Although most of us leave our greyhounds home or with a pet sitterwhen we take our summer and holiday vacations, some of you may be planning to take your pet along with you. While greyhounds are wonderful travelers, careful planning will make your trip go much smoother.
If you’re traveling by air, make sure you find out your airline’s requirements for animals traveling with you. Most airlines will not permit large animals to fly in or out of Sky Harbor Airport when the weather gets hot (above 80 degrees). Space is also limited, so be sure to make your reservations early.
Whether you plan to fly or drive, a trip to the vet is in order before you leave. Most airlines will require a health certificate to be issued by your veterinarian within a month of your departure. If you’re visiting a foreign country, they will require a health certificate to enter the country. You can talk with your vet at this time about any medications you may need to take with you, or that will aid your pet while traveling. Make sure your greyhound gets a clean bill of health before leaving. If your vet determines that your pet has a health problem, he or she would probably be better off staying home.
You will also need a large carrier, big enough for your greyhound to stand up and turn around. Airlines will require one, but he is better off in a crate even when traveling by car. Your pet will be far safer in a crate in the event of an accident than he would be if he was loose in the car or van. Make sure the crate is strong and secure, and is level. Place in a well-ventilated area of your car so he gets plenty of air. Never, ever leave your pet in a car when the weather is warm, even 80 degrees. Your car will heat up quickly and your greyhound will die. If you are driving and choose not to use a crate, don’t let your greyhound hang his head out of the car. He could be seriously injured by flying debris.
Make sure you have current tags on your greyhound. An accurate ID tag, license, and microchip tag are a must. You might consider letting AAGI know where you’ll be in case your pet gets loose while you’re traveling. We have many people call us when they can’t find you. Keep our phone number with your travel documents so you can call if you lose your dog on your trip. Also keep a recent photo with you, a record of their tatoos and microchip number and any other descriptions you may need to help identify and locate your lost pet. You will want to have proof of vaccinations and your greyhound’s health record with you as well. Never, ever let your greyhound off the leash when traveling! Be very careful opening and closing the crate door and vehicle doors so they don’t bolt.
Don’t forget to take plenty of food, water and any medications your greyhound needs. It’s always preferable to keep your pet on the same food and routine to eliminate some of the stress from traveling. It’s not a bad idea to take some Immodium AD or other medication in case of a bout of diarhea.
Also be sure to take lots of plastic bags, paper towels, water and a pooper-scooper for cleaning up after your pet.
Be sure to research your destination and route as many parks and recreation areas do not allow pets. You may also want the name of a vet for emergency purposes. Give us a call and we’ll put you in touch with a greyhound adoption area near your destination for referrals, if necessary.
You can obtain brochures written by the American Kennel Club, “Canine Travel Tips,” by visiting their web site at www.akc.org. Another great reference is Vacationing With Your Pet by Eileen Barish, which lists hotels, motels, etc. in the US and Canada that are pet friendly.
Above all, have a great trip and enjoy your pet’s companionship!