully, other carriers will follow their lead.

NOTE: Here is the list of cities that are NOT participating in Delta’s Summer Live Animal Program: Ajuba, Acapulco, Albany (NY), Antigua, Barcelona, Beijing, Belize City, Boise, Bonaire, Bozeman, Bridgetown, Calgary, Charleston, Cozumel, Curacao, Dakar, Denver, Detroit, Duzzledorf, Edmonton, Fortaleza, Georgetown, Grand Bahama, Grenada, Guayaquil, houston (Intercontinental), Huntsville, Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, Kansas City, Kingston, Lima, Madrid, Malaga, Managua, Mazatlan, Mexico City, Milan – Malpensa, Minneapolis/St Paul, Monterey, Munich, Nagoya, Newark, Nice, Osaka, Paris, Philadelphia, Pisa, Port au Prince, Port of Spain, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Quito, Rio de Janerio, Roatan, Rochester (NY), Rome, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose Del Cabo (Cabo San Lucas), Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Shannon, St. Croix, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Syracuse, Tokyo, Toronto, Tucson, Valencia, Vancouver, Washington DC (National).

Airline Pet Carriers and Cargo Pet Crates – Choosing the Right One for Your Pet

Airline pet carriers cargo pet crates - essential for airline pet travelIf you and your pet are planning airline travel, the first thing you need to do is to is to measure your pet. If your pet is at most 18 inches from the front of the shoulder to the base of the tail and between 12 and 14 inches high from top of head to the ground, there is a good possibility that your pet can travel in the cabin with you if your airlines allow it. If your pet is larger than that, they will have to travel as checked baggage. Very large dogs will travel as cargo.

In Cabin Pet Travel: contact the reservation department of the airline and notify them that you are flying with a pet. Most airlines allow only a limited number of pets in the cabin so make your reservations early. Ask the airlines the dimension under the seat in front of you on the plane that services your route so you know what space your have to work with. If you do not have a flexible airline pet carrier, you need to get one. The airlines will require that your pet can stand up and turn around in the carrier. Do not stuff your pet into a carrier that is too small. Neither one of you will get on the plane.

Additionally, the carrier must have a waterproof bottom and plenty of ventilation. The fasteners and zippers must close securely. An absorbent pad is really a must, especially for long trips. A high quality, padded shoulder strap is a big help, especially if you have other carry on items. Your pet carrier will be considered by the agent as a piece of carry on luggage.

If your pet is too large to travel in the cabin but not over about 70 pounds, you will check them in at the ticket desk where luggage is checked. Your pet will fly in an area of the airplane which is temperature and pressure controlled just like the cabin. You will need an IPATA compliant cargo pet crate.

– Your crate should be made of sturdy plastic and large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around.
– The fasteners must be secure and many airlines require steel nuts and bolts instead of plastic fasteners.
– The crate must have adequate ventilation in the sides, and all four sides must be ventilated on international flights.
– Live Animal stickers with writing at least one inch tall must be present on the sides and top of the crate.
– Food and water bowls must be attached to the door of the crate and accessible to baggage handlers.
– The lock on the door of the crate must be a spring lock mechanism that cannot be opened easily. (Many pets are clever escape artists!)
– No wheels are allowed on any crates.
– Unless the crate is of a medium size or smaller, handles are not allowed.
– On international flights, a health certificate must be attached to the outside of the crate for inspection.
– Pet absorbent pads are a good idea to keep your pet dry and smelling good.

Cargo Travel

If your pet is over 70 pounds (for most airlines) you will need to make a reservation with the cargo department of the airline. Ask them the location of the cargo department of the airport you are traveling from because you will need to drop off your pet at that location. Your pet can travel on the same flight as you and will be in the same compartment as if they were traveling as checked baggage. The crate they will travel in will be subject to the same requirements as those above. If a giant airline cargo pet crate does not fit your pet, you need to contact the airline for a carrier or the IPATA regulations for crates for larger pets.

Whether your pet travels in an airline pet carrier or a cargo pet crate, be sure and give your pet time to be acclimated to the carrier. Keep the pet carrier out where the pet can become familiar with it. Put a toy or treat inside and always keep the door open. Don’t forget lots of phrase when your pet goes inside. If possible, take your pet for a trip to the dog park or someplace fun in the carrier or crate before your trip. Doing all of these things ahead of time will make the trip far smoother when travel day arrives.

Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals

Pet Friendly Vacation RentalsWhen planning a vacation, what is brought to mind is usually a pet friendly hotel or perhaps a resort. However, if taking a pet along, then consider a pet friendly vacation rental, especially if you plan to stay in one place for a while.

Vacation rentals generally come equipped like a home with one or more bedrooms, sheets, towels, an equipped kitchen and some degree of privacy. Depending on the length of your stay, your vacation rental may include maid services.

There are basically three types of pet friendly vacation rentals:

1. Places where a group of cottages or cabins are grouped around some recreational facility, generally either a lake or a river. You will find lots to do with your pet at these places including hiking, boating, tubing, swimming, tennis and horse back riding.

2. Mountain cabins generally offer more isolation, but still allow for a perfect family vacation with a pet, as there will be recreational activities nearby.

3. Private homes are available that vary from a small home, either in a city or in the countryside, to palatial beach front homes that may include servants, private pools and chefs and more.

When staying in a pet friendly vacation rental, take good care of the furnishings. If your pet is allowed on the furniture at home, don’t forget to bring extra sheets to protect the couch! A little prevention will save a lot of time when it is time to leave.

PetTravel.com offers thousands of pet friendly vacation rentals, especially in Europe. Search for pet friendly vacation rentals. For more information, click here.

Airline Pet Travel in the Cabin

Airline pet travel - flying with a pet in the airplane cabinAirline pet travel in the cabin of the aircraft does not have to be stressful if you follow some simple rules. First of all, you must make reservations for your pet to travel with you over the phone with a representative of the airline. All airlines permit only a limited number of pets onboard, and there will be a cost for you to bring your pet in the cabin with you. Be sure and make your pet’s reservation before you make your own.

Secondly, does your pet exceed the size and weight limits to travel in the cabin? Remember that airlines require that your pet be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. Stuffing your pet into a carrier that is too small will almost guarantee that neither one of you will get on the plane. Normally, a pet that exceeds 18″ from the front of the shoulder to the base of the tail and 10″ high will be too large to travel in the cabin except in First Class or overseas flights. You can always call the airlines and ask what the measurements are under the seat in front of you. This will help in deciding whether your pet’s carrier will fit.

Be sure to choose an airline compliant carrier. This carrier has a waterproof bottom and adequate ventilation. A pet pad is a must, especially for long flights. Many pets will eliminate out of nervousness, so it is best to have absorbent material in the carrier. The closures must be secure so that the pet cannot escape. You must not take your pet out of the carrier for any reason during the flight, however, you should be able to slide the carrier out so that it will be in between your legs when the plane is in the air. Pack some favorite toys or something with your scent on it in the carrier as these things will comfort your pet.

A few days before airline pet travel, take your pet to their veterinarian for a health check up. The reason for this is to be sure that your pet has no fleas, ticks, or diseases. This is becoming important for in cabin travel because many people are allergic to fleas. Additionally, get your pet bathed and groomed. A clean pet is a comfortable pet and odor will not be a problem.

Several hours before flying you should feed your pet a light meal and water. Just prior to getting in the car to go to the airport, take a long walk and give your pet plenty of time to do their business and stretch their legs. Put your pet in their carrier before getting into the car and don’t remove them at the airport unless you are taking them to an airport dog park. Pets can be unpredictable in strange environments. Additionally, you will want to keep your pet calm prior to the flying on the airplane. If your pet is skittish, take along a treat and a natural herb relaxer to give them prior to the flight. This will only help keep them calm and should not affect their breathing in any way.

Do not feed them on the airplane if possible. Oftentimes, feeding will encourage bowel movement, and that would be very inconvenient for your both. If you are on a long flight, dip your finger in a little water and let your pet lick it through a small opening in the carrier for hydration. Again, do not remove your pet from the carrier as the flight attendant will ask you to put them back immediately.

When you reach your destination, try to find a quiet place and be sure and attach your pet’s leash before taking them out of the bag. Your pet will be happy to walk down the concourse with you. Get them outside as soon as possible so they can relieve themselves. As for cats, a portable kitty litter tray and an empty corner of the concourse could help. Be sure and keep them on a leash at all times when in and around the airport. Feed them only when you have arrived at your pet friendly hotel or other accommodations and no more car or bus rides are necessary.

Thousands of pets travel by air each day. Yours can do the same without a lot of fuss if you follow the airline rules and do a bit of planning beforehand.

Traveling with a Comfort Animal

Traveling with a Comfort AnimalComfort Animals are used in Animal Assisted Therapy to improve the physical, social, emotional and cognitive condition of the patient. Most Comfort Animals are dogs and cats, however this therapy can also include parrots, horses, elephants, lizards, and monkeys. These pet animals are now recognized as providing a valuable service to the elderly and to others with a medical disability and have recently reached the status of Service Animals.

Therefore, when you travel with Comfort Animals (or Therapy Animals), they are now allowed in the cabin of aircraft of the following airlines:

Domestic: Air Tran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Allegant Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines,Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest, Spirit Airlines, United, US Airways, and Virgin America.

International: Air France, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic

These airlines have signed the DOT agreement relating to Comfort Animals. Other foreign carriers may also follow the new rules, but they are not obligated to do so.

The key to acceptance is a strongly worded letter from a medical professional stating that the well being of the pet's owner is at risk if they are separated from their pet. The most common reason is mental anxiety or depression and a letter from a psychiatrist will generally suffice. However, individuals with a heart condition may get a letter from their physician stating that the pet calms the pet owner and therefore reduces the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Recent research suggests that people with psychiatric disabilities can benefit significantly from assistive animals, too. Emotional support animals have been proven extremely effective at ameliorating the symptoms of these disabilities, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, by providing therapeutic nurture and support.

We offer a 26 page document that fully explains the rules regarding both Service and Comfort Animals. It also explains the rules for taking a Service or Comfort Animal into a rabies free country such as the UK or Hawaii. Click here for additional information on Traveling with Service Animals and Comfort Animals.