Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Don't just take the dog for a walk, take him on vacation!

Don't just take the dog for a walk, take him on vacation!

I have the best dog in the world, his name is Riley.  He is a brilliant silver miniature schnauzer, who from day one, captured the hearts of everyone that crossed his path.  Especially, Uncle Joel, who really does not like dogs.

Every year, we hit the road, and visit our family in Florida.  While we are down south, we always board one of the latest and greatest cruise ships, and leave Riley with his Uncle Richie.

Flying with a dog, even a perfect dog like Riley, is not easy.  Here are a few things everyone should know about air travel with dogs:

 1.     When you book your airfare, book the dog's also.  Airlines limit the number of               
       pets per flight, and they sell out quick.

2.    Review the airline's requirements for dog travel.  There are some restrictions and certainly a pricey fee.   Keep in mind, your pet will count as your carry on.  By the way, the "Companion Pet" trick will not get you out of paying for their ticket.  Too many people are traveling with pets these days, and honestly, how many people do you know really need a companion pet?

3.    Bring your dog to the vet for a checkup prior to your trip, and inquire about a sedative.  Although this may sound harsh, a relaxed pet on a plane will save you and your pet hours of grief, worry, and dirty looks from the person sitting next to you.

4.    Follow your veterinarian's feeding instructions prior to flight.

5.    Walk your dog before you leave for the airport! 

6.    Purchase / borrow a good quality carry case.  I try and buy things once.  Although a higher quality carry case may be expensive, it most likely won't have to be replaced, and will provide a safer environment for your pet.

Riley usually handles the plane ride well.  Though, there was one trip where his sedative didn't fully wear off after the flight/  He suddenly decided to take a nap in the parking lot of the rent - a - car facility.   When I woke him up, he looked at me like I was crazy!

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