Rover’s travel plans unleashed

With summer quickly approaching, and being in a day and age when most everyone is jet-setting around the world to exotic places, it is becoming easy for pets to become just as fast-paced and jet-setting as their owners.

From simply flying in the belly of the plane as checked luggage, to the extravagance of exercising on the deck of Cunard’s QE2 cruise ship and sleeping in plush beds, pets are no longer limited to just being boarded in a kennel while the owner travels the world.

Prior to travel

If you are considering traveling with your pet this summer, it is important to know the many preparations that must be taken prior to traveling. These rules and requirements are mainly for pets traveling by plane, but can be applied in other traveling excursions.

When traveling with a pet in the U.S. or to a foreign country, most airlines require your pet to have a health certificate. The certificate must be obtained by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of the departure date. Other paperwork requirements include a rabies vaccination certificate.

“People just need to remember that when traveling with pets that each pet’s personality dictates how they will travel,” Dr. Michael Mordaunt, a veterinarian at Town and Country Animal Hospital in West Kendall said. “Just because we want our pets to travel with us doesn’t mean that a change in routine will be what’s best for them. Everyone should think carefully about taking their pet on a trip, especially if they are taking their pet out of the country.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, most dogs and cats should never be sedated before flying as it could be hazardous to their health, and muzzles should not be used during travel.Also make sure to bring identification tags for your pet and check that the information on your pet’s microchip or tattoo is correct before traveling.

Pets and planes

When traveling by plane, your pet can either fly in the cabin if they weigh less than 20 pounds, or can fly in the belly of the plane as checked luggage. Only one pet per passenger is allowed in the cabin and counts as one piece of carry-on luggage.

Most airlines will accommodate dogs and cats for travel and Delta Airlines also allows for ferrets, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs to travel as carry-on items in cabin.

Sylvia Lopez, a Delta representative, explained that “we have more and more requests for travel. For those with smaller pets, travel can be very easy and you can see the smiles on people’s faces as they board with their pets.”

Each airline also limits the number of pets per flight, so make sure to check with your airline in advance to reserve a spot for your pet. There are also fees for pets either checked as luggage, or traveling in the cabin. This fee varies by airline, but normally ranges from $80 to $200 round-trip.

Pets on board

Currently, the only cruise line that accepts pets onboard is Cunard’s QE2, which will keep your furry friend pampered in a kennel located mid-ship on the sun deck. The shielded open deck area is fitted with a fire hydrant and a lamppost and is available for your pet’s exercise needs. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the rooms, but there are visiting hours when you and your pet can have some together-time.

Jay Tragberg, a Cunard representative, explained that, “our Kennel program allows our guests to take their pets with them across the ocean and provides their dogs and cats with the same pampering as they receive.”

“Traveling with pets has absolutely become much easier,” said Lopez. The possibilities are truly endless.”

Lauren Marshall can be contacted at