Mar 19 2014

Fido’s Spring Checklist

spring checklist As the grass begins to turn green, snowbells blossom, and the sun sets later in the evening, you and Fido may find yourselves developing a case of spring fever. The good news? With the right precautions taken, you and your pooch will be ready to spring into warmer days with a seamless transition. Employing the tips below is easy, and you’re sure to have some fun along the way.

Spring To-dos:

Up the Exercise

When it’s cold outside, many owners and canine companions get less exercise. Not to worry, though. Although your pooch doesn’t need to get in beach-worthy shape, he or she does need to get conditioned for long days of fun in the sun. The key? Like any exercise regimen, you should ease your way into full-fledged workout mode. In no time walks around the block will turn into 5-mile trail hikes.

Wash The Paws

Beds of green grass are fun for pups to roll around in, but during the spring, be careful of potentially harmful chemicals, such as herbicides, that are used for the removal of  unwanted vegetation.

Flee & Protection

Rolling around in the grass is all good fun until somebody gets a bad case of fleas or ticks. The solution? Monthly flea and tick preventative medication is best practice; however, you’ll also want to give your dog a thorough comb-through if you go for a hike in a heavily wooded area. You can purchase these products at Whiskers & Wags, Wayside’s Boutique. All proceeds from sales in the store benefit the animals at the shelter!

Groom the Coat

Spring is a time for fresh starts, so be sure to send your pet for a day at the groomers, where he or she can get a fresh cut that keeps them cool and comfortable as the weather gets warmer outside. It also helps to get in the routine of brushing them at night.  This can not only help them relax but it keeps the tangles and dander to a minimum.  And, hey, it’s great quality time together. Need some more convincing? Think how cute your pooch will look with their new hairdo!

Learn More

Looking for a furry friend to take long strolls with on breezy spring evenings? Wayside Waifs of Kansas City is home to a number of adoptable dogs and cats that are looking for their forever home, so be sure to stop by the shelter today.

Shelter Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm

Mar 6 2014

How to Transition Your Dog’s Food

dog foodUnlike their human counterparts, dogs do not need to eat a rainbow (yes, keep those skittles to yourself on family movie night). Although eating food with a balanced spectrum of nutrients is important, owners should aim to consistently provide a healthy meal for their canine companions. However, as dogs mature or develop food allergies or sensitivities, you may come to a point when you need to switch dog food. Don’t panic; follow these simple steps to avoid post-breakfast or dinnertime discomfort.

Know Your Addition

In just five days, you can seamlessly transition your dog’s food. It’s simple: All you have to do is know some basic calculations for you and Fido to be on your way to a healthy new start. Begin by adding 20% of the new food in with 80% of the old. From here, you will up the new food in 20% increments each day, while simultaneously lowering the old mix by 20%. Easy, right?

See the chart below for details.

  • Day 1 – 80% Original food + 20% New
  • Day 2 – 60% Original food + 40% New
  • Day 3 – 40% Original food + 60% New
  • Day 4 – 20% Original food + 80% New
  • Day 5 – 100% New

While these proportions help most dogs make an easy transition to their new food, it is not a foolproof plan. Because of this, there are some telltale signs of irritation you’ll want to watch for throughout this process.

Red Flags:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs, stop administering new food and visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

When it comes time to change your dog’s food, be sure to employ the following steps. And remember, there is no universal solution for all dogs. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to observe your dog for any unusual diet-related behavior as you make this transition.

Adopt Today

If you are looking to adopt a dog you can call your own, Wayside Waifs of Kansas City has a number of animals in need of permanent, loving homes.

 Adoption Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm


Proudly serving the Greater Kansas City community. 

Jul 2 2013

Celebrating a Safe Fourth of July

With the fourth of July just around the corner, we know many of you will be celebrating with outdoor festivities. Wayside Waifs wanted to share some tips for helping keep your furry friends safe this upcoming holiday.

·          Never use products on your pets, such as sunscreen or insect repellent, not labeled specifically for use on animals. Products not specifically designed for animals may cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and/or lead to neurological problems.

·          Did you know alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison your pets? They can make your animal weak, depressed, comatose, and even cause respiratory failure resulting in death. The best advice, never leave an alcoholic drink unattended.


Tips to help keep your pets safe this fourth of July

·          If barbequing, be sure to keep matches and lighter fluid out of reach. Matches may contain chlorates, which could cause difficulty breathing or kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid isn’t only an irritant to your pet’s skin but can also cause aspiration pneumonia or serious breathing problems if inhaled. 

·          Did you know food such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocados, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough can be potentially toxic for your furry family members? Please do not feed your pets anything they do not normally eat. Any changes in their diet could give them severe indigestion and diarrhea.

·          Never allow your pets to play with or wear glow jewelry. Although the fluid isn’t highly toxic, it can cause gastrointestinal irritation. The plastic container could also pose a choking hazard or intestinal blockage from swallowing.

·          If using citronella candles or other bug repellant items, keep them out of reach. They may cause stomach irritation, problems for the central nervous system, or aspiration pneumonia in your furry friends.

·          Never use fireworks around your beloved pets! Not only do they pose a risk for severe burns to curious animals, but they may also contain potentially toxic substances if ingested. 


The best rule of thumb, leave your pets at home this July 4th. Booms from fireworks and large crowds may also scare your pets. Be sure to place them in a cool, quiet, and escape-proof section of your home.

Dec 20 2012

Let It Snow! Keeping Your Pets Safe This Winter

Winter is definitely upon us! Not only is it time for humans to dig out their cold weather clothes, it’s also time to think about keeping our pets safe during these arctic cold days. Here are some tips to keeping your pets safe.

1. Keep your pets inside. Limit your pets outside time for bathroom breaks when temperatures start to tumble. If its too cold for you, it’s defintely too cold for your pet. If your pet is normally outside, move them to a sheltered garage or heated dog house, away from the wind.

2. Outdoor cats have been known to find refuge underneath the hoods of cars. When the car is started, the cat could become injured or even killed by moving parts of the engine. If you have an outdoor cat, honk the horn before starting the car to give the cat a chance to escape.

3. Keep your dog on a leash in the winter weather. Pets can lose their scent in the snow and ice and find refuge in unfamiliar places. This is also a good opportunity to check your dog or cats id tag to make sure they have the most current contact information in case your pet becomes lost or stolen. We also recommend mircrochipping your pet. More dogs are lost during the winter than any other time of the year.

4. When getting your pet groomed, don’t have them shaved down to the skin. A longer coat provides more warmth. Bathing your dog? Be sure to completely dry them before taking them out for a walk. For short-haired breeds, put them in a warm sweater with a high collar that gives the pet coverage from the base of their tail to the belly. My toy poodle Lucy loves to wear her jacket and waits for me to put it on her before going outside.

5. Make sure to keep a dry towel near the door when you bring in your dogs from being outside. Thoroughly dry their paws, legs and belly. They can pick up bits of salt, antifreeze and other lethal chemicals from being outside. It can also be painful for the animal to have shards of ice in their fur. A dogs paws can actually bleed from encrusted ice. This is also a good opportunity to give them some extra love and praise them for good outdoor behavior.

6. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. The vehicle can act as a refridgerator, keeping the cold inside and causing your pet to freeze to death.

7. If your pet spends a lot of time playing outside, increase his food supply. Make sure to include extra protein to help keep his fur in great shape.

8. Coolant and antifreeze are lethal for cats and dogs. If you have any spills in your garage or driveway make sure to clean them thoroughly. Stay away from product s that use ethylene glycol. If your pet should ingest any of these products, call your veterinarian immediately.

9. Rock salt is also dangerous for pets. “Safe Paw” is pet safe ice melt is available for sale at Wayside Waifs and is safe for pets.

10. Give your pet a warm place to sleep. Make sure beds are located away from doors and drafts. Warm blankets or a large pillow is great.

Written by Trish Stinger
Web & Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs

Jun 13 2011

Keeping Your Pet Safe- Common Pet Poisons in Your Yard

Warmer weather is finally here, and just as many of us will be spending more of our time outdoors, so too will our pets.  Whether it’s in our own yard, a park, or a neighbor’s yard which your dog may enter while you are out on a walk, you can help to insure the safety of your pet by familiarizing yourself with the potential poisons that you may encounter. 

Poisonous Plants
We all enjoy a beautifully landscaped yard, but when you are designing your green space, please keep in mind that not all plants are safe for your pets.  Some of the most common toxic plants are: Amaryllis, Azalea, Calla Lily, Daffodil, Daisy, Elderberry, Elephant Ears, Eucalyptus, Foxglove, Hens-and-Chicks, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Jimson Weed, Jonquil, Lily-of-the-Valley, Morning Glory, Nightshade, Poinsettia, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac, Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Tomato Leaves, Tulip, Wisteria and Yew.  If your pet ingests a plant that is poisonous, first remove any remnants from your pet’s mouth and save it for identification purposes for your veterinarian.  Then, wash out your pet’s mouth with water and check for any irritation, swelling or discoloration.  If your pet is vomiting, has excessive drooling, diarrhea or seizers, or if your pet is unconscious or acting lethargic, and you suspect he/she has consumed a poisonous plant, seek veterinary care immediately. 

Mulch and Compost
Cocoa mulch is popular for its attractive color and odor but it is highly toxic for pets.  This mulch is a byproduct of chocolate and its sweet smell can be very enticing to pets.  Ingesting cocoa mulch can cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures and other neurological problems, and if consumed in large enough quantities, can even cause death.  Pets should also be kept away from your compost pile.  Although composting is great for the environment, make sure your compost pile is in a secure area and safely away from your pets.  Moldy food, coffee and a variety of other foods can be toxic to your pets. 

Fertilizer, Weed Killer and Insecticides
Fertilizer, weed killer and insecticide can all be helpful in producing a lush green lawn and a beautiful garden, but they must all be used with caution.  Fertilizer and week killer can be especially problematic to your pet’s digestive tract and consumption may even result in a life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction.  Most product labeling cautions to keep your pets off of the treated areas until the product is dry, but other safety experts recommend keeping your pet off of the treated area for at least 24 hours.  Like fertilizers and week killers, insecticides can also be quite harmful if consumed by pets.  Snail, fly, mole, gopher, mouse and rat baits are all toxic to pets.  If you choose to use these items, manufacture labels should be read and followed carefully to ensure the safety of your pets.  If you find that any of these products have been consumed by your pet, call the Pet Poison Center at 888-426-4435 and immediately seek veterinary care. 

Garden Tools
Garden tools can also be a safety hazard for our pets.  Rusty, sharp tools or those that are stored with contaminated dirt still on them can pose a risk to an overly curious pet.  After use of all garden tools, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and stored safely away from your pets. 

Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, wasps/hornet/bees and some spiders can all be harmful to your pets.  The best protection from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes is to have your pets on monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative year-round.  For spider bites, clean the area with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine or povidone iodine.  If your pet develops a rash, fever, chills, diarrhea, is vomiting, or becomes lethargic, seek veterinary attention immediately.  If your pet is stung by a wasp, hornet or bee, carefully remove the stinger by wiping it off/out with a credit card, knife or fingernail.  DO NOT use tweezers.  Next, apply a paste of baking soda and water to the area, and then apply an ice pack to relieve any swelling.  Benadryl (the regular one, not the one for sinus relief – 1mg. per pound of body weight) can also be helpful in alleviating any swelling.  Most stings are not seriously problematic, but if your pet was stung on the head, especially around the eyes, ears, nose or mouth, or has any sort of allergic reaction, fever or low body temperature, wheezing, rapid breathing, trembling, pale gums, vomiting or diarrhea, it is crucial to get him/her to your veterinarian as soon as possible.  Multiple stings, especially bee stings, (as a swarm of bees can often be aggressive and pursue you or your pet over some distance), will likely present the worst case scenario.  In this case, antihistamines must be administered immediately to prevent shock, maintain fluid volume and protect the various internal organs which may be at risk.  Again, in extreme cases such as this, it is best to seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian.

Summer is a great time to be outside and to share our time outside with our pets.  With careful planning and then taking the appropriate safety precautions, the warm weather months can be a safe and happy time for you and your pet(s).  Always have your veterinarian’s phone number close at hand, along with the Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435.  We wish you and all of your pets a safe and happy summer!


Written by Karen Brown
Development Associate at Wayside Waifs

Nov 17 2010

Keeping Your Hounds Happy This Holiday Season

For many of us, that special time of year — from sometime in early November thru the first of January — is a magical time. It’s the holiday season. But if we are dog owners, this time of year may be a real cause for concern. How will our dogs behave around lots of people ringing our doorbell and coming into our home? What will our dog do when we put up the gloriously decorated Christmas tree with beautifully wrapped presents underneath? What about all the special food laid out for our “human” guests to enjoy? How will he handle all the hustle and bustle and comings and goings?

It’s scary to imagine that in less time than it takes to say, “Happy Holidays,” the dogs have torn open packages, chewed the collector’s ornaments, bowled over a guest, unplugged the flashing lights, pulled the roasting pan from the trash, eaten the cookies, sent Grandma’s good china shattering to the floor and vomited on the rug. Instead of listening to carols, you’re busy looking up the phone number for the emergency vet clinic or profusely apologizing to guests because they need to “leave early” because of your dog’s relentless jumping up, or barking at them.

This is a good time to remind ourselves that all dogs are different. They have different personalities. While one dog may revel in the change of pace, another may find it a confusing, stressful time. Your normally placid dog may suddenly begin to exhibit unusual behaviors, such as stealing food, jumping up on people, or growling or snapping at visitors. As owners and “pack leaders”, we need to communicate and demonstrate to our dogs that while their world may be different during these times, we will continue to keep them safe, well managed and secure.

So what can we do now to help prepare ourselves and our pets for these holiday season challenges? Fortunately there are a lot of good answers to this question. To get you started, we will explore just some of them.

Begin working NOW on your dog’s greeting manners if you plan to have guests. Have a friend help by knocking on the door while you practice SIT and STAY with your dog. Teaching your dog what to do when guests arrive will save you and your dog stress from constant correction. Some people teach their dog to “go to your mat” as soon as the doorbell rings.

Keep feeding and exercise routines the same before and during the holidays. Changes to these routines might make your dog feel uncomfortable and anxious. This could bring out unwanted behavior issues.  If you cannot be available to care for the dog at times during the holidays, designate a friend or family member or your local doggy daycare center to provide meals, walks and continued companionship.

Provide your dog with a good “safe zone” place where he feels safe and comfortable. Let your elderly or very shy dog, for example, decide if things are too stressful to remain with the group. Your dog should be able to “escape” to some place away from all the hustle and bustle. It could be a crate or a laundry room or perhaps a basement area. Be sure to give your dog lots of interesting things to do while he is alone – Kongs, toys, food dispensing toys, pigs ears, etc.

Put the food bowl away for a while and feed all of your dog’s meals from Kongs stuffed with his kibble. This takes time and energy to consume breakfast and dinner while you’re busy doing other things. For larger dogs, it might take 4-5 large Kongs to hold all of a meal.

 Anticipate your guest’s arrivals and confine your dog to prevent it from escaping or, worse yet, “soiling” your guest’s clothes with an unwanted jump.

Before your guests arrive, take your dog on a long walk or stimulating doggie adventure. It will take the edge off your dog (and you!) and give you a calorie deficit in preparation for all those gourmet hors d’oeuvres that will be passed around.

Try your best to include your dog, don’t exclude. It can be frustrating to be kept alone and away from al the fun! Don’t banish your dog during holiday activities, but do encourage good manners by requiring that he or she stay on the dog bed, in the crate, behind the baby gate or tethered during the holiday meal.

If overnight guests are joining you for the holidays, orient them with a list of your dog’s rules and etiquette to ensure your training efforts are consistently reinforced. For example: no feeding from the table, no approaching the dog when he or she is sleeping or eating, feeding only “approved” treats, etc.

Happy New Year! Your dog has sensitive hearing and thus the fireworks, bells and whistles of New Year’s revelers can be very frightening. Be sure your dog is in a safe place away from the noise and that he or she can’t escape from your home, yard or auto. Microchip your dog so that both of you can get reunited quickly!

Holiday gatherings can be very over-stimulating for dogs and kids alike, so never leave the dog alone with any little people, even his own kids. Interactions between the dog and kids should be strictly supervised by an adult who’s dog-savvy enough to know when your dog needs a break. Apply the same rule to dogs and children that you would use for managing children around swimming pools in the back yard!

 If your dog is the excitable or anxious type, he might benefit from an over-the-counter remedy, such as Rescue Remedy, to help keep him calm down and relax. Ask your veterinarian about his or her recommendations as well as how much you should use and how often. Comfort Zone or DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is another good homeopathic option that can also help to maintain your dog’s calm demeanor.

During holiday gatherings, keep a watchful eye for plates and cocktails left at dog level. Since good intentions are prone to fail with so much going on, consider confining your dog to his crate or another room while your guests are bustling about (make sure he has something wonderful to do while he’s there) just to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble.

Be always mindful about heath and safety concerns during the holiday season. Be vigilant about things like: Turkey bones can pose a choking hazard for dogs; Keep things like holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants out of reach from your dog because they are poisonous to dogs; Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog’s feet or mouth; Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels and well out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail; and the list goes on.

Much of this is just common sense that we would use around young children during this joyous and festive time of year. With that in mind, we wish all of you a joyous, happy and safe holiday season. And we extend to all of our furry friends, many holiday woofs and lots of joyous wags.

Written by Skip Daiger & Kay Lampe
Professional Dog Trainers and Volunteers at Wayside Waifs

Dec 31 2009

Teaching “Stay” for Real

Zak George doesn’t kid around when teaching a dog to “stay.” He calls it the most important command a dog can learn. Notice in this video that even when Zak corrects the dog for disobeying (or “breaking”) the “stay” command, he’s not coercive or threatening–just firm. A direct, eye-level stare is effective for the dog who just can’t … well … stay put. Even when teaching important commands, threats or punishment will only teach a dog to fear you, and that’s the opposite of what you’re looking for. (Note: Be sure you’re familiar with clicker training before trying this method.)

posted by Claire M. Caterer

Oct 21 2009

Pet Tips for the Purr-fect Howl-o-ween!

                                                   Happy Howl-o-ween!
Halloween is fun for the kiddos but can be dangerous for our furry friends.  While some things may seem like common sense, others are things we might not even think about! 

Here are some tips to keeping your furry family members safe!

1.  No treats!  Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous to dogs and cats.  Symptoms of ingesting significant amounts of chocolate may include: vomiting, hyperactivity, drinking excessive amounts of water, increased or frequent urination, and heart rate.  Your pet may also have seizures. 

Candies that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs.  This sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.  Significant low blood sugar can also cause liver failure.

Watch those wrappers!  Ingesting the foil or cellophane wrappers can be a choking hazard or intestinal blockage.

2. Pumpkins and decorative corn can cause gastrointestinal upset and can even cause intestinal blockage.  Also watch carved pumpkins with lit candles inside!  Pets can easily knock over pumpkins and cause a fire.  Curious cats are especially at risk or getting burned by lit candles. 

3.  Keep all wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach from your pets.  If your pet chews the cords, they could have damage in the mouth or electrical shock.

4. Everyone loves to dress up for Halloween and it can be fun to get your pet a costume too.  Please don’t put your pet in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.  My poodle loves to wear clothes, but some pets find it extremely stressful.  Be mindful of how your pet is feeling.

If you do dress your pet in a costume, make sure it isn’t constricting their movements, hearing or ability to breathe, bark or meow.  I would also recommend trying on costumes prior to the big night, that way if  your pet is stressed, uncomfortable or allergic you know before the big night. 

Also check the costume for buttons, dangling accessories/accents or pieces that could be chewed off easily.  These all pose not only choking hazards but could also cause intestinal blockages. 

5. Not all dogs and cats are social and excessive knocks on the door, or doorbell can be stressful.  It is recommended that you put your pet in another room, away from trick or treating during peak hours.  Last year, we let our toy poodle run around the house and every time she heard the doorbell she went into a barking/attack mode.  To this day every time she hears a doorbell, even if it’s on the television, she goes berserk!  It was a big mistake to let her be around this commotion before she was ready.

Also be careful of opening the door- this is a prime opportunity for your pet to dart off or scare small children who are unaware you have a pet. 

6.  As always, make sure your pet has identification and is micro-chipped.  If your pet should escape or become lost this will increase the chances that you will be able to find them.

Halloween can be a fun time for the entire family, just be extra mindful of your furry family members and what tricks or treats they are enjoying!

Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs

Aug 25 2009

Keep It From the Beagle

Eloise in her Beano-loving days.

Eloise in her Beano-loving days.

My beagle mix, Eloise, puts everything in her mouth. She is, after all, a dog. At age five, she concentrates on fallen food, socks, shoes, and used Kleenexes. But in her puppy days, everything was up for grabs. One day I brought home Chinese takeout and arranged it on the dining-room table next to a bottle of Beano. In an instant, Eloise took a running start, leapt onto the chair, and skated across the table, sending kung pao shrimp and fried rice flying. What was she after? The bottle of Beano. She scooped it up in her jaws, catapulted off the back end of the table, and zoomed through the family room, down the hall, and into the master bedroom. By the time I reached her, she had the childproof lid off and was chomping down a handful of pills. 

In a panic, I called Animal Poison Control. No worries, they told me; you might even end up glad she’d had a few Beanos. 

I knew pills could be trouble, and we were lucky. But lately I’ve found out about a few “harmless” kitchen foods that could prove more deadly than Beano: 

Raisins & Grapes.  Really? Yes. Too many grapes, whether in fresh or dried form, can cause renal failure in dogs. Don’t ever give them as treats, and if you suspect your dog has eaten a bunch, get him to the vet right away. 

Onions & Garlic.  Dogs lack the enzyme needed to digest these properly–they’ll cause gastrointestinal distress. 

Apple Cores/Seeds.  Only the fruit is safe–even apple leaves and stems may contain dangerous compounds. 

Macadamia Nuts. Causes gastrointestinal trouble. 

Fruit pits/seeds.  Apart from the choking hazard, the pits of plums, peaches, and cherries can cause internal health problems. 

Summertime barbecues and picnics are prime feasting time for nosy dogs. Keep all of these away from your pup, and be careful when offering your dog leftovers. Monitor guests as well and keep firm rules: No feeding from the table. Those hound-dog eyes may be mournful, but at least they’ll be around for many summers to come.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

Jul 21 2009

Air Travel with Your Pet

If you’re traveling with your pet this summer, driving will be your safest bet. But sometimes you can’t help but bring your pooch on the plane. It’s crucial to get all the facts first.

There are three kinds of transport for a pet: in the cabin; as “checked baggage,” or the baggage compartment; or as cargo. Here’s how it breaks down:

Cabin Travel.    This is the most comfortable for both you and your pet. But the animal must be able to fit comfortably in a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you, and the animal must stay confined at all times while on board. Most airlines have weight restrictions. This lets out a good number of dogs, though it’s ideal for cats. Most airlines accept cats and dogs; some accept certain species of birds, though often not “tropical” (read: parrot). Other exotics aren’t allowed. (No snakes on a plane.)

Baggage Compartment.   While baggage doesn’t sound comfy, the compartment is pressurized and in some cases climate-controlled. Air Canada’s website cautions that this type of baggage compartment is available only on certain aircraft, so it’s crucial to book ahead and make the proper arrangements. This will be the option for many dogs. Again, a securely closed kennel will be needed.

Cargo.   Some airlines, like JetBlue, won’t carry animals this way because their cargo area is not pressurized. Other airlines may have only certain aircraft available to keep your pet comfortable, including temperature control.

Now here are some basic rules for traveling by air with your pet:

  • Book as far in advance as possible, and confirm your arrangements a few days ahead. In most cases, you must make your reservations by phone, not online. Many airlines limit how many pets they can accommodate, especially in the cabin.
  • Double-check all rules and regulations regarding the size of the carrier allowed, the aircraft, and your destination. (Flights to Hawaii, for example, can’t carry animals in the cabin.)
  • Label your pet’s carrier, whether in the baggage compartment or in the cabin.
  • Don’t offer your pet any sedatives. The change in air pressure can affect how drugs react in your animal’s body and can cause health problems. Check with your vet for advice on your particular pet.
  • Be very careful when traveling with pugnose breeds of cats or dogs; seek the advice of your vet. These animals’ nasal passages make traveling by air dangerous, particularly in extreme climates. Some airlines restrict travel for these breeds.
  • Be prepared for extra charges, starting around $200 round trip.

While there’s plenty of information available to help you on your flight, be advised that unless it’s necessary, your pet may be happier staying at home. For more tips on flying with your pet, check out  and the Humane Society’s article on the subject. And if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the five destinations served by new startup Pet Airways, your pooch can travel in luxury on a pet-only flight. Pet Airways is scheduled to begin service July 14 and hopes to expand their service to more U.S. cities in the future. Read more about the airline here.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

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