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Mar
29

Can Fido Come?

Taking Fido

Found a  cheap flight to London? But zero dog sitter? A super great flight to Paris but can’t leave Fido? Or did your man surprise you with a flight to Rome but your dog says no? Sometimes you just don’t want to leave old Fido at home. But can you travel with dogs? Will they be racially profiled? Cavity searched at the airport? Detained or deported by the TSA? What happens if they pee?

Here are the answers to just some of the questions keeping you and Fido awake at night.

1. Can I bring Fido to a hotel?

pet's hotel

pet's hotel

Some hotels enforce weight limits, and others like Loews and Kimpton have no restrictions at all, believe it or not even Great Danes get in. Some charge for pets, usually $10 and up per night at a quality Inn for example, some want a security deposit ($50 at Quality) and some like Red Roof Inn and For specific pet policies in the chain hotels across the United States, check out www.petswelcome.com Loews charge nothing at all. There are some unusual laws, like the one in Canada that says Pit bulls are not allowed anywhere in the Canadian province of Ontario, so be sure to check local laws and call for availability, before packing up good old Fido.

2. Can Fido be a Frequent Flyer, accrue FF miles?

take me! take me!

take me! take me!

Airline policies are not standard, but they all do agree that size is the biggest factor here. To travel as a carry-on, pets must be small enough to stand up and turn around in a carrier that fits comfortably under an airline seat. Southwest has gotten the title of most pet-friendly because it charges $75 each way for a carry-on compared with $125 on United.

If Fido can’t fit you must acquit to the baggage handlers. Pets under 50 pounds go in as luggage or for over 50 as cargo. Put Fido on a diet if at all possible because for most cargo pet drop offs, you have to go to a separate airport area designated for cargo before you can check in. Price tag: As much as $250 each way.

Southwest, AirTran, JetBle, Spirit, US Airways and Virgin American allow pets in carry-on bags only.

  1. Poor Fido, I couldn’t possibly put him in cargo, quelle horreuer!

Oh, it’s not bad! It’s just like the cabin but without food and drinks! Hah! What was I saying, it’s exactly like the cabin. Down here it’s climate controlled, pressurized. Just get them out and running off all their energy before take off and they’ll sleep the whole way.

Check out www.bringfido.com for more info.

3. What about Europe? The Mona Lisa? The Eiffel Tower?

uk quarantine

uk quarantine

Now this is where it gets fun. Known for their love of bureaucracy, the Europeans sure are a buzz kill on pet travel. The Brits in particular. For example, if you just picked up and took poor old Fido to London without checking into it, he’d be stuck in quarantine for 6 months. Same goes for Japan. So if you’re planning to go overseas, check into each country you’re planning to visit.

The UK:

  • A microchip
  • Blood test conducted at least 6 months in advance of travel
  • Official tick and tapeworm check 24 to 48 hours before the flight

If any of these requirements aren’t met, the dog will be quarantined automatically.

Italy, France:

le chein!

le chein!

  • Microchip
  • Recent vet’s health report
  • Proof of rabies vaccination at least 21 days and no more than a year in advance

To find out exactly what you need for each country, contact the embassy of the country you’re visiting and begin preparation at least 6 months ahead of time.

4. Are there any places that simply don’t allow pets at all?

Mount Rushmore National Monument

Mount Rushmore National Monument

Oh, yeah. Pets are totally banned from most trails and campgrounds, including those in Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks. Same goes for national monuments, like the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall and the Washington Monument. So no going back and discovering Fido’s roots, poor guy. Also, pets are often banned or allowed limited access on many US public beaches, especially during peak season. Check out petfriendlytravel.com/dogbeaches where you’ll find a list of places where you and your pooch can go and sunbathe in peace and freedom.

5. Can I just leave the darn dog in the room so I can go out and have some fun?

doggy spa

doggy spa

Well, of course not. Nope, you can’t just leave Fido to hit the room service bar. You have to lock him up, crate him, protect all housekeeping from the vicious 5 pounds of him. If you’re going to be gone long, ask the concierge about a local pet sitter, kennel or better yet a spa! Places like PetSmart offer doggyday care all day and overnight if you need a break. Also check out petsitter.org lists for professionals around the country.

6. Here are five must haves for your traveling pooch!

dog travel bowl

dog travel bowl

  1. Super Cool Folding Food dish: A silicone bowl that’s sturdy but folds into a pouch for $15 at republicofpaws.com
  2. Get the right sized pet carrier at sherpapet.com
  3. Don’t want your pet to drown? Life vests are great for dogs who love the ocean but just might get carried away by the waves. Check out pawsaboard.com

teafco dog carrier

teafco dog carrier

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