Pet Travel USDA Endorsement of Forms in New York

USDA endorsement in New YorkUser Tip: Pet Travel USDA Endorsement of Forms in New York State

Recently, we heard from one of our pet owners, Nick, who was traveling from New York and needed USDA endorsement of his pet’s documentation.

I came to the vet yesterday for an international travel certificate, which then needed to be certified by the USDA. We had gone to the office at JFK airport logistics center one in the past and went again yesterday. They were totally overwhelmed, and despite waiting for 5 hours I was unable to be seen.

I had to make an unexpected trip to the USDA office in Albany, which was able to help. They said that the JFK airport logistics center location is not to be used except in emergencies (and really not relied on at all) and that all future request should be sent to them (the Albany office) with prepaid return overnight shipping.

Anyways just wanted to pass the word along. It will save others some extreme aggravation.

Thanks for passing this along to other pet owners, Nick! We appreciate your feedback.

The Pet Travel Team

Tips on How to Keep Your Pet Calm on July 4th

man and dog with fireworks

Whether the event is New Years Eve, Fourth of July or just a celebration, fireworks, flashing lights and loud booms can be pretty scary for many cats and dogs. Unless they are oblivious to loud noises and flashing lights, you can wind up with your pet under your feet, in your lap or on your head pretty fast. 

Try these tips for keeping both you and your pet calm during the evening.

  • Taking your pet to a fireworks display is not a good idea. Stay at home with them. The comfort and security that you can offer them will make a difference, despite the fact that it may appear that nothing will calm them.
  • On the day of the celebration, keep to your pet’s schedule as much as possible. Pets can sense a change in schedule and that can bring on feelings of anxiety.
  • Give your dog or cat plenty of exercise before the fireworks begin. Tiring them out may encourage them to rest during the show. Also, make sure they are have an opportunity to do their business so you don’t have to take them outside later.
  • Bring them inside and close all the doors and windows before the merriment begins. Although that won’t eliminate the noise, it will help to bring it down a notch.
  • Make some noise of your own – turn up the television or music. Although your pet’s hearing is better than yours, the sounds may be a distraction and lessen their attention on the booms they hear outside.
  • Don’t discourage their behavior. Give them places to hide if that is what they want to do. Hide with them if you can fit.
  • Wrap them up in a blanket with your scent on it or a large t-shirt if they will let you. The bundling can lessen anxiety in some dogs.
  • Lavender is a great scent for calming both you and your pet. You can find it in oil, lotions, air fresheners and other products. Apply it to a towel and wrap your pet in it. 
  • Be a role model. Your behavior will play a large part in your pet’s comfort. Stay calm yourself.
  • If you feel that your pet suffers despite your efforts, you can talk to your vet about a tranquilizer, Benadryl or an all natural pet calmer.
  • When it is all over, tell them so. “All done” is something everybody understands.
  • Give them a treat to celebrate and have a great holiday together.

Find more great tips on your pet’s health and happiness.

Irish Ferries Gets Very Pet Friendly

Pet Friendly Irish FerriesIn May, 2018, Irish Ferries will launch a 50,000 ton ship with 435 cabins many of which will include suites with their own private external balconies, bars, restaurants (both á la carte and self-service options), cinemas, shops, (most importantly) onboard facilities for pets and dedicated lounge areas for Club Class passengers and freight drivers.

The new ferry will likely serve longer haul routes between Dublin and Holyhead midweek, and between Ireland and France on weekends. This will mean another option for pet owners not wanting to put their pets in cargo when flying into the Ireland if their pets conform to in-cabin requirements and could travel with their owners into another EU country and take the ferry to the UK.

Pretty exciting news! More details…

India bans dogs imported for breeding or commercial purposes

St Bernard DogIndia will no longer permit dogs to be imported for commercial or breeding purposes. The change in law by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) was brought on by appeals by animal rights organizations noting the number of breeds surrendered due to their inability to adapt to the high temperatures of the country.

Pet owners can enter the country with their dogs with a transfer of residency without DGFT licensing. Dogs can also be imported for purposes of research or security. All dogs need a Notice of No Objection which must be applied for in India by the owner, an agent or a representative of the owner.

More details on entering India

Puppy Scams – Don’t be a victim!

Don't be a Puppy Scam VictimThinking of buying a puppy or kitten? Cruising on the internet and see an adorable picture of a puppy for sale? Don’t fall for the hardship stories and the cute pictures. Pet scammers have made millions off of good people who want to add a pet to their family and thought it would be easy to transport it, sometimes hundreds of miles across many countries.

Here are some tips to look out for when dealing with people on the internet who say they will deliver you a pet:

  • Hardship stories about how they can no longer care for the puppy or kitten
  • Poor use of English
  • Inability to contact the seller by phone.
  • Changes of email address.
  • Requests for personal information.
  • Seller offers the pet for free; you simply have to pay a nominal charge for shipping
  • Tells you that you will need pet insurance to transport your pet (not necessary nor available in most countries).
  • Saying that you cannot pick up the animal; it must be delivered, and they can arrange to deliver it to your door. (This would require the use of an agent which would add to the cost.)
  • Seller is not familiar with import regulations for your country.
  • Seller sends you a detailed and colorful form with all sorts of details and company logos on it.

Here are some things that you can do to ensure you are working with a legitimate person:

  • Ask for the seller’s website if they claim to be a breeder.
  • Do some internet research and see if others have posted experiences with the person you are dealing with.
  • Ask to see a picture of the puppy or kitten with its Mother and the rest of the litter. Demand to see the veterinary certificate and contact the veterinarian to confirm they have cared for the puppy or kitten.
  • Tell the seller that you would like to pick up the puppy or kitten (even if you cannot do this, if  the response to your request is not positive, beware)
  • Ask to meet whomever is delivering the puppy or kitten in a public place so that you can examine the puppy or kitten before paying for it. Do not give out your home address.
  • If the seller mentions a shipping company, verify with that shipping company that they have a reservation to transport your puppy or kitten.
  • Know that puppies and kittens must be vaccinated to enter any country in the world and they cannot be vaccinated for rabies prior to 3 months of age and must wait for 21-30 days minimum to enter the country.
  • Ask if the seller accepts credit cards. Remember that, if you wire money, you have to recourse to recover it. Never pay in advance if at all possible.
  • Know the requirements for pets to enter your country. Ask the seller for details about all the forms they will need to fill out so that your puppy can enter your country. The US does not even allow puppies intended for re-homing to enter the country before 6 months of age.

Find your country’s pet import regulations and know that it is very risky to fly puppies and kittens in the cargo hold of an airplane. They need to develop their respiratory systems to fly safely. The older they are, the better the chances they will arrive safely.

Try rescue foundations in your country before buying a pet from another country. The love you will receive will be just as rewarding if not more so than the risk you will be taking by sending money for a pet that may never come.

Holiday traveling with a pet – tips for easy trips

Pet Travel with your dog or catMillions of pet owners will take to the road and sky during this holiday season. Your vacation will be so much more meaningful if your pet accompanies you. If you have a cat, start when it is young, otherwise it will most likely not enjoy traveling. As for dogs, most all enjoy a good adventure as long as they are by your side.

Consider your pet’s personality. If it is not accustomed to being away from home, aggressive, skiddish, very nervous or has medical needs that require frequent attention, consider having a friend or family member care for it at home.

Here is a simple list of things you need to remember to do if you are traveling with a pet:

  • Puppies, kittens and senior pets need a visit to the vet to be sure they are fit to travel.
  • Bring your pet’s health records along. Could come in handy in an emergency.
  • Get your pet acclimated to its crate or carrier months ahead of travel time.
  • If flying, book the flight on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as these are lighter travel days.
  • Know your airline’s pet policy and don’t try to get around it. You may have to eat the price of your ticket when you are not allowed to board.
  • Bring harness or crate to assure your dog or cat is safe in the car. Use pet pads for accidents.
  • Feed your pet lightly the day of travel and no sooner than 4 hours ahead of time. Keep them hydrated during the trip.
  • Never leave them unattended, either in the car or at the airport.
  • Leave early and take your time. When in the car, stop frequently for walks. When heading to the airport, get to the ticket counter early in case the check-in lines are long.
  • If you are traveling internationally, know your destination country’s pet import rules.
  • Bring supplies – leashes, treats, pick-up bags, medicines, dog or cat food.
  • Contact a pet friendly hotel should you need one and talk to them about their pet policies.
  • Bring pet towels for easy clean up.

Once arriving at your destination, enjoy a long walk and a good meal. Be sure and let your pet get accustomed to its new surroundings before you leave them for any reason.

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.