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Man’s Best Friend: Traveling & Pet Sitters

They’re man’s best friend or your cuddle buddy, so why not take your pets along?  If your snowbird destination is pet-friendly, here are some helpful travel reminders:

  1. BulletPet Identification Tags:  Make a “travel” pet tag that includes the pet’s name, your address, and phone number

  2. BulletPet photos:  Bring extra pictures of your pet with you—just in case your pet wonders off to explore the new surroundings

  3. BulletTravel Containers:  Allow your pet to become comfortable and familiar with the container it’ll be traveling in.  Include comfort items for your pet, like it’s favorite chew toy and a comfortable towel to lay on.  At the very least, make sure there is an absorbent layer incase the water dish tips over.

  4. BulletSedation:  The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends not sedating your pet for  a plane ride.  Altitude induces sleepiness and can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems.   

  5. BulletSee your veterinarian:  Some airlines require a certificate issued by a licensed vet that states that your pet meets all local, state, and federal requirements and regulations.  Often times, this certificate needs to be within 10 days of your flight.  Also ask your veterinarian about flying with a pug-nosed pet, wince these breeds may have difficulties breathing during the flight.


  1. BulletBring enough food and water for the entire trip.  Check water levels each time you stop for gas

  2. BulletMake sure nothing will fall on the kennel or animal directly.  (i.e., luggage, etc.)

  3. BulletMake sure your animal has enough fresh air and is out of the sun

  4. BulletCreate a barrier between the animal and the driver, so the driver won’t be distracted

  5. BulletThe temperature inside the car can raise 45 degrees inside of the first hour, so don’t leave your pet unattended in the car

  6. BulletResearch pet-friendly campsites and hotels before leaving

  7. BulletLook into a kennel, pet travel carrier bag (designed for dogs/cats),  and/or pet seat belts


  1. BulletAirlines charge for pets.  The regulations on pet travel may vary by airline.  Be sure to visit the website and/or call your airline to review the rules.  Some regulations may be similar to the ones below: 

  2. BulletAnimals will not be allowed in the cabin, due to the allergens that pet hair puts into the air

  3. BulletThe airline may also not accept pets if the destination weather is above 85 degrees or below 45 degrees

  4. BulletPuppies and kittens need to be at least 8 weeks old

Pet Sitters

If you’re unable to bring your pet along, ask family members, friends, or neighbors to care for your pet.  It’d be best if the person will allow the pet in their home, instead of coming over to check on it. 

If you’re unable to find someone to sit, try a professional pet sitting company.  Some companies have a facility that you bring your pet to, while others come to your home to care for your pet.  Sometimes, pet sitters are associated with house sitters.  Ask pet sitters for references and if they have insurance available. 

Information to leave with a pet sitter

  1. BulletThe name, number, and address of your veterinarian

  2. BulletCertificates of your pet’s most recent shots

  3. BulletSpecifications for feedings, exercise, discipline, and medication


Related Links:

http://www.petsitters.org:  National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.  Tells you which of the pet sitters completed the certification program, which means they studied animal care and health issues.   

http://www.petsit.com:  Features pet sitting services in the U.S., Canada, and abroad.)

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