How To Bring Your Pet On The Plane

Nothing beats a new adventure. To make it even better, take your favorite furry friend along. You will both enjoy the new sights, sounds and smells that await you. Here are a few tips to make your trip easier, when traveling by air with your small pet.

    1. Plan Ahead – You will need to check with the airline to ensure they allow pets in the main cabin of the aircraft. You will be required to make a separate reservation for your pet. The cost per pet will range from $70-$125 each way. Most airlines have a limit regarding the number of pets they allow, in the main cabin, on each flight. So reserve your pet’s flight when you book your own.
    1. Pet Carrier – You will need an airline approved pet carrier for your little companion. Airline approved carriers are designed to fit under the seat in front of you. However, many isle seats will not be large enough to accommodate a pet carrier. Go to your airlines website for more information on acceptable carriers and carrier dimensions. Your pet needs to be comfortable and have the available space to stand and turn around inside the carrier. In the weeks prior to your trip, work with your pet to get them comfortable with their carrier. Including familiar items like a toy and blanket are good idea. Just be sure the items you put in the carrier are not too bulky. Please be aware, a pet carrier is considered a piece of carry-on luggage. Most airlines only allow two pieces of carry on luggage per passenger.
    1. Heath Certificate – Most airlines require a current health certificate from your veterinarian. This means your pet must be in good health and be up to date on all their shots. A current health certificate is one that is obtained 10-30 days prior to travel. Check with your airline to determine the appropriate time frame. If your trip will exceed the airlines health certificate expiration time frame, you may need to obtain another health certificate for your return flight home.
    1. Sedation – If you have never traveled by air with your pet, or you have a high-strung pet, you may want to consider sedating your pet. Talk to your veterinarian, at the time you are getting your health certificate, to determine if this is appropriate for your pet. There are herbal remedies available for calming and relaxing your pet. Rescue Remedy Pet is an excellent over the counter natural alternative to prescription sedatives.
    1. Pre-Flight Meal – Be sure your pet’s last meal was at least 8 hours prior to flying. A light dinner, the night before travel, is best. A slightly hungry pet will be more comfortable than a pet that needs to evacuate. Bring along some small nibbles for your pet to reward them for good behavior during your trip. Allow your pet to drink water up to an hour before your flight. When in the terminal, pick up a bottle of water. You can offer your pet a sip or two if you feel they may be dehydrated.
    1. Potty Break – Always give your pet an opportunity to go potty before your flight and on long lay overs (if appropriate). In advance of your trip research where the Pet Relief areas are located in the airports you will be traveling to. Be sure to bring your pet’s collar and leash to allow your pet to stretch their legs safely. Preston Ribbon offers a wide variety of collars and leashes that will express your personality through your pet. Pick a matching collar and leash that is the same theme as your destination. Never forget to bring a supply of poop bags.
    1. Airport Pet Etiquette – Almost all airports do not allow pets to be out of their carriers when in the terminal. However, this rule seems to vary widely from airport to airport. Familiarize yourself with each airport’s rules as they relate to pets. You may see dogs on leash in the airport, but this doesn’t mean it is allowed. Airports can be very crowded with passengers running through airports with large pieces of luggage in tow. Not to mention, the passenger transfer carts zipping through the terminal. It is best to keep your little-one off the ground.
  1. Clothing – It is not recommended to outfit your pet with a shirt, sweater or coat when traveling by plane. This may cause them to overheat and can hinder their ability to move causing them to get tangled inside the carrier. However, plane cabin temperatures can be unpredictable. You also need to take into account the temperature of the locations you will be visiting. Bring along a shirt or sweater, in the event, the plane is too cold. If you feel the need to clothe your pet, check on them periodically.

The more you travel with your pet the easier it gets. You know your own pet the best. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a stress free fun trip. Happy Travels!

Things You Should Consider Before Having Pet

Owning a pet can be such a rewarding and joyful experience but providing and caring for your pet takes time; effort and money. Have you ever wondered why so many pets end up at animal shelters? A large proportion of these animals are there because the ‘pet parents’ didn’t do their homework before acquiring the animal. If you are thinking of getting a pet you need to consider a lot before going ahead.

In many ways, pets have the same needs that humans do. They need to eat; drink; have a safe place to stay; a dry place to sleep; someone to provide medical care if required; to be stimulated mentally and physically and to feel loved. Responsible pet ownership starts well before you purchase your pet. Important issues need to be considered and discussed before purchasing.

Before you make your decision, research, research, research. If you have a pet in mind or are looking for ideas, visit the library; look online; talk with breeders and trainers; friends; local council and vets to get the full picture of what it takes to look after your choice of pet. You’ll want to learn about the animals’ temperament; exercise requirements; grooming; suitability for children and possible health problems. Be sure to take into account any allergies you may have and your current and future situation.

Other Key Points to Consider

Cost

Can you afford to look after your pet? Not only will you have the initial cost of purchasing your pet you’ll also have ‘set up’ costs and occasional costs associated with buying items such as a kennel; bedding; lead; collar; bowls; grooming equipment; registration; training and desexing. There are also ongoing costs that will have to be covered including supplying appropriate pet food; paying veterinary bills; vaccinations; worming; grooming and pet care providers. Vet bills can be very expensive so many people opt for pet insurance.

Time

  • Are you prepared for a long term commitment? Many of the popular pets such as dogs and cats have a life expectancy greater than ten years while horse owners can expect at least twenty.
  • Many pets require daily exercise (rain, hail or shine) or they can become destructive and naughty. Will you be up to the task? If you are unable to meet the exercise needs of your pet are you willing to pay a pet carer to assist you?
  • Consider how much time you spend at home each day. Many pets don’t cope being left alone for long periods. Again, are you prepared to pay a pet carer to assist you with this?

The dirty stuff

  • Who will be responsible for cleaning up after your pet? Yes they all go to the toilet so someone has to clean up after them.
  • Cages, kennels, bedding, food and water bowls will need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Your pet will require some form of regular grooming which may include bathing, brushing, ear cleaning, nail clipping and teeth cleaning. You can also enlist the help of a pet carer to assist you with these tasks.

Where to buy

Once you’ve done the ground work and made the decision to choose your pet, you need to decide where your pet will come from.

Avoid supporting any pet mills. Pets bred in pet mills don’t receive adequate care and are raised in appalling conditions. The animals often suffer lifelong health and behavioural problems. Always buy your pets from animal rescue organizations such as your local shelter; the RSPCA or a reputable registered breeder.

Animal rescue organizations such as the RSPCA do wonderful work rescuing and re-homing animals. They have many pets in need of new homes but should they not have what you are looking for then your next stop is a reputable breeder.

Your reputable breeder check list should include YOU being able to:

  • Meet/view the parents or at least the mother of the pet;
  • View a high standard of care and living conditions (including human interaction);
  • See happy, healthy pets free of genetic disorders;
  • Access to ongoing support and information from the breeder;
  • Return the pet for inherited health problems.
  • Able to view/speak with referees.

Transport

How will you safely transport your pet? No animal should be transported unrestrained in a car. Just like you, your pet should be secure in a car. Harnesses and carriers are just a few options to safely transport your pets. Visit your local pet store to buy the most appropriate option for you and your pet. Remember, NEVER LEAVE A PET UNATTENDED IN A CAR as the extremes in temperature are swift and often fatal.

Toxic Foods

Be aware of foods that are potentially lethal if given to your pet. Just because it’s not dangerous to you doesn’t mean it’s suitable for your pet. Foods such as sultanas; nuts; grapes; chocolate; onions; tomatoes; cooked bones (and some raw); foods containing Xylitol which is a sweetener found in many foods can all be potentially lethal to dogs and cats.

How To Choose Pet For Your Family

So you’re thinking about getting a pet. Perhaps your children are hounding you for a furry friend. Or maybe there’s a spot on the sofa that really needs to be filled by a cute bundle of fur. There are so many benefits to owning a pet – but – with pet ownership comes a lot of responsibility.

The amount of work, expense and time that goes into having a companion animal varies from pet to pet, so let’s look at different types of pets, and which may be most suitable for you.

Dogs and Puppies

The unconditional love and unbridled joy that a dog or puppy can add to your life is unmatched in the pet world. Canines are furry bundles of love, and dog ownership offers many benefits. It teaches your children to be good listeners, compassionate, and moral people. It helps kids learn how to be responsible for another living creature. And dogs really do provide companionship.

So, you are probably asking, what are the drawbacks? Dogs and puppies need a lot of attention, time and training, not to mention food, accessories, pet medications and veterinary care. If your family is on a very tight budget, or simply is too busy to give the dog the face-time it needs, a dog may not be the best choice. If you are considering a dog or puppy as your family pet, make sure you can afford its’ keep, and that you have the time to spend training, hanging out and playing with your dog.

Cats and Kittens

Cats are very popular as pets. They are also beautiful, fluffy and affectionate, but much more self-reliant than dogs. Most cats can be left alone all day (or even overnight) without ill-effect. Cats tend to eat less that dogs (with the exception of the toy variety of dog), and they don’t require twice daily walks, intensive training, or constant supervision. Cats and kittens are super easy to house-train, too. Just give them a litter-box and some litter tucked away in a quiet corner of the basement, and you can rest assured your cat will litter train itself.

There are some minuses when it comes to cat ownership, however. Quite a few people suffer from allergies to cat dander, which can make it difficult to be around cats. Cats, by nature, like to sharpen their claws. Many a cat has been known to destroy living room furniture with their claws, although a cat scratching post can sometimes serve as a good alternative for the cat.

Finally, cats shed – sometimes a lot. If you are a neat freak, this may be something you would not appreciate. So if considering a cat or kitten for your pet, be sure to think about whether you can handle cleaning the litter box on a daily basis, vacuuming a lot, and dealing with the possibility of furniture damage.

Small Animals and Rodents

If your child has a hankering for a hamster, or is goading you into getting a Guinea Pig, small pets can be an excellent choice. It’s important that your child be old enough to handle the responsibility of feeding their pet and changing its’ cage bedding regularly (unless you don’t mind doing it yourself).

Additionally, your child needs to be mature enough to realize that these pets are living creatures and not toys. In the right circumstances, a small animal can be a wonderful pet – just don’t expect it to greet you at the door or perform tricks.

Keep in mind, too, that if you have other family pets such as cats or certain breeds of dogs such as terriers, pet rodents, rabbits and other small pets are a very BAD idea. They will quickly become an expensive and heart wrenching snack for your dog or cat.

Exotic Pets

Exotic Pets Snakes, lizards, turtles, iguanas and other reptiles and amphibians can make very interesting pets, but they are not for the squeamish. Keeping such a pet is more like a hobby than having a loving, warm-blooded pet like a dog or cat.

These creepy critters need equipment such as a terrarium in which to live, and may also require such accessories as heating lamps, heating rocks, foliage, etc. Some reptiles, such as snakes, have a rather gruesome diet; dead rodents. Feeding such a diet is not a task for the faint of heart (or stomach). If you are thinking of getting one of these exotic and unusual creatures, make sure you can handle the care requirements.

Pet Fish

Now here’s a pet most people can easily manage. A goldfish or tetra in a small bowl makes a fun and easy pet to take care of. Inexpensive, nice to watch, and not in need of much time or attention, a fish or two can make a great starter pet for most kids.

And if one wants to get fancy, fish aquariums can be very elaborate, incorporating all different kinds of salt water or fresh water fish and aquatic plants. This is a hobby that can be very expensive and time-consuming, so only consider it if you have the time and resources.

With so many types of pets to choose from, choosing a pet can be a daunting task. Be sure to do your research about what each type of pet needs – and offers – so that you’ll be prepared when you begin your search for pets for sale or adoption.

Choosing Pets For Holiday Gift

Pet shops and breeders make a huge amount of money during the winter holiday season. That’s because people believe that puppies, kittens and exotic pets make great gifts. Just the thought of you, a loved one or close friend receiving a bundle of pet joy during the holiday time warms your heart. However, most people end up cooling off to the idea real fast once they discover all the work involved in caring for a new pet. This is especially true during the winter holiday season when visitors stop by frequently, parties are scheduled, guests stay overnight and there is never enough time to do everything you need or want to do.

Each year animal shelters are filled with unwanted pets before and after the holidays. Before, because people that decided to purchase or adopt pets during the summer or fall suddenly realize that they have no one to watch the animals while the make merry. They can’t be bothered with the care, feeding and training involved when there are so many holiday errands to run. After, because once the cuteness wears off and a rug or cage has to be cleaned, or the food and veterinarian bills start piling up, the pet is no longer a welcomed member of the family.

I have created a list of suggestions for people that want to purchase or adopt a pet for themselves or someone else over the holidays (it can actually apply anytime):

1. Purchase or adopt a pet for the right reason.

Do you or the person you’re giving the pet to really want that pet? People sometimes adopt pets as a stop gap measure for other things happening in their lives. A break up, a divorce, illness, to feel better or wanted: these and many other things are not good reasons for new pet ownership. Neither is the stirring of a bruised conscious. Just because the local shelter goes on TV and displays pets they say must be adopted or they will be destroyed doesn’t mean that you are the best candidate for such an adoption. Emotional response is also a bad reason to bring a pet into your life.

Purchase or adopt a pet because you really want one and are willing to take on all the responsibilities involved. Think of the pet as a person you are inviting into your home. Are you willing to share your place with a pet, take care of it and pay the expenses involved with that care? Can you spare the time to spend with your pet? Many animals require socializing with their owners on a regular basis. The alternative can be negative and destructive behavior to get your attention. Remember, pets can’t talk. They can’t ask for you to spend time with them.

2. Never surprise anyone with a pet.

Although I am sure that your heart is in the right place when it comes to surprising someone you care about with a cute pet, it’s a really bad idea. Pet ownership is something that should be given a lot of thought, discussed and evaluated beforehand. Just because someone once told you they might like a cute pet to keep them company doesn’t mean you should arrive with one at their door during the holidays. The holiday season is a terrible time to begin pet ownership. It’s just too busy for most people to be able to handle, train and care for a new pet.

No one likes discussing it, but if a pet dies shortly after coming into your home that’s a holiday memory that is likely to last for years. It happens more often than you think and this is yet another thing to consider before you purchase or adopt a pet.

3. Decide if you can take on the financial responsibility of a pet.

We can no more predict the future health of an animal than we can predict our own future health. You might purchase or adopt a pet and find that it becomes sick within just days of arriving in your home. Sometimes this is caused by a change of location. Many types of pets are creatures of habit and do not adjust well to sudden changes in their environment. Pets that are already on medications are particularly vulnerable.

It’s a dirty little secret that many pet stores and even shelters that offer dogs and cats give them large amounts of antibiotics to get or keep them healthy. Once they leave that environment and the antibiotics stop, the animals can take a nose dive in terms of their health. Are you ready to spend hundreds of even thousands of dollars for emergency veterinarian visits, procedures, medications or even surgeries? If not, pets are not for you.

4. Read the fine print on contracts or agreements before you purchase or adopt.

Many pet stores and shelters have limited return policies and those that do often have fees. With few exceptions, you can’t test drive a pet. Once you leave the store or shelter, the animal belongs to you. Pet stores and shelters are very strict when it comes to these matters and others outlined in your agreement or contract with them. Read and re-read any purchase or adoption agreements or contracts before you sign on the dotted line and make sure you can live up to them.

Due to the irresponsibility of many pet owners, most cities and towns now have laws that require pet owners to vaccinate or have some type of veterinarian procedures completed as part of their pet ownership. Failure to comply with these laws may cause confiscation of the pet with any and all fees involved (including care, housing and vet fees incurred by the jurisdiction) passed on to the owner. Penalties for failure to comply or pay fees can result in everything from driver license suspension, to receiving a ticket or summons or even arrest on felony charges.

5. Discuss pet ownership with everyone living in your home before you take the plunge.

When you bring a pet into your home, it becomes everyone’s pet. While you may think of it as being yours, everyone living with you will probably have to make some sort of an adjustment in their lives to accommodate your new pet. Not everyone may be willing to do that. This can cause arguments and disagreements. That might mean that your pet will eventually end up homeless and that is so unfair to any animal. Discuss pet ownership with your family before you purchase or adopt. Spell out any and all changes in lifestyle that may result from having your new pet in the home.

I am not trying to be a Scrooge by keeping anyone from pet ownership by purchase or adoption. However, the things I have shared with you are based on what I have seen happen in the lives of my family and friends over the years. I am hoping to help you and any pets you might think about bringing into your home to avoid disaster. Happy Holidays!