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Our driving team consists of key personnel from all over the country with a wide variety of backgrounds. Most importantly, all HTT drivers love pets! They will keep you up to date about your pet’s well-being and trip progress through text and picture messages along the way!

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Holiday Pet Travel

By: Bridget Monrad, R.N. | Oct 26, 2016

Halloween is right around the corner! And while the stores may have skipped ahead to Christmas, which many of us find premature, it is not too soon to start preparing for your pets’ travel needs should they be traveling with you this holiday season!

Most often we recommend allowing at least 10 business days to plan domestic pet relocation, and 30 business days for international pet relocation.  This allows your personal pet agent to take care of the logistics of your pets’ travel from start to finish.  This includes helping you select the proper travel crate for them, booking the flight, and helping complete all of the necessary paperwork.

During the holiday season it is important to keep in mind business hours of operation.  While you can fly at any day of the year, the same is not true for your pets.  Most cats, dogs, and birds have to fly in the pet cargo area of the plane, and are therefore subject to the cargo hours of operation.  Many cargo facilities close in observation of national holidays.  Airline animal pet cargo stations’ business hours of operation become even more restricted if your pet is traveling internationally; this is because there are different holidays and certain countries take more time off than others.  Not only are flights more limited, but so are extra services such as ground transportation and quarantine if needed.  Therefore, if you wish to bring your pets with you during your holiday travel it is important to start planning in advance, as your pet family member may have to travel earlier than anticipated so the airlines have the proper staff on hand to care for your furry family members while in transit.  

You also need to think about how long you will be away.    While everyone wants to have their cats and dogs with them for the holidays, if it is a short vacation, it may not be worth it.  This is up to you, however pets can only be booked on a one-way ticket and will require two separate reservations, which will make it more expensive.  Furthermore, travel can be stressful on pets. While they are able to fly safely and are cared for, the long travel day can wear some pets out.  Therefore, you need to think about your pet and their health, before sending them on a flight only to return and do it all over again soon after.

Many people have longer vacation times during the holidays, which makes it worthwhile to bring your pet along instead of hiring a dog or cat-sitter.  If this is the case, you need to make sure that you and your pets will have access to a veterinarian both at home and at your vacation destination.  This is because for domestic travel pets require a health certificate dated within 10 days of their flight.  For international travel, even more paperwork is needed.  Paperwork you used to get your pet to your destination, will not always be valid for when you come back.

Another consideration with longer trips is the weather.  Sometimes the weather may be perfect for pet travel when you leave home, but you also must consider what the weather will be like when it is time to come back.  We work with specific airlines that have certain policies in place to keep your pets warm and safe.  Before flying, and during any layovers, your pets will be kept in a comfortable, temperature controlled live animal facility.  All pets are transported to and from the aircraft in a heated vehicle.  They are also the first ones off the plane and the last on, so that they are not waiting on the tar mac. These policies help ensure pets can travel at any time of the year.  However, there can be delays for natural occurrences such as snow storms and blizzards, so you want to consider all scenarios before you travel with your pets.  If you work with a professional pet shipper such as Happy Tails Travel, then we help monitor the weather and can make any necessary changes in your pets’ flight plans should an unexpected event pop up. 

Have more questions? Want to get started on your pets’ holiday vacation?  Contact us at www.HappyTailsTravel.com and we’d be glad to provide more tips and information!