Hammock in Paradise blogger Lisa Overman made a cross-country drive with a 120-pound dog and two elderly cats. Challenges included feline medication, a vehicle breakdown and mid-summer heat. As the only human in the car, her solo strategy included the creative use of drive-up windows. When her carsick cat blew through used the remaining paper towels and baby wipes, Overman pulled up to the prescription drive-through of a national pharmacy chain. Supplies were purchased through the window to avoid leaving three animals in a heated car.
Here are other creative solutions for handling or avoiding challenging situations when you are traveling with pets:
Research: Not every border is pet-friendly. Track down the rules before you hit the road. England, for example, immediately welcomes properly documented dogs, cats or ferrets from a list of approved countries. Otherwise, there's a six-month quarantine. Petsonthego.com has additional information about international pet travel, including documentation and detailed questions to ask your airline.
Turnkey: Petrelocation.com will move any pet to and from any location in the world. The service coordinates pet hotels and potty breaks for long flight layovers and handles paperwork. Additionally, Pet Relocation will serve as your liaison with customs officials in your destination country, and arrange shuttle pickup for your animal's departure flight. You want to move a poisonous dart frog from Zurich to Houston? No problem. Pet Relocation even managed a move from Seattle to Amsterdam for Francesco, a Siamese fighting fish with adoring owners.
Resources: Pawsengers on Pet Airways enjoy air-conditioned flights for as low as $99, with comfort checks every 15 minutes by cabin staff. Dogparkusa.com has listings of pet-friendly parks in all 50 states and abroad, including Australia, Israel and England. Pettravel.com lists pet-friendly hotels in cities around the world, including Amman, Jordan and Bolzano, Italy.
Gear: The term "creature comforts" takes on new meaning when you're traveling with pets. Toys, portable treats, lightweight blankets and extra leashes are vital for long-distance trips. Familiar equipment provides layers of comfort and avoids unnecessary replacement costs. And don't forget your pet's medical records. Depending on the destination, you may need proof that your pet is current on vaccinations. One affordable pet daycare center in Miami, for instance, requires medical records before accepting new customers. Clearly labeling Max's crate with his name will enable flight crew to call him by name during the journey, reducing the stress of being among strangers.