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Traveling with Your Pet


 Traveling with your pet can be rewarding but challenging if not enough preparation has been made.  Planning will help your trip go smoother and should include acquiring any paperwork that is needed, consideration of the temperatures to be experienced and how to deal with them, and obtaining equipment that will make the trip easier.

It is a good idea to first consult with your veterinarian.  Make sure your pet is current on all vaccinations.  Ask your pet's doctor about the region to which you will be traveling and whether there are any diseases that require additional vaccines, i.e. Lyme or Lepto, or other measures, i.e. heartworm preventative.   It is important your pet have identification; make sure the tag on the collar is current and the printing is legible. Your veterinarian should also implant a microchip into your pet as a form of permanent identification because collars can be lost easily.

Whether traveling by car or plane, you will need to take the current rabies certificate, a list of all other vaccines, and the microchip number.  There is a law (rarely enforced), that any animal crossing a state line, by any means of transportation, needs a health certificate, with your veterinarian performing the exam within 30 days.  Airlines do require a health certificate; most ask the exam be performed within 10 days of the flight.  If your stay exceeds 10 days, you may need a second exam and health certificate for your return flight.

Not all airlines accept pets either in the cargo space or in the passenger section.  You will need to call and ask for a reservation.   If your pet will fit in a soft-sided crate that will fit under the seat ahead of you, it is better for your pet to travel in the passenger section.  If the airline does accept pets, they usually will take only two per plane in the passenger section and they require one person to be traveling for each pet, i.e., one person can't take two pets.

If your pet is flying in the cargo section, get a direct flight if possible, as the most critical time is not while flying, but at layovers.  If there is no direct flight, you should plan your routing considering the environmental temperature of the city and time of the layover.  For example, you should not plan a layover at 2pm in Phoenix, Arizona in July.  While we worry more about heat than cold, if you have a choice, you may not want to schedule a layover in Minneapolis in January.
It is recommended to not tranquilize your pet, especially if it is flying in the cargo section.  The pet needs to be able to react to its environment.  It needs to shiver if it is too cold, or pant if it is too hot.  More pets die as a result of being tranquilized during a flight than not.  

You should obtain a crate that is sturdy and made for airline travel.  The crate should have a towel or absorbent pad on the bottom.  It is better to not have any food in the crate, as eating may stimulate defecation.  A water source is a good idea, especially a water container that can't spill like a licker bottle.

If you are traveling to more exotic locations, such as Hawaii or another country, you will need to apply for special permits, and you may need to start planning as much as six months ahead of the trip.  The testing requirements and paperwork can be quite extensive.  You may want to contract with one of the pet moving companies.  

If you are traveling by car, it is a good idea to keep your pet in a crate or restrain them with a pet seat belt. It is dangerous for them to be loose in the car in the case of a sudden stop, and it is distracting for the driver. You will need to pack all their necessities: food, bowls, toys, plastic bags, and a good leash. Pets can easily escape from the car, so make sure the leash is attached before the car door is opened. A handy item to have is a travel water bowl that can be folded and easily carried. Some people find that their pet is sensitive to water from other sources and will take a large container of water with them.

 Traveling with your pet can be lots of fun as more and more facilities are becoming pet friendly.  Planning can help your trip proceed smoothly.  If you have any questions, your veterinarian can help you.

 

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The First Pet Airline!

A new company, Pet Airways, has started the first pet -only airline for dogs, cats and exotic animals.  Flights are between five major cities: New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.  The first flight is scheduled for July 14 from New York to Los Angeles.  Pet Airways hopes to expand to 25 continental cities in the next few years. A one -way flight costs around $149.  Pets are dropped off at a facility near the airport and are cared for in a reception area before boarding the plane.  The plane has seats for only the crew, and up to 50 secured traveling crates.  Pet attendants are with the pets at all times; pets are not allowed to roam about the plane.  Pet owners collect their pets from a lounge at the destination. Pet Airways states " You don't have to worry about missed flights or connections.  Someone will be with your pet at all times, until you are there to collect them." For more information, visit their website PetAirways.com.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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