Are you a baby boomer dog owner? Do you wish that you could share travels with your furry friend? Today, Edie Jarolim, author of [amazonify]1592578802::text::::Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew[/amazonify], gives us a few tips for traveling with your dog.
Baby boomers whose kids have flown the coop are often described as “empty nesters.” In many cases the term isn’t really accurate. Those of us who have dogs — a majority, by most estimates — are hardly free from caretaking responsibilities.
The good news: Those responsibilities no longer have to mean staying at home or entrusting your pup to others. Pet travel is booming among boomers, as more and more destinations put out the welcome mat for furry visitors (who, granted, are more likely to chew than wipe their paws on it).
What’s the best way to travel to the many pet friendly destinations? Consider the options:
Planes: Unless you have a dog small enough to take into the cabin or can afford a charter (see the Dogtravel Company), air travel is not ideal. The pressure and temperature in the hold vary, making a noisy, noxious, and already terrifying experience even more terrifying and uncomfortable for your dog. And dogs can’t even take chill pills. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, sedatives and tranquilizers can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems at increased altitudes.
Yes, on the new PetAirways (read Edie’s review), your dog travels in the cabin. But not with you. Pets are booked on separate flights. I think it’s stressful to try to coordinate your flights with your dog’s — even if you can afford the additional flight cost and even if you are on one of the few routes that PetAirways currently offers.
Trains: Sorry, no go. Dogs are not allowed on Amtrak. Frankly, I think the company could solve all its financial problems if they allowed pets on board — I’d be the first to shell out for a sleeper compartment that I could share with my dog — but no one asked me. The pup prohibition is true for bus companies, too, even Greyhound — its name notwithstanding.
Automobiles: This is, hands down, the best mode of travel for most people who have pets (RV and motor homes are even better, but I’m not going to suggest you go out and buy one just for your dog). And unlike those earlier family excursions you used to take with your kids, there’ll be no one in the back of the car nagging, “Are we there yet?”
For tips on traveling safely with your dog, see Buckle Up for Dog Safety.
Edie Jarolim’s most recent book is [amazonify]1592578802::text::::Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew[/amazonify] (Alpha/Penguin, 2009). She is the Pet Travel Correspondent for KVOA TV in Tucson and blogs about dogs (and especially her dog, Frankie) at Will My Dog Hate Me?.
Disclosure: I have included an Amazon link to [amazonify]1592578802::text::::Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew[/amazonify] for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at Amazon.com.
Do you travel with your dog? Post a comment to share your favorite dog-friendly travel tips.