Tuesday, July 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Holiday travel with pets is worth hassle

Chula, a 30-pound Shetland sheepdog and veteran traveler, walks on a leash in the lobby of the TGV station at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. AP photo

In this Sept. 21, 2012 photo provided by Sheron Long, Chula, a 30-pound Shetland sheepdog and veteran traveler, walks on a leash in the lobby of the TGV station at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. Travel for humans during holidays is tough enough: Long lines, crowds everywhere, extra bags full of presents. Throw a pet in the mix, and it's a recipe for disaster. Long is the author of "Dog Trots Globe - To Paris and Provence." (AP Photo/Courtesy Sheron Long)

By
From page HH4 | November 14, 2012 |

By Sue Manning

Travel for humans during holidays is tough enough: Long lines, crowds everywhere, extra bags full of presents. Throw a pet in the mix, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

But Sheron Long, a frequent traveler and author of “Dog Trots Globe — To Paris and Provence,” say it’s worth the trouble.

“Every trip was better when Chula could be with us,” she said of her Shetland sheepdog. “She was so excited, I could imagine her dog’s eye view of the world. It causes you to explore and go see different things and meet people.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates more than 2 million pets and other animals are transported by air each year. Pets aren’t allowed on Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses or cruise lines, but they can go on many regional train, bus and boat lines.

The majority of four-legged carry-on passengers are dogs, but some airlines allow rabbits, birds and other small animals. Experts say before including a pet in travel plans, consider whether it would enjoy the experience.

“Some dogs don’t like to travel, some love it,” said Kelly E. Carter, the pet travel expert for AOL’s Paw Nation and a Chihuahua owner. “You have to know your pet.”

Caroline Golon’s two Persian cats “are not big fans of car travel” — the only way that they can travel since their breed is banned by many airlines — so they don’t go on trips. Golon said when they travel, the family stops at pet-friendly hotels rather than drive nonstop.

“Stopping overnight gives them a chance to use the litter box at their leisure and eat and drink comfortably,” said Golon, the founder of High Paw Media.

Gwen Cooper, the author of “Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat,” said animals pick up on their owners’ moods, “which means if you’re nervous, your cat or dog is going to be nervous too. The best way to avoid being nervous is to prepare you and your pet ahead of time and think through as many contingencies as possible.”

For eligible cats, as well as dogs, airlines have size requirements for pets in the cabin, so a small pet must fit in a carrier that can be stowed under a seat and larger ones must be checked in. Long’s dog weighs 30 pounds, so 9-year-old Chula has to fly in cargo.

During the holidays, though, when planes are fuller and lines are longer, some airlines ban pets in cargo, as well as times when the heat or cold is intense. Certain breeds can never fly on some airlines, including those considered to have bullying characteristics, like pit bulls, and snub-nosed animals like shih tzus or Persian cats because of potential breathing problems.

Animals that travel on Amtrak, Greyhound or cruises get a ticket to ride through their roles as service animals. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, trained helper animals such as guide dogs or signal dogs must be allowed.

Pet accommodations at airports differ, though every airport has animal-relief areas. Some are easy to find — San Francisco’s has paw prints on the floor leading to them — and most or all areas are located outside of security checkpoints. Federal transportation guidelines require animals to be removed from carriers, so pets should be collared and leashed — especially cats. Pet carriers are not X-rayed, but owners’ hands may be wiped for chemical testing.

The hassle of traveling is only half over once the plane lands. Carter, who once canceled a trip in which she and her dog were hoping to try a new hotel in Northern California, recounted how the hotel worded its pet policy online: “We are smoke-free and pet-free.”

“My God, are pets being considered killers, like smoke? That’s a sign people don’t want to be around pets,” she said.

Lisa Porter, CEO of a website that lists pet-friendly places to stay and activities around the country, said more businesses are catering to customers with a pet in tow than ever before. For example, vineyards and wineries have opened their tours to pets, and as many as 90 percent of hotels in some cities are pet-friendly, she said.

Most five-star hotels have accommodations and perks for well-behaved pets, and even most discount hotels, including Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 and Extended Stay America, are pet-friendly. Other hotels have weight limits on animals. Some charge a nightly fee for animals, some have cleaning deposits and some will charge only if there is damage.

In France, where Long and Chula spend four months every year, so many people take their dogs to restaurants that there is an “under-table culture going on,” she said. The French hospitality for dogs stops at museums, though: “The French prize their dogs, but they prize their art work even more,” she said.

Chula has been such a good travel buddy that she inspired Long’s book, which is a travelogue written from a dog’s point of view. Long said having Chula around means never being lonely — partly because of all the people who stop to admire the dog.

“If you want to be a hermit, go (traveling) alone,” Long said.

Tips for traveling with pets during holidays

Traveling with a pet isn’t easy, since there are more rules than destinations. Kelly E. Carter, president of thejetsetpets.com and AOL’s resident pet travel expert, and Sheron Long, frequent international traveler and author of “Dog Trots Globe — To Paris and Provence,” share their tips:

* Research before you go and make reservations early. Airlines offer a limited number of cabin spots for pets, and they are first-come, first-served.

* Know the weight, age and kennel size and closure restrictions for the airline you’re flying.

* Fees vary for pets, so have your checkbook or credit card ready at the airport.

* Know how much room you will have under the seat for your pet and your legs. Seatguru.com lists the dimensions on any seat on any aircraft.

* Ask for a window seat to avoid your pet getting kicked if fellow passengers want to leave their seats.

* Find out about frequent flier miles, since those policies differ with each airline.

* To prevent accidents, don’t give your pet food or water on the flight. Ask for ice cubes and let the animal lick them as she needs them.

* Carry a portfolio that includes your pet’s proof of rabies, vaccination records, a photo, your vet’s name and number, a list of medicines and references from managers of hotels where you have stayed.

* Try to fly nonstop.

* For international travelers, every country has its own regulations, paperwork and quarantine periods. Be prepared and patient.

* Don’t give your pet a sedative, since most airlines won’t take a sedated animal.

* Food is not allowed in pet carriers but tape it to the outside in case the flight is delayed or if it lasts longer than 12 hours.

* If your pet is flying in cargo, ask how it will be transported from the terminal to the plane. Some airlines have air-conditioned or heated vans.

* Pack your pet with a toy or a piece of your clothing to reassure your pet while you are separated.

* Check Petflight.com for individual airline safety rules involving pets.

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Somewhere, over the rainbow

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1

     
    Girls sleep safely at Myanmar school, thanks to generous Davisites

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Appeals panel upholds race in admissions for UT Austin

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out planned Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Summer produce, yummy treats featured at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Saylor welcomes visitors at ‘office hours’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    STEAC needs donations of personal care items

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

    Explore the night sky at Tuleyome Astronomy Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Korean teenagers welcome us with open arms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Time to support people with disabilities

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Shame on the Palestinians

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

     
    Kimble left a swimming legacy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Questions about city revenue

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

     
    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

    Not up for full-time caregiving

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Yolo Post 77 looks to avenge last year’s outcome

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Thompson shines as Republic falls

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    River Cats overpower Chihuahuas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Area sports briefs: Heintz returns to UCD

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    MLB roundup: Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Grease’ is the show at WOH

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Winters Fourth Friday Feast celebrates cycling

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Lincoln Highway rolls into Central Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Acme Theatre to present ‘The Rememberer’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Video highlights walking The Camino

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7