It’s often said that a pet isn’t just an animal, but a member of the family. Both anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests that pets help their owners enjoy longer, healthier, happier lives. Of course, with the wonderful rewards of pet ownership comes great responsibility. The Internet is a useful source of advice and assistance to keep coats glistening and tails wagging—if you know where to look. We’ve herded some of the Web’s best pet-care resources into this guide so you can spend less time researching and more time with your animal.
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Some people find it so painful to be separated from their pets that they have to vacation as a complete family. Lucky for them, there are many pet-friendly lodgings and airlines that allow animals. If you would rather not be limited in your choice of hotel and destination by your pet’s needs, and if you can face being separated for a while, online resources can help you find a trustworthy temporary residence for your pet.
- If your animal is going on a plane, check the airline’s Web site or contact the airline directly to check its requirements. Pet travel policies differ between airlines, and regulations often change. Make sure you are clear on the rules before you bring your pet to the airport.
- Only use a kennel or day-care center that has been recommended by somebody you trust. The American Boarding Kennels Association can be of some help, but information from your local vet will probably be more extensive and reliable when it comes to local services.
- If you need to purchase a pet carrier or crate, consult the “Online Pet Supplies” section of this guide.
For pet-friendly lodgings …
has a searchable database of fun places that welcome pets. The listings are not comprehensive by any means, but this is a good place to start if you can’t let a vacation come between you and your pet. There are also useful tips on how to travel with your animal companion.
is a search tool that’s fast and easy to use, and there’s a short section on travel tips for your pets.
For when you plan to fly with your pet …
The Humane Society of the United States
provides a summary of the pet travel policies of many of America’s airlines. Links are supplied to the airlines so you can easily check to see whether requirements have changed since the Humane Society compiled its information.
presents “Animal Airline Incident Reports” based on reports filed by U.S. airlines since May 2005. Any incident involving a pet on a U.S. airline must be reported here. If you really must check out an airline’s record on pet care, this is the place.
The Air Transport Association of America
states that pets “can and do travel safely aboard commercial aircraft” and provides a checklist for owners to help them ensure that their pet flies happily and in relative comfort.
For information on choosing a pet carrier …
details the airline requirements for pet carriers and crates. If you’re planning overseas travel with your pet, carefully review the “Pet Immigration Info and Quarantine Rules” page for important things you’ll need to know about foreign travel.
For when you need to board your pet …
are generally well reviewed by customers, they are reputedly very clean, and each “hotel” has a vet on 24-hour call. PetsHotels welcome both cats and dogs, and they provide grooming, training, play, and day-care services at indoor facilities that many owners will find more welcoming than the traditional chain-link-fence-encircled kennels.
is an ABKA-accredited franchise offering boarding and grooming services for cats and dogs, as well as training for the canine student.
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