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Travelers' Aid

Traveling with Pets
July 28, 2000

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We talk a lot about ways to get you and maybe your friend around the country and around the world for cheap. But one companion on whom many travelers spare no expense is their pets. Maybe it's that more and more hotels and resorts are becoming pet-friendly, or maybe it's that good pet sitters are getting harder and harder to find, but these days, animal travelers are more common than you might think. I have one friend who takes her cat Samantha with her everywhere. She even got her a special kitty frequent flyer card.

Well for this week's Travelers' Aid, I thought I'd give a call over to Kionna Mattera. She works for a Web site called takeyourpet.com, which, as you might guess, specializes in animal travel. I asked Kionna about some good things to remember when you take your pet along with you.

In fact, one other thing Kionna told me is that no matter where you go, always call first to found out how pet friendly, or unfriendly, an establishment is. So that's what I thought I'd do. I called up Gabriel Brooke, who runs a bed and breakfast right on the tip of Cape Cod. Now, Gabriel prides herself on being pet friendly, so I asked her, what does that mean, exactly?

Remember it's always a good idea to call wherever you're going to check their individual policies on pets. Even those big chain hotels can sometimes vary on who -- and what -- they allow to stay under their roof. And another whole question is flying with Fido. Well, here's some hints: first, call the airline and let them know at least 48 hours in advance that you'll be bringing your pet with you -- either to check in one of those big travel cages, or to carry on. It wouldn't hurt just to reconfirm either the night or the morning before your trip.

Then, use direct flights. The fewer connections, the less of a chance for mishaps, rights? And if you're traveling in the summer, or if you're going somewhere known for hot weather, fly in the morning, or at night. That way, you avoid extreme temperatures, which can make your pet sick. And finally, and this is an important one, take a recent photo of your pet with you. If something unfortunate does happen, and your dog or cat turns up missing, a good portrait will really come in handy.

Savvy Resources for Traveling with Pets:


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