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PETS AND AIRLINES

I know this is a repeat but summer brings vacations so we wanted to help in any way we could by providing you with an article that offers some tips on flying with your dog. Happy Vacations!
Planning to fly with your dog? While air travel can be a quick way to get Fido from one place to another, you should know that every airline has different rules about transporting pets. You will need to make sure to contact your specific Airline weeks prior to travel for rules and regulations.


The following are a few Airlines that do allow pets to fly in the cabin.


·         United


·         Us Airways


·         Southwest


·         Pet Airways


·         NWA


·         Midwest Airways


·         Jet Blue Airways


·         Hawaiian Airlines


·         Frontier


·         Delta


·         Continental


·         Alaska


·         Air Canada


It's recommend booking your flight early and if possible, fly direct, Non-Stop.


Have your pet carrier bought and ready (although with some airlines, such as Pet Airways, you do not need a carrier as they provide it for you.  Get your pet accustomed to the crate in the weeks or days prior to travel. Travel can be stressful for pets. Make the crate a happy place and leave it out in the open so it becomes just another familiar object. Make sure to call just in case their protocols have changed about the carrier.
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Take a test drive around a few blocks. Make sure your pet is happy and content in his kennel for the car ride and the trip on the plane.
Visit your Veterinarian and get your pet’s Health Certificate and any vaccines he is due for. Make sure it is within 10 days of your travel day and that you will use it within 30 days when it expires.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases, dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying because they can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems as the dog is exposed to increased altitude pressures. They can also alter the animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium, which can be dangerous when the carrier is moved.
Tag your pet’s carrier with the same information you’d tag your luggage. Pet’s name, your name, telephone numbers, veterinarian’s telephone number, microchip and any other contact information you may have. You may also want to laminate a picture of your pet and secure it on the kennel. Carry the same picture with you when you travel in case you need to present it to authorities assisting you in your search.
If not already, Microchip your pet!  It is one of the best ways to be reunited with your pet in the unfortunate event he gets lost during travel. Make sure it is registered with the company and that all of your information with the company is current such as your telephone numbers, emergency contact, veterinarian and your address.
Feed your pet at least 4 hours prior to flying. Flying on a full stomach will make for an uncomfortable flight for your pet. You should continue to offer water right up until the flight.
You can easily train your dog to drink out of a guinea pig water bottle attached to the side of the kennel door. Just entice with some peanut butter at the end of the spout. Do this prior to travel so they are familiar with it.


Get to the Airport early. Most airlines recommend you arrive at least 2 hours prior to travel. Have your Health Certificate ready to go.  Passengers with pet’s need to check in at the counter. They are not allowed to use Self Service or Curbside, so give yourself plenty of time.


Once you’ve arrived at your destination, go for a walk with your pet so that they become familiar with their surroundings and new smells. Let them pick a spot in the hotels “potty area” so that they can familiarize themselves with the layout. By the time you check in they won’t be so anxious!



Your PRE-FLIGHT Pet Check list

·         Health Certificate and copy of all current Vaccinations. Most importantly, Rabies.


·         Any Medications your pet may be on.


·         Your pet’s Veterinarian’s information as well as the nearest Emergency Vet at your destination.


·         Your pet’s food and treats (please check the most current recall websites for treats and foods that are being recalled)


·         Bottle water. Sometimes new city water can cause upset stomachs. Best to use bottled if you can.


·         Collar and ID Tags. A spare if you have one.


·         Leash or Harness.


·         Poop baggies.


·         Toys, bed or blankets. Pack appropriately for weather.


Some Arizona Pet Friendly Restaurants for those of you who may have friends or family coming to visit you in Arizona!
·         Uncle Bears Grill and Bar (various valley locations)
  • BLD is (Breakfast, Lunch Dinner) and next to one Uncle Bear's, on Dobson Rd and the 202 in Chandler)


·         In and Out Burgers


·         San Tan Brewery


·         Sonic Drive-ins


·         Dos Gringos


·         Iguana Macks


·          Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert


·         Brackins Bar in Scottsdale


·         Daily Dose in Scottsdale


·         Duck and Decantor in Phoenix


·         The Orange Table in Scottsdale


·         Ken’s Creekside in Sedona


·         Ni’Marcos in Flagstaff


·         Delectables in Tucson


These are just a few. It’s a good idea to check out restaurants near your hotel prior to travel.


U.S. Pet Air Travel Regulations

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates air transportation of pets within the U.S. and all airlines are required by law to follow the guidelines below. Individual airlines may impose further restrictions or fees for flying with your pet. Make sure to check your airline as well.


USDA Guidelines


ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS
· When booking a flight on which you wish to bring your pet, call the airline directly to make the reservation and confirm that there is a space available for your pet on the flight.
· 24 to 48 hours before your flight, it's a good idea to call the airline and reconfirm that you will be traveling with your pet.
· Advance arrangements are not guarantees that your pet will travel on a specific flight. Airlines reserve the right to refuse transport of an animal for reasons like illness, an improper carrier, or extreme temperatures. Airlines can also refuse carriage of an animal that demonstrates aggressive or violent behavior.
· Animals travel under less stress when they are accustomed to their carrier before they travel. In the weeks prior to your trip, put your dog into his carrier as often as possible for trips around town.
· Please note that pets are not allowed to travel with unaccompanied minors on any airline.
THE DAY OF YOUR FLIGHT
· The USDA requires that your pet be offered food and water within four hours before you check in. Since a full stomach might be uncomfortable for your dog during travel, we recommend feeding him right at four hours before the flight, if possible.


· While its best to refrain from feeding your dog right before the flight, you can (and should) give him water right up to the time of travel. Just be sure to empty the dish before checking in so it doesn't spill during the flight. If you're checking the dog, leave dishes in the carrier so an airline employee will be able to provide your pet with food and water in the event of an extended wait before or after the flight.


· Exercise your pet before leaving for the airport. Carry a leash with you so you can walk your pet before you check in and after you arrive at your destination. This will help your dog calm down prior to and after the flight.


· Arrive at the airport early, but not too early. You will not be allowed to check your pet in more than four hours before the flight. Most airlines recommend arriving two hours before your flight when you're traveling with your pet. Passengers traveling with pets must check in at the ticket counter. No curbside or self-service check-in is allowed.


APPROVED PET CARRIERS
· Whether your pet is a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, there is a pet carrier to match. The majority of carriers are made of hard plastic with holes for ventilation. No part of the animal is allowed to protrude from the carrier. As a result, wire carriers are not permitted. Soft-sided carriers are permitted in the cabin only.

· Carriers must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. If the pet carrier does not allow the animal to do this, the airline will refuse transport.

· Carriers must have a solid, leak-proof floor that is covered with a towel, litter, or other absorbent lining for accidents that might occur during transit.
· Carriers must be well ventilated with openings that make up at least 14% of the total wall space. At least 33% of the openings must be located in the top half of the carrier and the carrier must have rims to prevent ventilation openings from being blocked by other cargo.
· Carriers should have either grips or handles, so airline employees don't have to put their fingers inside and risk being bitten.
· The carrier should contain two empty dishes, for food and water, along with feeding instructions and your signature certifying that your pet was offered food and water within four hours of your flight's scheduled departure.
· Mark the carrier with your pet's name and include identification tags with your home address and phone number as well as the address and phone number of someone who can be reached at your destination.
· You should mark "Live Animal" on the top and side of the carrier, with directional arrows indicating the proper position of the carrier.
· Do not put a leash or muzzle with the animal, either inside or attached to the outside of the carrier, during transit.
· Kennels can contain one adult dog. Two puppies will be allowed together if they are eight weeks to six months old, weigh more than 20 pounds each, and are fully weaned.

HEALTH CERTIFICATES
The USDA requires that your pet must be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned before traveling. Only pets in good health are permitted to fly. Airlines will not transport animals that are violent, ill, or in physical distress.


All pets crossing state borders, with the exception of guide dogs, are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have a rabies immunization and valid health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of travel. If your pet is traveling via cargo, or if you are a breeder, dealer, or research facility transporting a dog, the health certificate should be issued no more than 10 days before departure.


USE OF TRANQUILIZERS
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases, dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying. An animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation, which can be dangerous when the kennel is moved.
Whether your dog is flying in the cabin or as a checked pet, he will be exposed to increased altitude pressures. This can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs which are sedated or tranquilized. Snub-nosed dogs (American Staffordshire Terriers, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Brussels Griffins, Bull Terriers, English/French Bulldogs, English Toy Spaniels, Japanese Chins, King Charles Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Pekineses, Pugs, Shar-Peis and Shih Tzus) are especially affected.
While sedation is generally not advised, the decision on whether or not to prescribe a tranquilizer for your pet should be made by your veterinarian. If your veterinarian decides that tranquilizers are medically necessary, the name of the drug, the dosage, and how the drug was administered should be indicated on the dog's carrier.
EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
Extreme hot and cold temperatures can pose a health risk to pets. In summer, choose early morning or late evening flights. In winter, choose mid-day flights. Whenever possible, book nonstop or direct flights and avoid weekend and holiday travel.
If you are traveling to or from a destination where the temperature is (or is forecasted to be) either below 45F or above 85F (75F for snub-nosed dogs), you will need a letter signed by your veterinarian stating that your pet is acclimated to extreme weather. If the temperature is below 20F or above 95F, your pet will likely not be allowed to travel in the cargo area even with a letter of acclimation.


International Travel
Many countries have strict regulations regarding international pet travel. You'll find an overview of bringing Fido to many popular international destinations below. No matter where you're going, you should contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country to confirm pet travel regulations, obtain all of the necessary paperwork (such as health certificates and documentation) regarding your pet's travel, and contact your local veterinarian to ensure your pet is in compliance with foreign health regulations. And finally, don't forget to check regulations on bringing Fido back to your home country too. Quarantine rules may apply even if your dog has only been gone a short time.
We hope this makes Travel a little easier for you!


If you are planning on traveling soon with your pet/s please contact your veterinarian for the Health Certificate and any vaccines needed.
Thank you!

Thank you for your continued Support of the Az Pet Professionals! Arizona's Preferred Network of Valley Pet Professionals! We work for YOU!

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