Vacationing Pets Have Specific Needs When Traveling
PETCO offers how-to tips to make your trip more pleasant for
you and your pet
San Diego, CA, June 2, 2003 - As Spring turns
to Summer, families across the country gear up for their annual
vacations. Since pets are members of the family, more and
more people are taking their furry friends with them when
they travel. In an effort to ensure the family pet is happy
and healthy during this journey, PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.
offers these helpful tips.
What you need to do before you go, the method of travel and
where you are heading are all issues to think about as you
plan your vacation.
Before you go: Make sure your pet's shots are
up-to-date, and do not administer any medication or treatments
without first discussing them with your veterinarian. Obtain
documentation from your vet to show that your pet's vaccinations
are current, and that your companion is healthy. If you are
traveling to another country, check with that nation's embassy
to determine what precautions will need to be met in order
to safely take your pet with you. Many countries require long
quarantine periods for pets coming across their borders, so
you will want to know these specifics so you can determine
whether or not you really want to take your pet with you.
If you are going to leave your pet behind, the ideal setting
is your own home, in a familiar environment. If you can find
someone trustworthy and reliable to take care of your pet
while you are gone, the pet will experience less stress as
a result of you being away. If not, find a reputable kennel;
inspect the premises, and tell them any special requirements
they need to provide to make your pet comfortable for the
duration of your trip.
The first thing to consider is the mode of
transportation: Will you be driving or flying? Taking the
train or the bus? Before answering that question, travelers
need to find out what kind of restrictions those carriers
place on animal travel. Some companies do not allow pets on
board at all, while others require specific documentation
and/or charge an additional fee. The more information you
have before booking your travel arrangements, the fewer surprises
you will have as you set out to enjoy your time away from
the daily grind.
Car Travel: If you
are traveling by automobile, think about the animal's safety
as well as your own. A dog or cat roaming around the car while
you drive can be distracting and dangerous. There are a number
of different carriers - in a variety of sizes - which you
can find to help keep your pet safe and secure for the journey.
If using a carrier, it is always beneficial to introduce your
pet to the housing several days before the trip, to help them
become comfortable with it. Put a favorite toy or blanket
inside the carrier with the door open, so your pet can get
used to going in and out, and won't feel so isolated when
they are shut inside. If you have a large breed dog, and don't
have the space in the back seat for a large carrier, there
are seat belt-type harnesses that are available which will
achieve the same purpose without taking up a lot of extra
space. In addition, if you have an SUV or other vehicle with
space in the back, you can create a roomy environment for
your pet with a gate that will allow them some freedom while
at the same time keeping them away from the driver. Another
safety consideration is heat; do not leave an animal unattended
in a vehicle. Temperatures can top 100 degrees within a matter
of minutes - even with a window slightly open - and can pose
significant health risks to your pet.
Air Travel: Traveling
by plane will pose a new set of considerations, and the size
of your pet will be a factor in where the animal is housed
for the duration of the flight. For smaller animals, the ideal
location is in a small carrier placed under the seat in front
of you, like any piece of carry-on luggage. Some airlines
will allow this, but may charge an additional fee. Larger
animals will have to go below the main passenger cabin. In
either case, get a direct flight, and if your pet is not seated
with you let the captain or a flight attendant know; he or
she may take special precautions if they are aware an animal
is on board.
Consider where you are going, and what you
will need once you arrive: Your home is likely equipped with
a number of conveniences and amenities for your companion
animal, so you will need to consider how you can make their
temporary environment equally as comfortable. A familiar food
dish, toys or bedding will help them feel at home wherever
they go. Keeping them on the same diet is also important;
traveling is not the time to change which foods they eat.
But, depending on your destination, there will be other considerations
to be made.
Staying in a hotel:
As travel with pets becomes more and more common, a number
of hotels - including national chains such as Loews Hotels,
Motel 6, and Red Roof Inn - allow pets in their rooms. Even
in chains, though, some individual hotels are more cooperative
than others when it comes to pets; so it is always best to
call ahead to confirm that it won't be a problem. If you aren't
exactly sure where you will be staying on any given night
as you travel, try to find the basic policies of a number
of chains, so you will at least have some options of where
to stop while on the road. Some hotels will require a security
deposit for your pet, and may deduct from that if the room
smells like your pet…so it doesn't hurt to carry a small
can of room deodorizer. And then there is Loews, which will
not only welcome your pet, but will provide a gift bag and
treats to let your furry friend know they are truly welcome.
Staying in a house:
If you are going to someone's home, there are a few things
to consider. First of all, let the occupants know you are
bringing your pet, to make sure there are not issues with
allergies or other problems that could cause problems for
you, your companion and your hosts. Along with the basic food
and supplies listed above, you will also want to get a temporary
nametag that lists the phone number where you are staying,
in case your pet gets lost while you are there. Grooming and
pest control are also important considerations, especially
as the weather heats up and flea and tick season kicks in.
Keeping your pet brushed will not only help you inspect them
for signs of fleas and ticks, but will also reduce excess
hair which retains heat. A variety of flea collars and topical
treatments are available.
Following this simple advice will ensure that
both you and your pet have a healthy, happy and safe vacation.
You can find travel-related products in any PETCO store, or
in the petco.com Travel Center.
PETCO is a leading specialty retailer of premium
pet food, supplies and services, with a commitment to quality
animal care and education. PETCO's strategy is to offer its
customers a complete assortment of pet-related products and
services at competitive prices, with superior levels of customer
service at convenient locations, by hiring pet lovers and
training them to become counselors to our pet-loving customers.
PETCO generated net sales of $1.48 billion in the fiscal year
ended February 1, 2003. It operates more than 620 neighborhood
stores in 43 states and the District of Columbia, as well
as a leading destination for on-line pet food and supplies
at www.petco.com. The PETCO Foundation, PETCO's non-profit
organization, has raised more than $12 million since inception
in 1999. More than 1,500 non-profit grassroots animal welfare
organizations from around the nation have received support
from the Foundation.