Don’t. Yeah. I’m serious.
Think about how unpleasant it is for a human to travel these days. While your dog is not likely to be mistaken for a terrorist (though such a thing is not impossible…) a small dog is likely to be uncomfortable stuck in a carrier, even if your are close by to offer comfort (do not offer comfort in the form of alcohol or chocolate though, since these are toxic for dogs...more on that in a future blog....). Larger dogs must go into the cargo hold, which is even more terrifying: cold, noisy, with all sorts of freight, boxes and other dog carriers shifting about unexpectedly.
And when you arrive at your destination, there’s the matter of adjustment. Your jet lag might impair your ability to get up and walk your dog when they need it, resulting in a stinky surprise when you wake up (your hotel won’t likely be amused by this either).
If you insist on traveling with your dog, check the airline and follow their rules in this regard to the letter (you don’t want to be barred from bordering your plane for some minor infraction). The majority of airlines require a health certificate for your pet; ask you vet for details.
Instead of traveling with your pet, consider the options:
· Have them stay at home, while a friend (a very GOOD friend) comes by and makes sure your dog is properly exercised, fed and watered.
· Have your dog stay at a friend’s house (see above).
· Board your dog.
Dog boarding facilities very wildly in quality and price. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Check the web, your friends, your vet. A boarding facility can be as simple as a storefront with some kennels in the backroom to a truly fabulous resort type setting including a pool, organized activities to yoga (yes YOGA, I AM writing this from California…). If you’re concerned about price, think of all the trouble of finding a pet friendly hotel, paying more for your stay because of your pet, not to mention the stress for the dog and yourself. Also, shop for the boarding facility well before your trip; last minute decisions have a way of being rash and might cost you more in the long run. Also, you might want to drop your dog off at the boarder’s the night before you fly, to avoid delays to your flight the morning after.
Remember, it’s either find a very good boarding facility OR cultivate some VERY good friends.