I thoroughly enjoyed your last column about the mother-in-law coming for the Thanksgiving holiday. This got me thinking. I plan to be traveling for the Christmas holiday and I now have a four legged companion. She’s an adorable 3 lb. Chihuahua named “Diva”. This poses some questions I have as to the safe and non stressful holiday I wish to have with her. I’m not sure we should be flying or driving to our destination? Also, what necessary documents will I need for her? If we fly it will be a 2 ••• hour flight and if we drive it will be about 1500 miles which will require a stopover somewhere along the way. I thought maybe other people with animal companions could also benefit from these questions and your impeccable knowledge. If there is any other information you could possibly share on this subject of traveling during the holidays with your pets, I’m positive our community will benefit from it. Thank you again for a wonderful column and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Thank you for the sincerity and the holiday wishes…now let’s get to the answers you are looking for. We all know that animal companions have become accepted over the years as “members of the family”. With that being said you all want to provide a safe, stress less, and enriching environment for these adored family members. Keep in mind…traveling for pets is stressful. There is no two ways about it. However, you can ease the stress for you and your little 3 lb. “Diva” considerably. Whether you are flying or driving to your destination, it is always smart to have the correct documents with you. Airlines require it and some states do as well (you do the research). Ask your vet about acquisition of these documents as well. There are also restrictions on airplanes as to the height, weight and so on of the animal. With your little “Diva” she could probably go onto the plane with you. There are additional costs to this and each airline is different so again, you need to do the research. Whether you elect to fly or drive, I would suggest keeping a little bottle of Bach’s Rescue Remedy on hand. This is a natural calming liquid that is highly recommended by vets and sold in health food stores. My human gives this to my Moluccan Cockatoo sister “Chloe”. She stresses out a lot (most Cockatoos do) and tends to like to de-feather herself. This calms her down. A few drops into the drinking water is plenty (again…read labels for dosage and consumption). If you don’t like to fly this is a great product for you as well. It comes in a human formula and a pet formula and is all natural…no prescription or chemicals.
Hopefully little “Diva” is crate trained. This provides a “den” type natural setting for dogs. Reverting back to their natural state, they will consider their crate as a safe haven and be less stressed during the driving portion of your holiday trip (if driving is what you elect to do). It will also provide safety in the car as well so you don’t have to worry about her possibly running all over the car frantically. It will come in handy too if she is in an unfamiliar environment at your destination. She can simply go into her crate if she wants to and relax during the holidays. The stop over you have to make if you drive will be fine. I do suggest making reservations though. During the holiday season, everyone is traveling and they are traveling with animal companions. This requires a “pet friendly” hotel and they get booked up fast. A great website for this is www.officialpethotels.com. It’s a very informative site that also has pet travel tips (other than the ones that I have addressed) that may be beneficial to you.
Try not to stress too much over the holidays. Little “Diva” will be fine….give her a shot of Rescue Remedy, her favorite pink stuffed teddy bear and she will be “princessing” it all over the house. You know how those little dogs can get. As long as she’s with her mommy, she has a holiday outfit to wear, a smorgasbord of food and she smells like a rose…she will be just fine.
Simba is owned by Christina Giordano. If you have any questions you would like Simba to answer, please email them to: AskSimba@angelsofflightproductions.com