Traveling with Pets in the USA

Traveling with Pets in the USA

pet travel. man

Posted February 25, 2014

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Pets are a joy to have but travel with them can be a bit of a nightmare, even across the USA.

Not only do pet travel rules vary from airline to airline, but if you’re going by train or ship it can be even more difficult to find a carrier that allows pets onboard.

Dog in RV. Pet travel
It is important to have a special harness when traveling with your dog or cat.

Accommodation for your pet when you arrive is another issue to consider, as though more hotels are pet-friendly of late, not all will cater to your pet’s needs. On top of all that, it’s not just you that can get stressed out during this process as depending on the mode of transport, travel can be a scary and dangerous experience for your fur-baby.

Despite all this, travelers of all kinds want their pets with them. So, how do you get through this pet travel business?

Cat carrier
Cat carriers should also have a special harness that keeps them safe during travel.

First off with air travel, there are some generally accepted rules for example: Pets will often require a vet’s health certificate, and must be healthy; they should be at least eight weeks old and weigh less than 100 pounds; pets are not allowed outside of their containers; snakes are generally not allowed; and airlines take no responsibility for the health and safety of your pet.  If you’re good with all of that, the next step is to make sure you choose an airline that offers the best options for your pet’s overall wellbeing.

As alternatives, train and ship pet travel in the USA can get a little tricky. A few smaller railroad companies are fine with pets aboard as long as their rules are adhered to, as is the case with boating vessels. For less hassle try Europe, where train travel with pets is usually allowed.

If you choose to hop a bus with “Fido” expect varied rules as you cross states, as they all have their own pet travel rules. Where possible car travel is often the best and most popular option for transporting pets, as most of the time it just requires a special harness that keeps the animal secured during the ride.

Don’t get too despondent about other forms of pet travel and their various hang-ups, as in some cases on airlines for example, pets in cages that are small enough to fit under the seat are allowed in the cabin. There is hope for a smooth pet travel experience.

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  • Jacqueline “Jackie” Jones is a Barbadian author and entrepreneur who spends more time lost in the virtual world than anyone should. Jackie loves meeting new people as much as she loves traveling, and she’s often guilty of “interviewing” unsuspecting strangers whether they want her to or not. When she’s not dealing with the day-to-day of running two businesses (Originz Multimedia and Waterway Media), or spending time with family and friends, Jackie turns to words and is an accomplished speculative fiction writer.