Likely, there aren’t too many people on the Palouse who will be traveling by private jet this summer. But even if you aren’t, tips the well-off use to travel with pets to distant locations can help you — even in your pickup truck.

Magellan Jets, of Quincy, Mass., recently published a blog post on the matter. They don’t want to have an in-flight emergency with a client’s pet or clean up any waste any more than you do.

First, they recommend checking in with your veterinarian within 10 days before departure. Beside making sure vaccinations are up to date, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination, perhaps blood work, and give the owner a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection allowing the animal to cross state and international boundaries where necessary.

If the beaches are just not what you want in the U.S., international travel with a pet requires more work and the amount varies by state or nation. A full-service private jet company like Magellan can help with arrangements but realize, states like Hawaii or other countries have very strict rules that must be followed. Your veterinarian will know or will find out what you need to do to travel with your pet.

The same need for research and compliance applies if you are traveling by any mode of transportation.

Next up, the jet company wants to know about your pet or pets. It is one thing to haul a toy poodle. It is another to bring aboard a couple of Great Danes. Obviously, weight and balance are one factor; more likely it is security in the air and protecting the client’s investment that is right there, too.

Third, know the rules. The USDA requires pets to be a minimum of 8 weeks old, fully weaned and in good health. Where pets can be seated and how they must be secured are all points to manage as well.

The fourth suggestion is an obvious one. Control your pet’s food intake. The bottom line here is should a pet have a vomiting episode or go potty in a private plane, there will be HEFTY cleaning fees added to your invoice for private travel. The company recommends not feeding before flight but to carry all the water your pooch or kitty may want.

When the plane lands at the final destination, one should offload the pet and take them out to go potty and stretch their legs. They will likely be tired and hungry, so now is the time to feed them a small general meal. If it is only a refueling stop, limit their intake to a few laps of water.

Finally, the company recommends providing some comfort for your pet while on board. This could mean bringing along a favorite bed, toy or blanket, their food bowl or an old chew toy, anything to keep them distracted.

Whatever way you may travel with a pet this summer, you definitely need to pay attention to their needs and any restrictions your conveyance or destination may have. Know that airline companies are closing their acceptance of comfort animals of some species and in some cases for all species.

Crossing into Canada and back can sometimes be a challenge even though they are our trusted neighbors. Five agencies (three from the U.S.) control some aspect of the border. Any of the five can choose to temporarily change regulation or even shut the border to animal crossings and travelers must comply. It’s always best to call ahead and ask.


Powell is the public information officer for the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which provides this column as a community service. For questions or concerns about animals you’d like to read about, email cpowell@vetmed.wsu.edu.

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