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Pets & Travel

Nowadays there are increasing numbers of hotels and private rental holiday homes that allow pets to stay. A great number of airlines also allow pets to travel with them. For example Virgin Atlantic runs a ‘Flying Paws Club’, where the pet owner and pet receive pet related gifts.

Furthermore British Airways offer a ‘Pet travel scheme’ which allows cats and dogs to travel between a number of countries and certain UK airports without the requirement of going through the usual 6 months quarantine. Small animals usually travel in the cargo hold of the plane, which is heated and air-conditioned just like the regular passenger hold. This means choosing a good quality pet carrier is vital before air travel. A carrier should be robust and made from quality materials, with enough room for your pet to stand up and turn around.

It is important to remember that if travelling through or to London you need to contact DEFRA who need a faxed copy of all relevant documentation prior to travel. It is also a good idea to visit the government website of the country to which you’re travelling for any further entry requirements or documentation that might need completing. Furthermore you will probably have to sign some additional paper work when you check in for your flight. Therefore getting to the airport in time is vital.

There is no doubt that travelling with a pet has become a lot easier over the years. It still takes preparation and forward planning. When your dog is travelling long haul on an airplane it is advised you bring a dog coat, fleece or bed to make the flight as comfortable for your pet as possible. If however you’re travelling by road it is important to make sure your pet is secure and relaxed, without being too confined. It is always a good idea to use a pet carrier or car crate. Another important thing with car travel is to remember to stop regularly in order for your pet to be fed and watered, along with being able to go to the toilet. As with humans dog especially like to stretch their legs every now and then, so a quick walk around will be appreciated.


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