Page created Apr. '03, upd: 02 April 2003 -

Toby's and Mickey's - Traveling With Dogs

5. Canine Travel Tips and Advice From Experienced Breeders:

o Check on what vaccinations are needed and if there are any restrictions on when they should be done. Some countries require that the rabies shot is given a certain amount of time before the health certificate is issued.

o Update any required vaccinations several weeks before the health exam. You do not want a reaction to a vaccination to cause your dog to have any bumps or elevated temperature that might interfere with getting the health certificate.

o Another thing to think about is medications if the dog requires insulin, thyroid medication, seizure medication etc. The owners need to be able to time the dosages and also need to have a good supply with them so they won't run out before a new source can be found. That would be more relevant to people moving to a new country.

o Also regarding medications-owners should also carry extra prescriptions.

o Owners who prefer not to vaccinate should definitely find out if using verification of immunity by using titers is acceptable. Whether or not that would be acceptable would depend on where the dog is going. Check with the airline, and with the embassy of the foreign country for international flights.

o Make multiple photocopies of all documents, and carry several copies as well as the original health certificate with you.

o Carry a good picture of the dog just in case something happens and he/she gets loose (you may want to have multiple copies). Have contact information available for someone at your point of departure and your destination.

o Use a non-slip collar and sturdy lead so that, if something frightens the dog, he cannot slip out of the collar. Leave a plain buckle collar with ID information on the dog. Be sure it is snug enough that he cannot catch a foot in it if he goes to scratch.

o Carry the dog's leash in your purse (on in your carryon cabin bag).

o Use soft, absorbent bedding like a blanket or baby quilt in the crate.

o Newspaper under the dog's bedding will draw away any moisture - in case the dog does have an 'accident' in the crate. However, newspaper can stain the coat if the dog pees in the crate. Shredded paper will draw the moisture away and is nice and soft. Many people shred all of their mail so they could just use that for bedding.

o Consider putting some strips of bright colored tape on your dog crate. That will make it easier for you to see if you are trying to watch out the window as it is loaded on the plane.

o If you are traveling internationally check the requirements for the design of the airline kennels. Domestic flights in the US require ventilation on 2 sides plus the door. International flights usually require ventilation on the back side of the kennel as well.

o Two dogs traveling? Crate them separately! Even two dogs who get along perfectly can squabble, particularly if they are stressed by the crate, the plane, the baggage handlers, etc. A minor squabble could turn into a bloodbath when both dogs are confined in a very limited area such as a crate. Some airlines will not allow 2 dogs to travel in one crate.

o Check very carefully about temperature restrictions. Airlines may refuse to transport pets in extreme weather. Many airlines will only transport pets if the ground temperature at the departure, transit and destination cities is within a cetain minimum and maximum temperature range. These restrictions are for your pet's safety. If the temperature is below the minimum (+/- 32f. = 0c.) or above the maximum (+/- 80f. = 27c.) restriction the airline might not allow your pet to be put on the plane. These restrictions apply to accompanied animals as well as those being shipped air freight. Get confirmation from the airline in writing if possible.

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