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Welcome to Gabby's travel tips page. Gabby is Teresa Rocha's dog (the owner of Friendly International Travel) that she rescued from a shelter. Gabby's motto is "no pet left behind" and she has a regular blog with travel tips for pet owners.

Your first decision is whether to bring your pet along with you on your trip. Not all “best friends” are suited for travel.

To help ensure the safety and comfort of your pet while flying, it's important to follow some basic tips and guidelines. Here are a few tips:

1. Familiarize yourself with the pet policies of the airline you are flying:

·         Does the airline allow you to take your cat or small dog in the cabin with you? If that option isn't available to you, does the airline have any restrictions on transporting your pet below the cabin?

·         Does the airline have any special pet health and immunization requirements?

·         What are the airlines specifications and requirements for pet carriers?

2. Is your buddy "up" for the journey? This means a visit to the vet for a medical checkup and to ensure that your pet buddy is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations. Be sure to tell your vet about your plans to travel by air.

· Health Certificate: During your pre-trip vet appointment, ask your vet to issue a health certificate for your pet. This typically needs to be dated within ten days of departure. Carry this with you while traveling with your pet, as it may be required at different points throughout your travel.

· Non-Peak Flight/Direct Flights: Consider booking a non-peak direct flight, which typically means less passengers and more cabin room. This will help ease potential stress for your pet.

· Flights & Extreme Temps: If traveling during the summer or winter months, choose flights that will accommodate the temperature extremes, particularly if your pet is traveling below the cabin.

· Same Flight & Notify Airline Staff: Always travel on the same flight as your pet. Ask the airline if you can watch your pet being loaded and unloaded below the cabin. In addition, when you board the plane, notify a flight attendant that your pet is traveling with you as special precautions may be taken.

·         Travel Label: Affix a travel label to the carrier with your name, the name of your final destination or contact person, home and final destination addresses, as well as your home, cell, and final destination phone numbers.

·         Proper Collar & ID: Fit your pet with a collar that can't get caught in carrier doors. Affix two pieces of identification on the collar 1).a permanent ID with your name and home address and 2). a telephone number and a temporary travel ID with the address and telephone number where you or a contact person can be reached.

·         Trim Nails: Make sure that your pet's nails have been clipped to protect against their hooking in the carrier's door, holes, and other crevices.

·         Feeding: Do not feed your pet for four to six hours prior to air travel. Small amounts of water can be given before the trip. If possible, secure a collapsible travel bowl to the inside of the carrier and place a few ice cubes in it.

·         Photo: Bring along a current photo of your pet. This will make it easier for others to help you find your pet should your pet get separated from you.