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Help Me Move My Pet

Pet News Round-Up: Science Stuff, Summer Tips and Kidpreneurs

Friday, August 5, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Happy Friday, everyone! Before you head off into the weekend, catch up with the top pet news stories of the past week.

-A 7-year-old with epilepsy has written a book in order to raise money for a service dog that will help him manage his recurring seizures.

-A new study performed by the National Canine Research Council has found that banned breeds are no more aggressive than any other.

-This is hurricane season, y'all. What are your storm planning pet tips?

-Crazy photos of dogs shaking their heads. Seriously, they're crazy.

-No one is paying us to say it, but this is actually a cool product that'll help keep your dog hydrated during the hot summer (or anytime).

-Scientists have created a genetically modified Beagle that glows. They say this technology can hopefully be applied to humans and disease tracking.

-Managing pet travel and dog diabetes -- a blog post from Will My Dog Hate Me?

-Sometimes pet moves throw us curve balls. Read about Blue the cat and Sparta the Staffie.


Sunday and One Drop
Sunday and One Drop, a couple of kitties we recently moved to Oregon


Pet Travel Question: Can Cats Move to Sri Lanka?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Vivien
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Siamese mix
From: UK
To: Sri Lanka



We are moving to Sri Lanka in two to three months (about July 2011) and want to take our two 14-year-old cats with us. I have been told that Sri Lanka is not accepting cats from BSE infected countries at the moment. Does anyone know when or if this will change? Or is there a way we can get around this? They are both house cats and will remain so and have been with us since birth as their mother was mine too. Any help will be gratefully received.

Thank you,
Vivien

Hi Vivien,


Thank you for your question; we understand that this is a tough situation. We've previously discussed the issue of moving cats to Sri Lanka and found that it might not be possible. 

In case it helps, here are the pet import requirements for Sri Lanka as well as another link that you may find helpful. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, we'd suggest you contact the relevant authorities:

Director General, Department of Animal Production & Health P.O. Box 13 P, readeniya 20400 , Sri Lanka Tel. 00-94-91-2388195, Fax. 00-94-81-2388619

Good luck figuring out your situation, Vivien, and please contact us if you need anything else.

Ten Ways to Be an Earth-Friendly Pet Owner

Thursday, April 21, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Earth Day is not only an excuse to celebrate springtime, it's an opportunity to think about how we can do better. There's always room for improvement when it comes to recycling, reusing and reducing, and pet owners have specific ways they can lighten the load on Mother Earth.

This Earth Day, here are a few ways that pet owners can make a difference:

1. Spay and neuter your pets. This is the most important way you can avoid overpopulation and help preserve the earth's limited resources in the long run.

2. Choose toys and accessories made from organic, natural and biodegradable materials rather than chemical-laden plastics that take years longer to break down.

3. Reuse plastic bags from the grocery store as litter box liners and doggie clean-up bags.

4. When buying the pet products you need, try your best to support green companies (those with sustainable business practices, those that rely on natural ingredients, etc...).

5. Check the labels of shampoos and flea and tick treatments to avoid possibly dangerous chemicals (to humans and to the environment). This guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council will help you choose the smartest and safest products.

6. Visit your local farmer's market and support local entrepreneurs, who often use more earth-friendly methods due to their smaller-scaled operations.

7. For cleaning up messes, try to use basic cleaning ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar rather than hard-core cleaning liquids that may do harm to the environment when they re-enter the water supply.

8. If you're planning to travel with your pets, keep your car well-maintained in order to get the best gas mileage possible, and if you're planning to buy a dog-friendly car in the future, do your best to avoid a gas guzzler.

9. Go as paperless as possible. If your vet sends postcard reminders, ask her to email you instead. Unsubscribe from paper newsletters, and try to be removed from all junk mail lists.

10. Turn off the TV, ignore the car keys, and go for a walk. Exercise helps keep dogs healthy and happy, and it doesn't put a strain on the environment.

What are your earth-friendly pet tips? Share them here or on our Facebook wall!



What We're Reading: Five Fun Pet Blogs

Thursday, April 14, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

A few months ago we featured several great pet bloggers in honor of the BlogPaws Conference, and since we love keeping up with all the latest pet trends and travel news, we thought it was time to do a more current round up of a few top pet blogs! Some you'll recognize and some you won't, but each of these sites has something important -- and often fun -- to add to the conversation.

Dog Jauntfido friendly logo
Thanks to plenty of timely and topical pet travel information, this remains one of our favorite pet travel blogs to read. Few other online pet enthusiasts provide as much "dog on the street" information as Mary-Alice Pomputius and her Cavalier King Spaniel, Chloe, and we always learn something when we check in with them.

Fido Friendly Cover
FIDO Friendly

It's a print and digital magazine that covers all the bases of being a dog owner, and they have a pretty fun blog to boot. Enjoy the latest product reviews, celebrity news and travel information, and celebrate all the fun parts of being a pet owner.



Pete Wedderburn
This former veterinarian lives in Ireland and now devotes much of his time to answering pet health questions and covering animal issues through various media. Combining expert knowledge with smart commentary on current events, this blog's tone is both newsy and engaging.

The BarkBark Magazine cover
This one's a newer discovery for us, but its frequent pet news updates and real person, real time discussions (they recently launched an open thread called Off Leash) clearly make it an informative place to spend some time. Like FIDO Friendly, this is the companion blog to a magazine.


Will My Dog Hate Me?
The author of the light-hearted yet educational book of the same name also has a blog that's, you guessed it, light-hearted and educational. Follow the adventures of Frankie, a cute mixed breed pup who has inspired  his owner to cover topics like animal welfare, pet behavior and more.

What are your favorite go-to pet blogs? Share them with us here or on our Facebook page!

Pets influence holiday travel plans, survey shows

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by Rachel Farris

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pets influence holiday travel plans, survey shows

International pet travel survey finds travelers pick holiday lodging, destination with pets in mind


AUSTIN, Texas - November 9, 2010:  PetRelocation.com released today the results of its first annual Holiday Pet Travel Survey of more than 7000 pet owners worldwide, finding that sixty-three percent of pet owners say they travel at least 50 mi. (80 km.) with their pets during the holidays.

Staying Stateside

Of pet owners who travel with pets, a majority of them (71 percent) choose to travel within their state of residence during the holidays.  Twenty-eight percent travel out of the state, and eighty-five percent of those who travel with pets for the holidays said that their pets influence the distance of how far they'll travel for a holiday vacation.

Short and Sweet

Pet owners keep their holiday travel short and sweet.  Most pet owners surveyed (45 percent) typically spend between $50-$100 on pet-related products and services during the holiday season.  Eighty-five percent of those who travel with pets take holiday trips which last seven days or less, with the remainder of pet owners indicating their trips can last up to two weeks.  A majority of pet owners (57 percent) said their pets do not influence the length of their holiday travel.

Friends and Family

While a third of respondents said they stay at pet-friendly hotels during their holiday travel, 66 percent said they stay at the home of friends or family during the holidays.  This may have something to do with the availability of pet-friendly lodging during the holiday season-a majority of pet owners (85 percent) said that their pets influence where they choose to stay during the holidays.

Pets are Family, Too

Of those who travel with pets during the holidays, nearly all of them indicated they only travel with dogs.  When asked why they choose to travel with their pets, a majority of pet owners (71 percent) said it was "because pets are part of the family and should be with the rest of the family during holiday occasions."

Holiday Challenges

When traveling with pets during the holidays, 42 percent of pet owners listed making sure their pets don't become stressed as their biggest challenge.  Finding pet-friendly transportation or airlines was the second biggest challenge according to 28 percent of travelers with pets during the holiday season.  This is a similar sentiment to the 2010 Summer Pet Travel Survey (http://www.petrelocation.com/summer-pet-travel-survey) results in which pet owners indicated airline fees and airline selection as the most difficult road blocks in their pet travel plans.

About PetRelocation.com

PetRelocation.com, the pet travel and transportation industry's leading service provider, offers full-service arrangements using pet friendly airlines for domestic and international pet travel services.  Founded in 2004 in Austin, Texas, PetRelocation.com places a strong emphasis on assisting companies with relocating employees who own pets. For more information, please visit http://www.PetRelocation.com.

Media Contact: Rachel Farris, Rachel@PetRelocation.com / +1-512-264-9800 x124

 

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Five Dog Books Worth Checking Out

Thursday, August 26, 2010 by Caitlin and Rachel on BlogPaws

The perfect antidote to the noise and chaos of daily life is making the time to dive headlong into a good book. For those of us with dogs in our lives (and especially those who might be moving with their dogs!) , these peaceful moments are perfect for learning more about what makes our pups tick; for as much as we love our dogs, they often tend to be confusing bundles of instincts, emotions, nerves and personality quirks.

Ranging from light-hearted to a little more serious, these dog-themed books will hold your attention, provide a break from reality and maybe, just maybe, shed some light on the complex creatures we've made our companions.


Am I Boring My Dog? by Edie Jarolim

It’s fun to have a dog, but it’s not always easy. Follow the journey of a first-time dog owner (who also runs the pet travel blog Will my dog hate me?) as she encounters the joys and challenges of bringing a pup into her life. Filled with useful information and delivered in a tone that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this guide is both entertaining and informative.



Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know
by Alexandra Horowitz

Written by a psychology professor and dog lover, this thoughtful book explores the interior life of dogs by viewing the world from their unique perspective. The things that drive dogs’ behavior – their incredible senses of smell, their endless tendencies to watch their human companions – are discussed using careful research and reveal a point of view different from the average dog guide. For example, Horowitz steers clear of anthropomorphism and disagrees with the oft-touted “pack approach” to dog training.

One Nation Under Dog by Michael Schaffer


Over the past few years, much of society has elevated the status of dogs from tolerated to celebrated, a fact that has created countless profitable pet-related industries and shaped the landscape of public spheres and private lives. In his investigation of America’s dog culture – the products, the pampering and the humans behind it all – author Michael Schaffer finds that we are indeed a nation obsessed with our “fur babies.”



The Difficulty of Being a Dog
by Roger Grenier, translated by Alice Kaplan


Comprised of forty three literary essays translated from French, this isn’t your average dog book. It’s certainly worth picking up, though; lovers of literature should appreciate the poetic writing style and will enjoy learning about the connections that have been forged between various authors and their dogs. This essay collection looks at dogs with a sense of wonder and affection, something we bet many of you will appreciate.

Cat travel restrictions from USA to Sri Lanka

Monday, August 9, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

We have plans to move to Sri Lanka. We have a rude awakening to learn today that we can't take our 2 adorable domestic (house born bread 2 cats) to Sri Lanka as cats are prohibited from the USA. First the Director said "Ok will send the pre-approval letter" (last Friday 8/6) and today 8/9 Monday he says that he's not giving the approval..... USA is BSE? status, and not approved. Why can't he intelligently take case by case with approval of all vetrinarian documents from this end! Please advise us what to do? (This was news to the US Embassy too and they will investigate) We appreciate your help, as these are like our children and it is dampening life changing decisions for us.
Giovanni
 
Hi Giovanni,

I'm so sorry to hear of your frustration in trying to relocate your cats to Sri Lanka and my heart truly goes out to you.

PetRelocation.com's understanding is that at this time, all cats from the USA are restricted from being import into Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka is currently in the process of declaring the USA BSE free status.

BSE refers to Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease. 

However, as of June 23, 2010 agweekly.com posted the following:

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease

You must have approval from the Director General / Animal Production & Health of Sri Lanka for import of any pet, which involves a permit issued from his office.  There doesn't appear to be a "work-around" process.

You more than likely already have this info, but here it is for easy reference:

Director General, Department of Animal Production & Health P.O. Box 13 P, readeniya 20400 , Sri Lanka Tel. 00-94-91-2388195, Fax. 00-94-81-2388619

If you take your pet without a prior permit to Sri Lanka, your pet will be re-exported to your country (of origin).

More information on importing pets to Sri Lanka can be found on our website.


Thank you for your inquiry and I wish you the best of luck in whichever decision/path you choose for you and your family. 
 

Getting Friendly with FIDO Friendly Magazine

Monday, June 28, 2010 by Rachel Farris

FIDO Friendly TravelIf you're anything like us, you can't get enough of reading about your favorite topic:  pets!  That's why we we're so excited to be featured in FIDO Friendly magazine, a pet magazine that features dog travel articles, tips on pet friendly hotels and destinations for your next big escape, and the latest and greatest pet products for your furry best friend.

You can get a sneak peek of the article below, or pick up the August edition of FIDO Friendly at your local newsstand or bookstore.  Also, as a special bonus for all our fans and followers, FIDO Friendly is offering a 20% discount on new subscribers from PetRelocation.com.

To subscribe, just click here to head on over to FIDO Friendly's subscription page.  The coupon code to use when subscribing to take advantage of the 20% discount is "JUNIOR."
FIDO Friendly Magazine: On the Move with PetRelocation.com

Cat Travel Lovers: Recall of Iams canned cat food in North America

Thursday, June 10, 2010 by Rachel Farris

Iams cat food recallThis post is for the cat travel fans of ours.  Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has issued a voluntary recall of specific lots of its Iams canned cat food in North America.

Diagnostic testing indicated that the product may contain insufficient levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1), which is essential for cats. Cats that were fed these canned products as their only food are at greater risk for developing signs of thiamine deficiency.

Iams ProActive Health canned Cat and Kitten Food distributed in North America has been affected. No other Iams pet food is involved, so international cat travel lovers shouldn't be affected!

How can you tell if your cat or kitten has thiamine deficiency?  From the Iams recall notice:

Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include loss of appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In advanced cases, signs may include ventroflexion (downward curving) of the neck, wobbly gait, falling, circling and seizures. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these signs. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible. 

 
For further information or a product refund, pet owners can call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8826 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST).

Top Five Pet Friendly Destinations to Travel to with Pets on KLM Cargo

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Rachel Farris

We move pets all the time using KLM and have outlined some pet friendly perks of the top destinations accessible on KLM Cargo flights. 

1.  Amsterdam, Netherlands

In addition to hosting the AF-KL Cargo Animal Hotel at its main airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the city of Amsterdam offers pet lovers plenty of pet friendly options.

The Ibis Amsterdam City Stopera hotel is ideally located in the city centre a few minutes from the Stopera Opera House Dam Square Rembrandtplein and Waterlooplein.  They allow up to two dogs per night for a fee of 5 euros/night per dog.  Pet owners who want to get out and enjoy some of the Netherlands beautiful parks can stop by Sarphatipark, which has a doggie playground on the opposite side of a small pond.  It's also conveniently located to Albert Cuyp Market, which makes a great picnic stop!  De Bakkerswinkel also offers outdoor seating for pets and their owners.

Since Amsterdam is AF-KL Cargo's main hub, there are plenty of pet friendly flights for pets from the US and other international airports all over the world.  Pets that fly into Amsterdam will need to clear through customs at Schiphol and will need to meet the Netherlands Pet Import Rules.

We moved Murphy to Singapore using KLM Airlines - here he enjoys a ride on a pedicab!We moved Murphy to Singapore using KLM Airlines - here he enjoys a ride on a pedicab!2. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore is a popular destination for expats and their pets.  There are plenty of leash-free dog parks available in Singapore where pets can run and socialize.  Bishan Park Dog Run, one of the largest dog parks in Singapore, is fenced in and centrally located.  Weekends can get cramped but it has some perks:  big breed dogs are kept separated from small-breed pets at the park.  While the park is open daily 24 hours, it is only lit from 7pm-7am.   For more dog parks, check out Time Out Singapore's dog park rundown!

AF-KL Cargo offers pet flights to Singapore Changi from their hub in Amsterdam.  For information on rules and requirements for moving your pet to Singapore, see our Singapore Pet Travel page.

3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Every dog has its day in Kuala Lumpur!  Dogathon, an annual carnival of dogs and their owners, was started in 1997 as a 2.5km run to benefit Pro-Kasih, a public education program that supports catch-and-release spay and neuter services to help control Malaysia's stray dog problems.  Now in its thirteen year, the Dogathon offers games and events for pets and their owners. 

Pets can travel to Malaysia via AF-KL Cargo's pet flights from Amsterdam, but will need to fulfill a seven-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur at the government quarantine facility. Check out our Malaysia Pet Travel page for more details.

4. Stockholm, Sweden

If you're looking for a pet friendly place to stay in Stockholm, try the Grand Hotel Intercontinental, which allows up to two dogs of any size for no additional fees.  For a little exercise for your pooch, check out Vasaparken, a dog-friendly park located in Vasastaden and named after the Royal Vasa Dynasty.  Your pet will feel like he's king of the castle!

Don't forget to check out the Sweden Pet Travel rules before you go.

Here's Wheezy, a Boston Terrier we moved to Bali using KLM Airlines!Here's Wheezy, a Boston Terrier we moved to Bali using KLM Airlines!5. Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an exotic location that has been booming with tourism and business-which means the pets followed shortly behind!  The Bali Street Dog Foundation is a non-profit animal welfare organization that aims to reduce the numbers of unhealthy, neglected street dogs in Bali and hosts occasional events to raise awareness.  Most recently, they had a Fun Walk for Animals to help raise money to control the spread of rabies within Bali.  If you run out of supplies for your favorite pet, not to worry:  the Bali Pet Shop has four locations in Sanur, Denpasar, Kuta and Seminyak selling "complete products for your lovely animal."

 

Pet Travel In Cabin: Five Things to Remember

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Rachel Farris

If you've got a pint-sized dog or cat, chances are you'll want to travel with him at some point in the cabin of the plane.  While it may sound like fun, traveling with a pet can be a lot of work if you aren't prepared.  Here are some tips for in cabin pet travel with a pet.

1.  Practice perfect "Pettiquette. TM

If you're planning on traveling with a pet, you're not just representing yourself-but every pet loving person who wants to travel with their pet!  Looking for a rundown of rules of the road-or sky-to follow?  JetBlue's "PettiquetteTM" policy gives travelers with pets some convenient guidelines to help them act as considerate pet ambassadors when at the airport or on the plane.

2.  Accidents happen.  

Be sure to bring along wet wipes, paper towels and pet waste bags in case your travel partner has an "oops" at the airport or while flying.  A pet travel kit, like the one offered by JetBlue for $20 on their site, ensures you'll always have a wipe, water bowl and dog toy handy.

3.  Skip the sedation. 

While you might think you're doing your pet a favor by slipping him a little something before the flight, you could be potentially endangering your pet's health and safety.   At altitude, pets can have adverse reactions to sedation that they might not normally have at sea level.  To help with your pet's anxiety, bring toys and treats that he can play with while flying and don't forget the importance of crate training.  You can also try aromatherapy options like Earth Heart's Canine Calm or for cats the popular anti-stress product Feliway.

4.  Head for the back row. 

If you're flying coach, be prepared to be booked in one of the last rows of the aircraft so that you won't disrupt other travelers.  Don't forget that you'll need to book your flight early.  JetBlue allows up to four pets per flight which means that in order to secure your pet's ticket, you'll want to call ahead.

5.  Check the carrier. 

Purchase the largest size carrier for your pet's travel to give him extra leg room for your flight.  But buyer beware:  you'll want to make sure it will still fit under the seat in front of you, or it won't be allowed on the flight.  JetBlue offers a custom-made JetPawsTM pet carrier designed by Cindy Adams from Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products that is guaranteed to fit under their aircraft seats. 

 


Pet friendly airlines

PetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight series features our favorite pet friendly airlines for travel with pets.  These Spotlights will highlight one airline each week, Monday through Thursday, through the month of May.  We'll take a look at the various aspects of their pet programs, including amenities offered for pets, how to book a pet flight on each airline and their fee structures.  For a look at the rest of our Airline Spotlight series, check out the Airline Spotlight page or on Twitter as #PetReloAS.

Three Free Pet Friendly Resources from JetBlue

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Rachel Farris

JetBlue JetPaws Pet Travel GuideSince its inception, pet friendly airline JetBlue Airways has allowed pets to fly in the cabin with their owners.  However, in December of 2008, JetBlue began offering their JetPaws Pet Program, which offers pet owners not only a convenient way to travel with their pet as well as pet travel products and information.  Here are three free resources JetBlue offers travelers with pets:

1) The JetPaws Travel Guide

If you're looking for "the what's, where's, when's and how's" of "jetting" with your pet, the JetPaws Travel Guide offers great information on JetBlue's pet jetting policy.  They even have pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and animal hospitals listed for their major hubs to ensure that you and your pet will enjoy a purr-fect stay.

2) JetPaws Pet Travel Checklist

Want to hit the tarmac running with your best four-legged friend?  The JetPaws Pet Travel Checklist gives you a rundown of what you'll need in order to hop on a flight with JetBlue and get on your way.  Use this handy checklist on your day of departure to keep everything organized and your pre-travel jitters away.

3) JetBlue PettiquetteTM

Need to keep up with the McTerriers?  Look no further than JetBlue's PettiquetteTM page, a handy list of social graces for pet travel.  Need to look the part?  JetBlue's got you covered.  Online you can purchase a special JetBlue line of pet travel products made by Cindy Adams from Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products. 


Pet friendly airlinesPet friendly airlines

PetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight series features our favorite pet friendly airlines for travel with pets.  These Spotlights will highlight one airline each week, Monday through Thursday, through the month of May.  We'll take a look at the various aspects of their pet programs, including amenities offered for pets, how to book a pet flight on each airline and their fee structures.  For a look at the rest of our Airline Spotlight series, check out the Airline Spotlight page or on Twitter as #PetReloAS.

 

How To: Book a Flight on JetBlue for Your Pet

By Pet Relocation | May 11th, 2010

JetBlue allows only dogs and cats in the cabin of their passenger flights through their JetPaws Pet Program.  As an added bonus to travelers with pets, you can now earn 300 TrueBlue Points each way when traveling with your pet!  Here's how to book a flight on JetBlue for your pet.

JetBlue JetPaws Pet Program1)  First you will need to determine whether your species of pet can travel in cabin.  JetBlue only allows dogs and cats in the passenger cabin of their aircraft.  If you have a dog or cat, go to step 2. If you have another species of pet, go to step 4.

2) You may take a dog or cat into the cabin if the weight of your pet (including transport container) does not exceed 20 pounds and the size of the carrier is under 17" L x 12.5" W x 8.5" H. If your pet and his carrier exceed these limits, go to step 4.  

Travel Carrier for In-Cabin Pets:  JetBlue sells a cozy pet travel product called the JetPawsTM carrier, designed to fit underneath the seat in front of you.  They are available online for $50 at JetBlue's ShopBlue shopping area and also at the airport.

Alternatively you may use any carrier that does not exceed 17"L x 12.5"W x 8.5"H. Your pet must be able to stand up and move around in the carrier with ease, and the carriers must have a leak proof bottom, be well ventilated, and can be either soft or hard-sided.

3) Call to Book Your Flight:  To make reservations by phone, please call: 1-800-JET-BLUE (538-2583).

When you call to book your flight, you will press 2 for new reservations, and then 1 to speak with a reservation attendant.  You will need to inform them that you will be traveling with pets so they can reserve the space for your pet on the flight.  "We only allow up to four pets to travel per flight," said Alison Croyle, JetBlue's Manger of Corporate Communications.

4) Pay for Your Pet's Flight:  There is a nonrefundable pet fee of $100 each way ($200 round trip).

5)  If your pet cannot travel in cabin due to size or weight restrictions, or if you have a pet other than a dog or a cat, you'll need to contact another pet friendly airline that will allow your pet to travel as cargo or as excess luggage.


Pet friendly airline spotlightPetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight series features our favorite pet friendly airlines for travel with pets.  These Spotlights will highlight one airline each week, Monday through Thursday, through the month of May.  We'll take a look at the various aspects of their pet programs, including amenities offered for pets, how to book a pet flight on each airline and their fee structures.  For a look at the rest of our Airline Spotlight series, check out the Airline Spotlight page or on Twitter as #PetReloAS.

PetRelocation Talks to ClubGEN Students at Career Week

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 by Rachel Farris

If you can remember being twelve years old, you'll remember what it felt like to look around you and wonder where on earth you belong (heck, many of us feel this way even as adults!).  As a native pet friendly Austinite who went from a pet-crazy kid to a professional horseback rider to overseeing the online strategies of one of the world's leading pet travel companies, Petrelocation.com, I feel extremely fortunate to have ended up where I am.

So when I was invited to speak by a local program called GENAustin (which stands for "Girls Empowerment Network") for their ClubGEN Career Week, I was excited to get a chance to help other girls learn about careers in social media and online marketing.  ClubGEN is an innovative after school program for middle school girls led by high school students from surrounding schools.  The program puts an entertaining spin on educating middle school girls about high-risk behaviors like eating disorders, teen pregnancy and juvenile delinquency.  During their Career Week, they bring in other women from the community to talk about their career paths and what they've learned along the way.  ClubGEN is completely elective, so the fact that these girls stick around after school until 5 PM shows that the program is not only working, but also fun for them!

When I arrived at Covington Middle School, the school I was talking at, there were two other women who were also speaking.  One was a product manager at a high tech company who had spent several years traveling the world as an international software sales associate.  Another woman worked with non-profits on their strategies and development.

We met in a classroom and spent the first half of the afternoon playing "Career Charades," which is exactly what it sounds like!  My "team" picked a news anchor, a nurse and a veterinarian (one of the little girls did an excellent job pretending to be an angry cat about to get his vaccinations!).  Then it was time for the career speakers.  I talked about my experience at PetRelocation.com and how my childhood interest in writing and online communications had helped shape my career path.  I talked to them about social media and how I am able to use it to stay in touch with past clients and their pets, while also building relationships with future ones.  What was really fun was to see the girls' faces light up when they realized I worked for a "pet" company.  They were really interested in the concept and asked some terrific questions.  The questions were very similar to the ones we get asked the most by people who love their pets:  Why can't I just travel with my pet? (You can, sometimes!  We can help you figure out how.) How do you feed them when they travel? (We make sure they have water bowls in their crates and food attached to the top of their crates for their rest stops.) Have you ever moved a tiger? (Loved that one!  The answer was "Not yet!") Do you have any pets? (Yes, one big white fluffy cat named Chubby Charles!)

I encouraged the girls who were interested in pursuing careers in communications, social media or who had an interest in writing, to start now.  I told them if they love cats to blog about cats and use Twitter and Facebook to talk about their cats.  It's never too early to establish yourself as a thought leader. 

At the end of the talk, one of the girls raised her hand and shyly said, "This isn't so much a question as it is something I just really want to say.  I think it would be really great work somewhere where you got to hear about people's different pets and then help them move them...I think that would be a really great job."

I definitely agree with her!

Twittering Goes to the Dogs - New Product Brings Twitter to Toto

Friday, February 5, 2010 by Rachel Farris

Here's a fun new pet friendly product - Puppy Tweets, a small device that goes on your dog's collar that allows him or her to dispatch tweets from the doghouse!

From the CNNMoney article:

Puppy Tweets is a plastic tag with a sound and motion sensor that you attach to your pet's dog collar and connect its USB receiver to your computer. Then you create a Twitter account for your dog and enjoy updates all day from Sparky or whatever its name is on your computer or smartphone.

The pre-programmed tweets will be based on your dog's actions -- or lack thereof.  For example, if your dog spends most of his day napping, you might get an update about him being tired.  If he's running around barking, a tweet about barking will be sent out based on the noise he's making.

Seems pretty cool, or at least like a good party trick!  I think my cat @ChubbyCharles might want one for cat travel!  In the meantime, is your dog following PetRelocation on Twitter?  Click here to start following!

Importing Pets into the Cayman Islands!

Friday, February 5, 2010 by Rachel Farris

This article gives you detailed information about importing pets into the Cayman Islands. It lists the current regulations and laws, and also suggests insider tips into making the pet transport process easier. Please note their list of restrictions on pet travel importing from various countries and restrictions on importing a few specific breeds of dog.

Pet travel regulations

The process for importing animals into Cayman is a lengthy one, but easy as long as you know the time scales. You need to start planning at least 6 months prior to shipment. All dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands must have an Import Permit issued by the Department of Agriculture.

Application forms are available from them at Tel: (345) 947 3090, Fax: (345) 947 6501 or email Colin.Wakelin@gov.ky. As soon as you know that you would like to import your pet, contact them and ask them to send you the application form. The sooner you do this the better.

To get this import permit, the following are the basic requirements for importation from the US, Canada and other countries where rabies is endemic. For countries which are rabies free, the requirements are less stringent and much quicker.

Your pet must have had an approved type of microchip fitted PRIOR to the rabies vaccination being administered. If the vaccination was given before the chip being inserted, it will have to be repeated.

The animal has to be vaccinated against rabies using an approved inactivated vaccine.

Your pet must then take a blood test, which must show a serum antibody level of at least 0.5 IU.ml. Your pet will be allowed into the Cayman Islands 6 months after the date of the blood sample showing a successful test result.

The address in the US where the blood has to be sent for the titres to be done is the Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory:

Kansas State University

2005 Research Park Circle

Manhattan, KS 66502

tel. 785-532-4483

fax 785-532-4474

www.vet.ksu.edu/rabies

rabies@vet.ksu.edu

(For the address in countries other than the US your vet will be able to assist you. Please contact the Department of Agriculture for more information.)

UK residents must apply to DEFRA (Ministry of Agriculture in your home town) for the Official Health Certificate (application form) to bring a pet into the Cayman Islands a few weeks before you travel (one can be used for multiple pets). This will be sent direct to your vet. Please note that this only applies to the UK.

Not more than 14 days prior to departure, you must have a registered veterinarian complete an official health certificate and treat your pet for tapeworms and ticks with an approved product. This must be recorded on the health certificate. This certificate then needs to go to a government vet of the country of origin for endorsement (USDA, CFIA, DEFRA etc.). Call or go online to locate the one nearest you.

You must then fax the Official Health Certificate, completed application form and a copy of the rabies lab report to the Department of Agriculture. They will fax an Import Certificate back to you. The application fee is per animal and can be paid in the form of a bank draft or International Money order made payable to the Cayman Islands Government.

A tip is to send this fee before you even have the vet do the 14-day inspection as the mail can take a few weeks to get to the Cayman Islands, and they will not issue an import certificate without this fee. The health certificate is valid for 14 days.

Note: The Cayman Islands is rabies free and, to keep this deadly zoonotic disease out of Cayman, no exceptions will be made by the government of the Cayman Islands. Inability to meet all requirements can lead to the destruction of or the return to the country of origin of any illegally imported animals.

Do not underestimate the importance of following the Department of Agriculture's import rules to the letter. The requirements are liable to change from time to time so ask for any recent updates.

Restrictions

There are certain countries from which cats and dogs are prohibited (but are not limited to): Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

There are several breeds of dogs prohibited (as well as mixes of; if the animal is of mixed breed, please provide a picture) from entering the Cayman Islands: Mallanois, Rottweiller, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argebtino, Fila Brazileiro, Chinese Shar-Pei, Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Akita, Staffordshire, Mastiff (Old English mastiff and pug are some exceptions).

The Cayman Islands Dangerous Dogs Law states that all the above dogs who are currently on the Cayman Islands must be micro-chipped, have a rabies shot, spayed or neutered, registered with the Department of Agriculture and Liability Insurance be taken out up to the value of CI$100,000.

More Information

In the UK more information can be gained from the PETS Helpline. Their new address is www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/ quarantine/index.htm (click on site map and then fact sheets). Email: pets.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Tel: +44 (0) 870 241 1710.

Further Considerations

Heartworm disease is a deadly condition that is transmissible by mosquitoes in Cayman and affects both dogs and cats. It is likely that your pet will get heartworm disease if not treated monthly.

Without preventive medication every dog and cat on the Island is likely to become infested with fleas and ticks at some time during its life. Fleas and ticks breed rapidly in warm weather. Frontline medication is available from your veterinarian.

Feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are serious diseases in cats. Both viruses are spread contagiously from cat to cat and are very common amongst the stray population. To minimize your cat's risk for these diseases, there are vaccines available.

Parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis are infectious viruses that are highly contagious to dogs. All these viruses are common amongst dogs that are not vaccinated.

The Cayman Islands is a rabies free country, however you can keep your pet's rabies vaccination current at the Department of Agriculture.

Due to the threat of hurricanes, every family should have an emergency preparedness plan that includes your pets. Hurricane shelters on the Islands do not allow animals. Familiarize yourself with the import and export regulations to ensure that your pet can evacuate and return to the Island safely.

(Reproduced from the Resident magazine website – caymannewresident.com.)

Pet Transportation to New Zealand!

Friday, February 5, 2010 by Rachel Farris

Transporting your pets to New Zealand is not the easiest process, but with advanced planning it is something that can be done with little effort - just a lot of visits to your veterinarian! As with all forms of pet travel, the most important part of preparing your pets' move is to plan ahead!

Many of those who contact us on a regular basis, simply wait till the last minute to get their pets relocation plans ready. It is amazing how many customers put off their pets plans until they are set to move. That is why we blog and service the pet transportation market, as many just need a helpful hand or advice on what to do best for their pets and the situation they are in!

With all forms of pet moving, it is best to plan ahead or as soon as you know you are moving to another location. Once you find out about your relocation, start planning for your pet's transportation and import requirements - as you can see below, blood tests and the timing of these blood tests are crucial!

This brings me to the import requirements and rules for transporting your pets to New Zealand! Please read over the items below and as always, let us know of any questions!

 


 

Attention: This information is to be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities for your destination country.

NEW ZEALAND IMPORT RULES AND REQUIREMENTS

The rules and requirements in this document are applicable to import from the United States.

Dogs, Cats and other small animals imported into New Zealand must undergo import quarantine, in accordance with the Rabies Prevention Law. On Condition that the following criteria have been fulfilled, the quarantine period for a dog or cat entering New Zealand is 180 days. 150 of these days can be completed in the country of origin, however there is a mandatory 30-day quarantine for all live animals entering the country. Before beginning the import procedures, make sure that your vet is approved by the Government Veterinarian Authority in the country of origin. For example, if an animal is departing the United States, the vet will need to be USDA Accredited.

Requirements IN SUMMARY:
Time before arrival: At least: Action

210 days MICROCHIP IMPLANTING: Animal must have (or obtain) microchip identification. This must be done before the rabies vaccinations. The only microchips that can be read In New Zealand are ISO 11784 and 11785 Standards. For any other chips, you must bring your own microchip reader.

During import inspection at the time of arrival in New Zealand, if the microchip number is not confirmed or the microchip number is not the same as that on the inspection certificate, the animal will be subject to a 180-day quarantine period or returned to the country of origin.

PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL MICROCHIP NUMBERS MATCH ON EVERY DOCUMENT.

210 days After implant of the microchip, the animal receives a new rabies vaccination. This must be "inactivated rabies vaccinations." Be sure to obtain certification of the period of validity for the particular vaccinations that you obtain (some are good for two years, others for only one).

180 days After the Rabies Vaccination (ideally within 2-3 weeks), animal must receive a Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titre Test (FAVN or RFFTI) to ensure that the rabies vaccination has provided adequate rabies antibody levels and must be tested by a facility approved by the Government of New Zealand. Your Vet will send these to the approved lab listed below. Please have your vet call them before sending to make sure they are aware of the delivery and the destination location (Australia). The results of the blood test must be 0.15U/mil or above.

Your vet will need to scan your pet's microchip prior to the blood draw for the Titer Test.

The date in which blood was drawn for this test is when the 180-day quarantine countdown begins. You may keep your pet in the country of origin for 150 days and send at this time, exposing the animal to the minimum 30-day quarantine period.

This test result will remain valid for 1 year from the time the blood sample was taken. If you need to repeat your Pet's Titer Test you must re-test within a year of the initial Titer Test to demonstrate continuous protection against rabies and to avoid another lengthy wait before being eligible for entry into New Zealand. The date of the blood sampling, the laboratory used, microchip number, and the test results shall be well noted on all health certificates. The matching of these numbers is critical to its success. Please double-check them!
BEFORE the bloods collection and its shipment to this laboratory, please have your vet ask the lab listed below how to apply for the test, label the blood container, and send the sample.

Also have your vet ask if your sample needs any treatment before sending.

These labs can change their policy often, so it is just best to double-check with them prior to sending.

Rabies Laboratory

Kansas State University

2005 Research Park Circle

Manhattan, KS 66502

tel. 785-532-4483

fax 785-532-4474

www.vet.ksu.edu/rabies

rabies@vet.ksu.edu

Once these results have been returned to either yourself or the vet, you can begin the process of applying for the required IMPORT PERMIT. Please contact your Pet Relocation Agent at this time for further instruction. Upon Receipt of the IMPORT PERMIT, an export date can be determined.

30 Days A second Titer test is required. Using the same instructions as listed above, a second Rabies Titer test is required. Whatever method was used for the first test, the same method must be used for the second test.

30 Days Fecal Tests – All animals require two fecal exams at least 14 days apart using the sensitive flotation procedure and show negative results for hookworm eggs. This test can be completed at the vet's office and must be noted on export documents regarding dates performed and results.

30 Days - DOGS ONLY - Within 30 days of departure have your vet scan the animal's microchip and draw blood for the following tests:

Ehrlichiosis – Your dog must produce a negative result using the Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test at a dilution of 1:40. Within 24 hours of blood draw, treat with external parasite treatment against ticks.

Brucellosis – Your dog must produce a negative result by means of a serum agglutination test. Once blood is collected for this test your dog must not be mated or inseminated prior to export.

Leptospirosis – Your dog needs to produce a negative result by means of a microscopic agglutination test to be eligible for import. These results need to read less than 50% agglutination at a serum dilution of 1:100. Dogs record a result of more than 1:100 but less than 1:800 can be re-tested 14 days or more after the first test. These second results must also show a titre result of less than 1:800.

Dogs that record a result of 1:800 or more are ineligible for import.

Note: Vaccination against Leptospirosis is not recommended within 6 months of export, as your pet's high antibody response will most likely result in it being ineligible for export to Australia.

Heartworm – Your dog must produce a negative result on a Lab Report Form for Canine Heartworm. This test can be run with the tests listed above.

All original results will need to travel with the dog and will also need to be recorded on the Import Permit (Veterinary Certificate A).


21 Days All animals must be treated for cestodes (tapeworm – Praziquantel/Dronsit)

14 Days All animals require a second Fecal Exam at this time. The first fecal is done within 30 days of departure.

10 Days All animals must be tested for babesia gibsoni. This test is done by Texas A&M

10 Days Obtain a Health Certificate from your Vet within 10 days of departure.

This certificate must state that the animal(s) are in good health and OK to fly.

 

4 days Internal Parasite Treatment – Dogs and Cats must be treated with a product approved for the treatment of nematodes and cestodes e.g. Drontal.

External Parasite Treatment - Teat with medicines effective against ticks and fleas. Note product and concentration. Oral products, injections and medicated collars are not satisfactory, neither are products that rely on the parasite biting your pet. Washes and rinses that prevent ticks and tick bites are acceptable. The active ingredient, dose rate, and treatment date for the above treatments must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A. Final Vet Exam – Must be performed by an accredited vet. Vet Certificate A is to be completed at this time. An international health certificate must also be issued at this time: APHIS Form 7001.
All documents must be reviewed and endorsed by the USDA at this time. Your Pet Relocation agent will have these final steps (within 4 days of departure) completed on your behalf.
 

The Evolution of Pet Travel Crates

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 by Rachel Farris

The question that the Continental rep had is very common within the show community too because nobody trusts the plastic folding dog crates due to their terrible design, but there is a massive difference between ours and the plastic dog crate folding style.

Way back in the 1960s when the folding style was developed and patented, they used the same style of latches that we and others still use today. Oddly enough, they were actually designed for use specifically within the aircraft industry - they wanted something that would not loosen when operating on a plane with all of the usual take offs, landings and vibration. One of the people I have met over the years was in St Louis and he was something to do with the maintenace department in the old TWA airline which was based up there. He pointed out that the original "quarter turn screws" were actually imprinted with "L10-11" which if you recall was a type of plane some years back, because that was the plane that they were first designed for specifically to take what a plane would throw at them. Of course as the years passed, they started using them in all kinds of planes, not just that one model.

Between the crates that were first made by Bob McKee and the others that followed through the years, there certainly have been tens if not hundreds of thosands of dogs flown not just domestically in America, but all over the world on all of the airlines. All of the manufacturers have sold into the overseas markets as well as through north and south America, so they are used all over. The serious dog exhibitors and their professional handlers go somewhere almost every week. When there is a National Specialty show for a certain breed there can be an entry of hundreds to over 2000 dogs as there were in the Golden Retriever show back in October in OK. A good number of those dogs are flown in because the people will not drive that far if they live on either coast for example and that is just one show of hundreds held annually.

To be honest, the way you would have to fold the crate up if using one of our folding style, requires you to turn the crate upside down before doing anything with the 8 screws - gravity will not allow the crate to fold upwards of course, so it has to be placed on the roof before loosening the screws. Since the key elements are the front and rear panels and the hinges for those are on the top, there is NO way for them to allow the crates to accidentally fold, because that would require them to be held up as they are being folded inwards. Trust me, we have tried and it is extremely difficult so every Tejas crate is shipped with an instruction sheet that explains the ONLY way they can fold their crate is to turn it upside down first and follow the steps laid out. As we have seen ourselves at shows over the last 26 years, even if you don't engage all of the screws, the crate still stays upright - and that is allowing for a large dog jumping on top several times to be groomed. The laws of physics exclude the possibility of the entire crate from folding down unless ALL of the screws have been disengaged and the front panel, then the rear panel being pushed inwards, so that they can fold flat onto the roof below. They are specifically engineered so that you MUST do it in a certain way or the crate cannot fold correctly, so again, it is basically impossible for all of that to happen by accident.

The dog show people have been using this design since back in the 1960s and in my years as one of them, I have never once heard of a crate folding accidentally and I have to believe that it is the way they are engineered. Again though, if the majority of the crates that your customers would use would be a single use, or used only a few times, I would suggest that the rigid sided version would be the better choice for reasons of cost. The dog show people do LOVE the folding style because they are so much easier to store and travel with when they arrive at the destination city. For example, they can easily fold the crate and put it in the trunk of a rental car, whereas with the rigids, they would require a larger SUV or mini van to handle the fixed-side crate. Due to the design of the folding style, they can save money on every journey and of course when entering hotels or the show building, the crate is basically just a 5 inch deep suitcase and can be easily carried instead of dealing with something like a traditional 400/500. Your typical clients though would not reap the typical rewards as do my dog exhibitors, so there probably would not be as much justification and they could get what they need from the rigid version.....

Some of the people that show, particularly the pro handlers, travel with many dogs in a specially made box truck or an RV. Inside they will have a mixture of sizes for the various breeds and they are all stacked 2 or 3 high as they travel as much as 60,000 miles a year. We have done entire box trucks filled with crates for people and we use the same stainless steel latches to secure the upper crates to the lower crate. WIth the bigger models - a 300 or larger - we use 2 latches on the front and back instead of just the one which is fine for the smaller, lighter breeds. I was actually intending to bring a stacked set with me to show you the rigid model and you can see the level of rigidity and safety that they provide. Even when using the folding version, they seem to have done fine - and again, this approach has been going for over 30 years without any known failures. I have never done any load testing as such, but years ago, the original manufacturer used to have a picture on his brochure of 4 folding crates spread out in a rectangle and he had a car lowered onto the four crates - a wheel on each roof. Pretty impressive stuff really, bearing in mind that the crates were the folding style and I suppose even a small car has to weigh well over a ton, so each crate was supporting at least 600 pounds.....

I use the same aircraft grade aluminum that he did, so admittedly the idea may not work with other types, but the overall fit and finish available today through the computer aided design and computer driven machines provide a very accurately made and far superior crate in terms of what we offer these days and as you will see, the way the finished article goes together, there is little doubt that they would hold well over a hundred pounds because the average Bouvier is about 125 lbs, as is a Rottweiler and many others, so when they jump up there for grooming, there isn't even a flexing on the roof - the whole point of ours is that they CAN support even the large dogs for grooming!! As I may have said earlier, we know that we are massively over built, but we do that deliberately so that should something bad happen, the dogs will have a better chance of survival. For example, although it is very unlikely that the metal would even flex on the floor or the roof when the dogs are inside or on top, we actually provide two support beams or stiffeners on each, so that the roof and floor act as a "roll cage" when things go wrong. Remind me to tell you about out clients accidents and the outcome for their dogs - they are pretty good!!

The issue of heat is another issue that is very much in our favour. When vendors go to the outdoor shows, many use the "EZ-Up" brand of tents for shade. They have a metal frame and a plastic sheeting as the roof and depending on the weather, we might use the walls for protection. When at the summer shows in particular, we are all cooking under the tents, because the radiant heat which is what does the damage comes straight through the plastic fabric of the roof. A lot of the exhibitors use them as well, but as they have all found, the dogs are "in the shade" under the plastic but are still getting far too hot.

If left in the open, the VariKennel type of crate will absorb and retain the heat into the plastic material and the dogs can quickly become overheated. Ironically, the aluminum actually keeps the dogs cooler than the plastic because the aluminum reflects the radiant heat to a great extent. That and the far better ventilation (the number of holes and their location are key) allows the heat to disapate more easily. The dog seen on my website had a VERY thick black coat and was in his folding 500 done in the silver vein color. Even if he wasn't shown at every location, he travelled with me around the nation and I could leave him out in the sun all day even whe the temps were up in the low 90s. If anyone asked me about whether they get too hot in a metal crate, I could walk them over quietly to my own crate and they could look inside. He would be in there sound asleep without any stress, with a shallow, easy breathing pattern and while somewhat counter intuitive, the people immediately saw for themselves, that he was doing better in there than their own dogs were in a plastic crate, even if sitting in the shade of a tent or a building.

As you know, the plastic crates meet the minimum percentage in terms of ventilated space, but the way the spaces are located certainly doesn't help the dogs. The side panels or holes are typically on the upper half, so there is no flow at all down at the floor level where the dogs are lying. Worse yet, the entire rear panel normally has no holes at all, so that too creates a dead area. We place three rows high and three rows lower down on the sides and the rear panel, so whether my dog is standing or lying down, there is plenty of airflow past his face and that has been a VERY popular feature of our products. Again, my typical buyers are not the once in a blue moon dog shippers, these folks use the crates several days every week throughout many years, so they have very expert experience about keeping their dogs cool and comfortable.

We had responded to quite frequent requests from people that have the double coated breeds (Malamutes for example that will begin to pant at anything over 50 degrees), the snub-nosed breeds like Pekinese, Bulldogs and the rest, who again really struggle with other crates and crate training due to the lack of ventilation in those products and the location of the holes that are there. According to the owners, the giant breeds like Mastiffs, St Bernards and the others again seem to do better with this type of crate than with any others. I think the same rationale applies regardless of the breed.

How to Keep Pets Warm When Traveling

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 by Rachel Farris

If the wintery weather has got you worried about your pet's comfort while pet traveling, here are some tips for keeping Toto toasty and comfortable during his pet travel trip.

Use a pet-friendly airline.

We can't repeat this enough - pet friendly airlines are the only way to make sure that your pets are kept in climate-controlled, pressurized conditions the entire time during their trip.  This is not only important in the summer months, when extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke and dehydration for traveling pets, but also during the winter.  Pets, when left outside for long periods of time in the cold weather, can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite — just like humans. Younger and older pets are especially at risk.  PetRelocation.com works with pet-friendly airlines to make sure your pet is never sitting out on the tarmac in the cold, wondering where his Snuggie is!

Pay attention to grooming

Keep your pet's hair combed throughout the cold weather months, which can help them keep warm. Combing their hair will prevent it from matting up and not providing enough warmth like it should.  This is the same reason why we advise keeping pets well-groomed in the summer, as it allows their bodies to cool properly.  It is not advised for pets to travel unaccompanied wearing sweaters or coats, as this can often be a choking hazard if they get entangled in them.

Moisturizer Isn't Just for Your Face!

To help prevent dry or itchy skin, either give your pet some B-complex vitamins that are available at pet stores or keep their skin oiled with various types of lotion products for pets.  Derma-IonX by VETiONX is a great, all-natural solution that both relieves and prevents dry and itchy skin.

Go Thermal

Thermal blankets help your pet retain warmth, without electricity or adding too much bulk to your pet's travel crate.  Sleep Right Thermal Dog Cushions use self-warming material with a reflective surface that reflects a dog's heat back to his body.  Similarly, Slumber Cats Thermal Mats can keep kittens cozy when in transit.

 

Pet Lover's Holiday Gift Guide

Thursday, December 10, 2009 by Rachel Farris

It's that time of year:  you've got stockings to stuff and presents to put under the tree.  Whether you're giving or receiving, we've identified some great pet-related holiday presents for you, your pet or that pet lover on your list.  Add your own in the comments section below!

Give the gift of health

Tight budgets and tough economies means that useful gifts are back in fashion.  Pet health insurance, which ensures pets will be covered for routine and emergency care, can make a difference in everyone's bottom line.  Companies like Embrace Pet Insurance will provide free estimates for coverage, which you can then give to that special pet person in your life in the form of a check for the price to insure their pet. 

If premiums are out of your budget, healthy treats from Dogswell will keep your pet feeling limber during this holiday season.  Their Happy Hips biscuits include glucosamine and chrondroitin, as well as flax seed and taurine for Healthy Hearts.  Shopping for a feline?  They also have Catswell treats.

Pet travel carriers for your next trip to the North Pole!

Pet travel crates come in all shapes and sizes, but the new popular purchase are Sherpa's Guaranteed On Board Travel Carriers.  Sherpa teamed up with American Airlines to create a new in-cabin bag for smaller pets that is guaranteed to fit under the seat in front of you.  Another sleek new design comes from Sleepypod Air.  The extendable ends of the carrier mean that your pet gets extra leg room - truly first class flying for your pet's next flight!

Go green

Looking for green pet products?  Great Green Pets covers the latest and greatest eco-friendly pet products on the market, from the everyday (a recycled polyester water bowl) to the unusual (a cat...toilet training kit?).  Feel good about giving while knowing you're helping the environment.

Give to a pet in need

If you're feeling philanthropic, making a donation on behalf of a friend, relative or even a furry family member, can be the best form of spreading holiday cheer.   A small donation to the ASPCA or the Humane Society can save the life of an abandoned pet.  Or why not contribute to the Kuranda "Donate a Bed" Program, which sends comfortable beds to the shelter of your choice.  You'll sleep better this holiday season knowing that, because of you, a pet is sleeping better, too.

Pet Travel Round Up: Training for Travel, Holiday Safety Tips, and Spouses in the Dog House

Friday, November 20, 2009 by Rachel Farris

Mary-Alice Pomputius, from DogJaunt, has a guest blog up at Will My Dog Hate Me? that details some great training tips for preparing a pet for travel.  If you've never worked on vocal commands to help your dog travel more easily, now's the time to start!

 "Driving with a pet in the car can be dangerous if the pet is not properly restrained. In fact, some states are considering requiring laws to make sure people use pet restraints." Tierra Bonaldi, American Pet Products Association Spokesperson. The American Humane Association has some additional holiday pet travel tips here.

How about this for some pet travel stats: More than 75 percent of pet owners would take their four-legged friend on every vacation if they could, according to a new survey commissioned by AAA and Best Western International.  However, more than 50 percent report having difficulties finding a pet-friendly hotel, which may explain why 35 percent of pet-owning respondents admitted to sneaking their pet into a hotel or motel in the past.  More from Home and Away.