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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

If you’ve been following along with our travel blogs, you should be an expert on navigating airports with pets! Well…maybe not an expert, but certainly someone with more confidence than the average traveler! With the hustle and bustle of airports, you can never know what to expect 100% of the time, but hopefully you’re at least feeling better prepared. If you’re just joining us, or missed an installment, be sure to check out Part I and Part II for helpful tips, tricks, and links!

We’ve already covered security, leashes, and carriers, so for our Grand Finale, we present to you:

The Ultimate Airport Pet Packing List

The Basics

  • Paperwork
    • Remember what we talked about in our previous blogs. Always have copies of your tickets, any appropriate identification for you/your pet, and–if you’re having any extra anxieties–copies of rules and regulations from the official sites of airlines/airports just in case you need to pull them out.
  • Leashes, harnesses, and TSA approved carriers (check out Part II for more details)
  • A collar with a tag that has the pet’s name, address, and best number to reach you. We suggest your cell since you won’t exactly be able to answer your home phone if your pet runs off in an airport!
  • Medication
    • Whether you’re a human or an animal, you should always keep your meds in your carry-on. Lost luggage = lost medication if it’s not with you at all times. If you have any liquid medications, then be sure to check protocol on the TSA website!
  • CBD or Anti-anxiety supplements
    • These work absolute wonders for scared cats and dogs! We always suggest Super Snouts as a go-to brand for CBD products, but if you prefer herbs and essential oils, then Herbsmith also has some great stuff.
  • Gulpy Water Bottle
    • Hydration is key in any situation! Rather than carry around bulky dishes for water, just tuck this in your bag! It’s about the size of a regular water bottle and easily transforms into a portable water bowl for your pet.
  • Food
    • Freeze Dried is our strongest recommendation for travel. Most quality food brands design their recipes to be interchangeable with one another, so if your pet typically eats wet or frozen food, they should be okay to temporarily switch to freeze dried for ease of traveling.
  • Bowl
    • Like for water, it’s great to have a portable food bowl! The Gulpy Water Bottle can actually work great for food, as well, or you could try out a collapsible bowl like the awesome ones that Kurgo makes.
  • Waste Bags
  • “Pee-pee” Pads
    • Since there won’t be a ton of places for your pet to relieve themselves, we always advise people to bring along some puppy training pads for sort of a “makeshift bathroom”. We love the Gridlock Pads because they’re super absorbent and help neutralize odors.  They can also be cut down to size to make a lining for carriers!

The Bonuses

  • Treats
    • This one seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to grab them in the midst of all the other packing chaos! Treats are not only a great reward for being brave, but also a great way to distract from outside stimuli.
  • Toys
    • We know your pets have a toy that they absolutely adore, but just remember that noise-making toys are best left at home. Like we talked about in previous blogs, it’s important to be courteous to others, and most people aren’t going to want to listen to squeaking or jingling for hours on end! Chew toys and plush toys with no noisemakers inside are the best ways to go.

Have you ever flown with pets before? Are there any tips you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

If you read our last blog, you’ll already know the basics about what to expect when you’re trying to get your pets through TSA security and on the plane. If you missed it, you can check it out here (x).

Keep in mind, knowing what’s expected of your pets by airports and airlines is only half the battle. Yes, you need your pets to be in carriers, but what type of carriers? What about leashes? Harnesses? I.D. Tags? It all seems overwhelming, especially since you don’t want to bring “the wrong thing” and get denied entry. Here’s the good news: it’s not as hard as you think.

The Right Leash

Remember that no matter what size your pet is, at some point they’ll need to be on a leash to make it through security; even if they’re in a carrier. With all the extra stimuli airports have, you need to be especially cautious about things that could spook your pet–the last thing you want is your furry friend running wild through an airport! The key is having something reliable and short so you have firm control at all times. Do not use a retractable leash. You can check out our blog about why we never recommend them, but the shorthand is this: they’re at a higher risk of breaking, and also there is no reason to allow your pet to have “extra space to roam” when keeping them close to you needs to be a top priority.

That might sound a bit harsh, but we cannot stress enough that this is way different from a walk in the park. As we said before, your pet could bolt, but also keep in mind that despite your dog being friendly and harmless, there could be people who are afraid of them or simply don’t know how to properly greet a dog. Not only are leashes a matter of safety, but common courtesy, as well.

We’re proud to say that all of the leashes we carry are safe and dependable. For this specific situation, we love the “Flat Out Leash” by Ruffwear because it’s strong, durable, and the perfect length for keeping tight control over your dog. It can be held like a regular leash or buckled around your waist for hands-free control. This option also has a short traffic handle that can be used when you need to keep your pet extra close. We also have a great selection of leads by Up Country and The Worthy Dog with fun patterns and matching collars to travel in style! Which brings us to our next point…

Harnesses and Collars

A harness, in general, is great for taking your dog out. Since it wraps around the chest and torso, it relieves pressure on the neck vs. using a collar and leash alone. In short: you have more control and your dog feels comfy, it’s a win-win for both of you!

Remember that just because your dog is in a harness doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a collar as well. It’s crucial for all pets to have a collar since that’s what’ll hold the I.D. tag, which should have your pet’s name, address, and best phone number to reach their “pawrents”.

Don’t let the name fool you–Worthy Dog also makes cat collars!

Carriers

When finding the right carrier, always make sure it’s “TSA Approved”. Typically, this is going to be a collapsible carrier that gives your pet enough room to stand up, lay down, and turn around. This allows for easier storage on the plane under the seat–plus, it can be a little more comfy for your furry friend! When in doubt, look for the “TSA APPROVED” seal of approval when you’re out shopping and always check the guidelines of your specific airline.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever traveled with your pet and how it went! And be sure to check back next Wednesday for our final installment of Surviving Airports With Pets!

It’s no secret that flying is way faster than driving. But if you want to travel with your pet, does that mean you’re doomed to keep your feet–or tires–on the ground forever? Definitely not. Flying with pets is very, very possible. The real question is: do we recommend it? Yes and no. No matter what, traveling with animals can be tricky. Airports can definitely be tougher for pets than cars because there’s so much extra stimulus and unfamiliarity.

That being said, for all of you who have your eyes to the skies, we’ve got everything you need to know to help make pet travel as painless as possible with our brand new traveling tips series! But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the most important part of airport traveling:

Following TSA & Airline Guidelines

The number one rule of traveling with your pets is to never assume you know everything. For those of you who have traveled before, you know that airports are constantly changing procedures and rules. Yes, the changes might be small (seriously, do you want us to put our backpacks in bins or not???) but that small change can be the difference between whether or not you’ll get on your flight. That’s why you should always check to make sure you’re up to date on all rules and regulations. We’ll provide links to the official TSA sites, but here’s the gist (as of 3/22/2019):

Getting Screened

  • Smaller pets must be in hand held carriers at all times except for the x-ray tunnel where you must remove your pet from the carrier and carry them through the human checkpoint.
    • TIP: Have a leash ready to put on your pet as soon as they are out of the carrier–yes, even for cats. Even though you’ll be carrying your pet, it’s a good safety measure in case they get spooked. TSA officials will not make you remove anything that helps control/identify an animal.
  • Larger dogs may walk with you, as long as they are on a leash at all times.
  • You may be subject to extra screening such as a hand swab to make sure there is no residue of explosive devices.
  • Return your pets to their carriers at the re-composure areas away from the screening point.
    • TIP: If you are ever unsure of anything then ask for help! TSA officials will be more than happy to assist however you need.
  • TSA regulations for service dogs and animals.
  • TSA screening process for animals.

Airline Guidelines

Hooray! You got your pets through the scary metal detectors! The next step is getting them on the plane. Remember that all airlines have different rules, so it’s crucial to do your research. You can’t just show up at the gate with a pet and expect to be let on board. When you initially buy your ticket, you’ll have to make sure you book a spot for your pet, too. If you are at all unsure of whether or not you’ve done this right, it’s always a good idea to call the airline’s helpline.  Every airline is different in terms of in-flight rules and regulations, so we strongly encourage you to do as much research as possible beforehand. Here are links to the regulations for the four major domestic airlines:

TIP: ALWAYS go to the airline’s official website to learn about what is and isn’t allowed on their planes. And when in doubt? Print it out! If anyone questions you, have copies of any receipts or pages from their direct website stating that you’re complying with all the rules.

We cannot stress this enough: follow all the rules! They really will make the difference between stress and success.

To learn about finding the right leashes, harnesses, and carriers, check out out Part II here (x)!

According to a study by AAA and Best Western International, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their cats and dogs with them when they travel. Are you taking your pet with you on a road-trip for Spring Break or Summer Vacation? Before you go, here are 10 tips while planning your trip!

  1. Try it out. Before taking a long road trip, make sure you know how your pet responds to car rides. Does she get car sick? Anxious?
  2. Buckle up. Make sure that your trip is safe by restraining your furry-friend with a pet seat belt, car seat or travel crate. Each year about 30,000 accidents are caused by a unrestrained dog in the front seat, according to the AAA. Pets wondering the vehicle are a distraction to the driver and can be injured in the even of an accident.
  3. Keep heads inside. Your dog (like most) may love to stick his head out the window, but according to the ASPCA, riding this way could cause ear damage or expose your dog to lung infections.
  4. Pit Stops. Your pets should get out every 2-3 hours and go to the bathroom and get a little exercise.  Make sure to look at your route for pet-friendly stops along the way.
  5. Hydrate. Our pets need to stay hydrated while traveling, have a gallon of water along with a travel bowl on hand at all times.
  6. Don’t leave them alone. On a day that is just 70-degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in 10 minutes, which can be deadly.
  7. Prepare. Take your pet’s medical records along in case of an emergency. And make sure that you pet has an ID tag on their collar at all times with your cell phone number.
  8. Thundershirt. If your pet gets nervous when traveling, consider getting a Thundershirt. These snug-fitting shirts target pressure points to help calm them. You can also get Happy Travelers for a safe drug-free option for pet that suffer from anxiety.
  9. Comfort. Bring a familiar blanket/bed and toy along to help your pet feel more at home during the trip.
  10. Hotels. Book pet-friendly hotels, and make sure your destination allows your four-legged friend. GoPetFriendly.com can help you plan your road trip!

Two Bostons has several pet-travel products to make your trip fun and safe.  Check out all of the products on our Travel Gear page, you can also come in and we can help get you everything you will need!

 

Amber Walker

 

There are two types of travel: Traveling with your pets and traveling without your pets!

 

There is a lot to talk about so I’m going to try to highlight the big stuff only, in the hopes that I plant ideas you can further research.  The internet really is a great source for finding more.  There is very little “mis-information” on this topic but always use common sense and keep your pet’s best interest in mind!

 

Local, at home options:

If keeping your pet home is the best option for them, there are some great choices.  Pet sitters, neighbors, or friends that come to and/or stay at your home, family and friends that are willing to take in your dog during your absence, and various boarding opportunities.  But again, keep your pet’s needs in mind.  My dog, Hadley, is almost 12 and can *never* be in a boarding situation.  The negative outcome of boarding scenarios for her [OCD and anxiety issues] far outweigh the travel with ease and peace of mind.  Some dogs are perfectly fine with the boarding option but research them first.

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles! General information for taking your pet with you…

For the pet that is adventure-ready, start with these tips.

They should have a collar with tags on them at all times and even better if they are micro-chipped with up-to-date information.  And don’t forget the leash too!

Remember that even the most relaxed pets can become stressed during travel.  Essential oils, Thundershirts, calming pheromones or calming oral supplements, and vet prescribed medication can be helpful for travel.

Your pet may become very thirsty while traveling…even if you can’t have access to food, water should always be accessibledogs-in-cars-03

Chew toys and other occupying activities.  Just as humans bring “things to do” during travel, your pet should have something too.

You pet will need a crate or seat belt while traveling.  Crates should be large enough they can stand up, turn around and lay down.

Waste disposal.  Your pet will poop!  Make sure you have a way to clean it up.

It’s not a bad idea to plan ahead knowing where the local veterinary clinics are along your way in case of emergency.  Unfortunately, there’s no 911 for pets.

Make sure your final destination is pet friendly!  Don’t assume.

…and I haven’t even scratched the surface!

Let us know your pet travel questions below, or you can email Amber Walker at amber@aitrainers.com, or you can of course, always stop in or call on of the Two Bostons stores and one of our team members can help!

Melanie Waszkowski
The thought of leaving Sherman home with a friend when spending a night away was something that I did not take lightly…the thought of not waking up to his wet kisses made a weekend away seem so dull.  In the week leading up, I paced around at work creating a list of must haves for him.  I ended up with a full-page list of things to pack, then took a stop back and realized we’d be gone for only one night.

With Spring Break season upon us, there will be more than just a night spent away from our pets, more than likely a few.  Here’s my list of must haves for when you need to leave your pup at home with a sitter.  In my case, Sherman spent the night somewhere else so I had to pack up a bag for him.

 

 

 

Always make sure you leave specific instructions for your sitter if they’re coming to your house and let them know where everything is!

  • Vet’s Information along with vaccination papers (just in-case!)
  • Emergency Vet Information
  • Food: make sure that you take into consideration the sitter’s lifestyle when choosing their food.  Rather than frozen/raw food for the week, pick up a box of Freeze Dried to make meal time a bit easier.  I also pack an extra day or two worth of food, just in case travel times get delayed and we can’t get back in the time originally planned.  Make sure that you let the sitter know how much food and how often to feed meals!
  • Collarimg-article-pet-sitter-checklist
  • ID tags
  • Leash
  • Harness
  • Crate/Carrier
  • Poop bags
  • Towel that smells like home
  • Bully Sticks
  • Bed
  • Antler or a long lasting chew
  • And of course your pets favorite toys

If you are hiring a new pet sitter, make sure that your pup gets acclimated with them before it’s just the two of them.  A stranger in the house without you is weird to your pup and it won’t be an enjoyable experience for either of them.

As difficult as it was to leave Sherman for the night, I knew that he was in great hands and with my list he would be prepared for anything!