Like identification tags, carriers are an obvious necessity for traveling with a pet. Yet, you ought to evaluate the kennel you have and determine whether it's suitable for an extended trip -- especially if your itinerary includes flying. First, check the carrier's doors. How secure are they? When you crate your dog or cat for a quick outing, does the animal chew or scratch on the door? Has it ever successfully escaped? If so, it could be time to invest in a new carrier. Grated metal doors will be the most secure and chew-proof. Determined pets might eventually work their teeth through plastic ones. Carriers should also have plenty of ventilation. The windows or air openings shouldn't be large enough that a pet could shimmy its way out, though.
Planning to fly with your pet? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns against companies that tout their kennel as airline-approved. While most airlines won't allow wheeled carriers on board, there are no pre-approved types of carriers [source: USDA]. Just opt for the strongest and most comfortable one for your pet. Pet travel rules differ among airlines, and you can contact them individually for their specifications.
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More Great Links
- American Association of Veterinary Medicine. "Pet Travel Tips." Updated Dec. 2, 2008. (Jan. 8, 2009)http://www.cvm.umn.edu/newsandevents/facts/petsafety/Pet_Travel_Tips/index.htm
- "Caring for Your Pets When You Travel." The Humane Society of the United States. (Jan. 8, 2009)http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/caring_for_pets_when_you_travel/
- "Dog Tip: First Aid Kits and Emergency Treatments -- Prepare Now!." Paw Rescue. (Jan. 8, 2009)http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FirstAid.php
- "First Aid for Pets." American Red Cross. (Jan. 8, 2009)http://www.redcross.org/SERVICES/disaster/beprepared/firstaid.html
- "Industry Statistics & Trends." American Pet Products Association. (Jan. 8, 2009)http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp
- "Pet Travel." U.S. Department of Agriculture. Updated Oct. 1, 2008. (Jan. 8, 2009)http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/pet_travel/pet_travel_tips.shtml
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