Delta Airlines to end checked baggage service for pets

Delta Airlines LogoDelta Airlines has announced that, as of March 1, 2016, it will no longer offer checked baggage service for live animals. (not including service, emotional support or animals traveling with military personnel on active transfer orders) Additionally, all pets traveling internationally as air cargo will need to be booked through a licensed pet transporter.

This is a blow to many pet owners who use Delta for traveling with their pets. When traveling with Delta within the US, pet owners will now be faced with added inconvenience and expense as they will need to transport pets who cannot travel in the cabin as air cargo. This will entail dropping off and picking up at Delta cargo facilities as opposed to baggage claim.

Additionally, when pets fly as air cargo, they are subject to the demands on the cargo hold, so they may not fly on the same flight as their owners. And they cannot be booked prior than 14 days before the departure date.

Schedule changes can be very inconvenient when families are traveling and the assistance of a pet transporter will be needed for assistance with pets arriving outside of their owner’s schedules as well as for international flights.

Pets will still be permitted to fly in the cabin under Delta’s airline pet policies.

Can you imagine what your dog and cat think of Halloween?

Keep your pet safe at HalloweenAs our dogs and cats understand us and their world through behavior, voice inflection, routine and the usual surroundings they are accustomed to, can you imagine how confusing and perhaps unsettling Halloween must be for them? Before the zombies, princesses and super heroes start knocking, take a minute to formulate a plan to keep your pet safe during the merriment.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Confine your pet. Especially if it is not accustomed to small children or it will make a dash for the open door, crate it or designate a special room for it during trick or treat time.
  • No doorbells. Put a sign on your door not to use the doorbell; to knock instead. Better yet, sit outside if weather permits and greet your ghooly visitors before they get to your door.
  • Watch out for candles. Inquisitive pups and kitties can nose around your carved pumpkin and stick their nose into hot candle wax through those wide eyes you carved.
  • Be careful with costumes. Unless your pet is accustomed to dressing up, watch them if they are dressed up. Costumes can get hot and restrictive. Do not use any rubber bands to hold material down. They can quickly work their way into your pet’s skin and cause infections. Your pet can also ingest them which would most likely cause some stomach upset.
  • No candy, please. If you must give your pet a treat on this festive occasion, make it a little dog biscuit. Chocolate and sugar can make them sick and who wants to clean up the mess?
  • Identify them. Make sure your pet’s collar and tag always stays on this night. Having them microchipped and registering your information is the best thing to ensure you will be found if your pet gets lost.

Have fun on All Hallows Eve and take a few precautions to keep all the goblins safe and happy.

Delta launches GPS On-Demand Service for Traveling Pets

Great news for pet owners who want to track their pet’s travels if they can’t travel with them. Delta Airlines has announced the launch of its GPS On-Demand Service for pets who travel as air cargo. The service works through a device attached to the crate and is available at the following international airports: ATL (Atlanta), CVG  (Cincinnati), DTW (Detroit), LAX (Los Angeles), LGA (New York – La Guardia), MCI (Kansas City), MEM (Memphis), MSP (Minneapolis St Paul), SEA (Seattle), SFO (San Francisco), SLC (Salt Lake City), STL (St Louis), and TPA (Tampa). Flights must be destined to select locations (see below).

The device offers the following features: temperature monitoring, light detection, humidity readings and real-time location tracking.Data is recorded before,during and after flight.  Information is transmitted every 15 minutes, except when the flight is in the air and can be accessed through a device id accessible at deltacargo.com. Cost is $50.00 one way.

This tracking will be extremely beneficial for pet owners wanting to see where their pet is every step of the way. Contact Delta Cargo for additional details.

Your pet must be traveling to one of these locations: ABQ (Albuquerque), ALB (Albany), ANC (Anchorage), ATL (Atlanta), AUS (Austin), AZO (Kalamazoo), BDL (Hartford), BHM (Birmingham), BNA (Nashville), BOI (Boise), BOS (Boston), BWI (Baltimore), BZN (Bozeman), CAE (Columbia), CHS (Charleston), CLE (Cleveland), CLT (Charlotte), CMH (Columbus), COS (Colorado Springs), CVG (Cincinnati), DAB (Daytona Beach), DAY (Dayton), DCA (Washington Reagan), DEN (Denver), DFW (Dallas Fort Worth), DSM (Des Moines), DTW  (Detroit), ELP (El Paso), EWR (Newark), FLL (Fort Lauderdale), GEG Spokane), GRR (Grand Rapids), GSO (Greensboro/High Point), GSP (Greenville Spartanburg), HNL (Honolulu), HOU (Houston Hobby), HSV (Huntsville), IAD (Washington Dulles), IAH (Houston George Bush), IND (Indianapolis), JAN (Jackson), JAX (Jacksonville), JFK (New York), KOA (Kona), LAS (Las Vegas), LAX (Los Angeles), LEX (Lexington), LGA (New York – La Guardia), LIH (Kauai Island), LIT (Little Rock), MCI (Kansas City), MCO (Orlando), MEM (Memphis), MIA (Miami), MKE (Milwaukee), MLB Melbourne), MOB (Mobile), MSP (Minneapolis St Paul), MSY (New Orleans), OAK (Oakland), OGG (Maui), OKC (Oklahoma City), OMA (Omaha), ONT (Ontario, California), ORD (Chicago), ORF (Norfolk),  PBI (West Palm Beach), PDX (Portland), PHL Philadelphia), PHX (Phoenix), PIT (Pittsburg), PNS (Pensacola), PVD Providence), RDU (Raleigh Durham), RIC (Richmond), ROC (Rochester), RSW (Fort Myers), SAN (San Diego), SAT (San Antonio), SAV (Savannah), SDF (Louisville), SEA (Seattle), SFO (San Francisco), SJC (San Jose), SLC (Salt Lake City), SMF (Sacramento) , SNA (Santa Ana), SRQ Sarasota), STL (St Louis), SYR (Syracuse), TLH (Tallahassee), TPA (Tampa),  TUS (Tucson), TYS (Knoxville).

Why is it important to follow the rules when importing a pet to a foreign country?

Pet Travel with a PetRecent news about Hollywood star Johnny Depp smuggling his pet Yorkies into Australia has highlighted the need to follow the rules when you import a pet to any country. The consequences could be dire; your pet will be returned to the originating country at your cost or quarantined at your cost or, as the Australian Ministry of Agriculture threatened, euthanized on the spot.

Despite the fact that Mr. Depp ignored the regulations, his actions remind us all that there are no exceptions to the rules, even for the rich and famous. Rabies is a dangerous disease which still kills over 50,000 people per year worldwide and governments are extremely sensitive to allowing any animal that is known to carry rabies in its borders without proper verification that vaccinations have been administered and your pet has protection against this horrible disease.

Despite the fact that Australia has some of the strictest pet import regulations in the world, not conforming to any country’s regulations could reap dire consequences for your pet. If you are traveling internationally with your pet, you need to educate yourself as to the rules of your destination country and prepare in advance.

You can find regulations for most every country in the world by clicking on the Pet Passport or Services tab on any of our webpages. Let us help you make your trip safe for your pet.

New Year Resolutions for Pet Owners

Happy New Year PetHard to believe that 2015 is here and it’s time for looking forward to a great year. For pet owners, we offer a few thoughts on great resolutions for the new year:

  • Identify your pet – if you haven’t already, microchip your pet and register your contact information online in a microchip database. More than 80% of lost pets without microchips are never reunited with their owners. Keeping your pet safe is a primary responsibility of a pet owner, and it is a quick and easy process done at your vet.
  • Have your pet spayed or neutered – don’t put this off much after 6 months of age if you can help it. If money is tight, keep your eyes out for city or county spay/neuter promotions in your community.
  • Opt to adopt – there are hundreds of wonderful pets waiting to be adopted at pet rescue shelters all over the country. Many of them rescue pure breeds, although there may be a wait.
  • Consider donating to a local pet rescue – these organizations depend on private donations, and the need for food and supplies is great.
  • Stay in shape – as we all need exercise, so do our pets. Overweight dogs and cats will develop problems as they age. Feed them good food and watch the portions. Enjoy exercising together!
  • Pay attention – take the time for strokes and hugs and tell them how great they are. Oddly enough, they understand.

Have a healthy and happy New Year.

EU Pet Travel Scheme Changes for Pet Transport

Pet Travel Changes Start TodayPlanning to transport your pet to Europe in 2015? Starting today, the Pet Travel Scheme rules, which address the import of pets into the European Union, have changed. The reason for the change is to stem the import of improperly bred and non-vaccinated “designer puppies” entering territories such as the United Kingdom where the demand is significant. The import of these puppies from Poland and Romania through ground and ferry transport has alarmed officials in the UK and endangers their status as a rabies-free country. Unfortunately, all pet owners transporting pets to or within the EU will be affected by these rules.

Puppies must be vaccinated for rabies no sooner than 3 months of age. Their owner, or a legal representative, must travel within 5 days of their pet. The owner must sign a declaration that their pet’s transport is not for the purpose of re-homing or sale. Pets who are traveling without their owners will travel as commercial transport and be subject to import taxes. They must be examined within 48 hours of transport, originate from a licensed establishment in a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country, and enter via an approved Border Inspection Post after giving 24 hours notification of entry.

If you are traveling to Europe with your pet or within 5 days of your pet’s transport, then commercial rules do not apply and the requirements remain the same. Pet Import Rules for EU Countries

Keeping Dogs and Cats Safe On Halloween

Dogs on HalloweenHalloween is such a fun occasion. It allows all of us and our dogs and cats to dress up and imagine that we are someone or something other than what we are everyday. It marks the beginning of the holiday season and lots of celebration.

However, Halloween can be dangerous for our dogs and cats. First of all, they don’t understand what is going on. All of these people are coming knocking on the door that may not normally do so. There is lots of candy involved including raisins and chocolate, both can be lethal for pets to ingest.

Despite the fact that the dressing up and all antics involved in this celebration of All Hollows’ Eve is understood by humans, your dogs and cats can’t possibly understand the excitement. Be sure and keep them isolated if they are not party animals and very friendly towards ghosts and princesses and other little people.

By all means, keep your dogs on leashes when taking your walk. Dogs can be unpredictable when approached by children with their face covered.

Keep your dog’s or cat’s treats what they are accustomed to. (biscuits or the like) Be sure and reassure them that goblins will not  stay for long and life will resume as normal.

The Rights of Pet Allergy Sufferers when Traveling on Airplanes

This is an interesting article on travelers who are allergic to pets and their rights to comfort when traveling in the cabin of an airplane. Click here to see the article . The author makes a good point about passenger rights when it comes to animals not traveling in a carrier such as service animals or emotional support animals.

The article did not mention the concessions that Air Canada has made for folks that are allergic to pets. This airline address the issue at the time of reservations, not when the aircraft is ready for take off. Air Canada will ban dogs or cats on planes without HEPA filters when a passenger with an allergy to dogs or cats is on board. If the dog is a service animal, priority will be given to the first reservation made. On planes with HEPA filters, a five row buffer zone between a pet and the passenger with allergies will be established in the aircraft.

With the increase of animals traveling in the cabin, those who cannot be exposed to pet allergens should work with the airlines at the time of reservation to ensure they are not seated in close proximity to animals. This is an issue that may surface over time as the airlines try to accommodate those passengers on both sides of the fence.

EU Tightens Rules on Pet Travel and Import of Dogs and Cats

Pets in EU to travel with more controlsEffective on December 29, 2014, there will be a new regulation involving changes to the popular pet travel scheme governing pet movement throughout the European Union (EU). Whether you live in or are visiting the EU next year, these changes will affect you. Here is the abbreviated version:

EU Pet Passports: The passport issued to EU residents will be changing and will be provide for more identification of the pet. This change will not affect visitors to the EU.

Border Inspections: EU countries will be required to provide for inspections of pets crossing borders at certain locations. The EU may not be as laid back on ground controls.

Minimum age requirement: rabies vaccination for puppies, kittens and ferrets entering the EU will be administered no sooner than 3 months of age. This requirement is meant to prevent the movement of puppies and kittens who have been vaccinated too young in an effort to comply with regulations.

Commercial Movements: If you are traveling with more than 5 pets, unless you are traveling to a pet show or competition, you will need to use a licensed agent and enter the EU through an approved Border Inspection Post. The movement must also be registered on the TRACES system which tracks the movement of animals entering and traveling within the EU.

Unaccompanied Pet Travel: when entering the EU by air, if you cannot travel on the same plane with your pet, you must sign a declaration that you are not selling or transferring ownership of your pet. Additionally, you must travel within 5 days of your pet’s transport. This regulation will raise a lot of questions from pet owners who, for whatever reason, cannot travel with their pet.

Definition of Your Pet: Your pet must be a domesticated dog, cat or ferret. Wild animals, Savannah cats or wolf hybrids are handled through the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

Most of these rules are targeting the illegal trade of puppies and kittens in the EU. The health and welfare of these animals cannot be ignored. Bottom line is to be aware of the rules for pets to travel within and to the EU. You can find them here for every country in the EU: http://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm.

Puppy Mill Puppies Again Targeted by New USDA Regulations

This week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) passed a new amendment under Section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act prohibiting the commercial import of puppies to the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) until fully vaccinated and 6 months of age. This regulation applies when importing a pet intended for resale or transfer of ownership for more than insignificant consideration from any country in the world including Puerto Rico and all US territories. It does not apply to personal pets or those entering the US for veterinary treatment not available in the originating country or puppies intended for research.

This regulation is directly related to the ongoing problem of internet puppy sales and to the risk to the welfare of the puppy. It also serves to protect buyers who think they are purchasing a puppy from the states, only to find out that the puppy has traveled from Asia, has not been cared for and developed health issues that either require additional veterinary treatments or, in some cases, caused the death of the puppy.

In addition to the age requirement, a commercial transport involving a puppy will require an import permit as well as a health certificate, rabies vaccination certificate and proof of required vaccines for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parovirus and parainfluenza virus. (DHLPP).

This is the second time the USDA has passed regulation directed to controlling puppy mill puppies. Last year, it required any breeder who sells puppies over the internet sight unseen to be licensed and inspected.

Early signs from the airlines are that they will fully abide by the new regulations. This is very good news for consumers and everyone concerned with the welfare of puppies. The ordinance will be effective November 17, 2014.