Let’s face it, our pets are more than just the little furry creatures that lay at our feet at night and bring us the Sunday paper. They are treasured family members who share our world, our hearts and now our travel accommodations. With this privilege, certain rules should apply, according to Gayle Martz, founder of Sherpa, which makes the “Gucci” of pet carriers.
Ms. Martz offers the Petiquette advice in the following ten tips for polite pooches:
1. Always maintain a low profile in public places such as elevators, stores, and airports by keeping your dog in a bag. Dogs love the cozy, den environment and others will not be disturbed.
2. Familiarize your dog with its bag before you go visiting. Your dog will then rest quietly in its “home away from home” and you won’t have to cut your visit short.
3. Buckle up for safety. Place your dog in its Sherpa Bag and secure it to the seat belt with your wheel safety strap. You’ll keep your dog safe and the car free of shedding hair.
4. Make sure not to leave home without a current health certificate your veterinarian (dated within seven to ten days), photo identification and your pet’s favorite noshes. Make sure your dog’s collar identification tag includes origin and destination information.
5. When traveling by airplane, always make a reservation and purchase a ticket for your dog when you make your own travel plans. (Pet tickets average about $100)
6. At the airline security check-in, have your pet’s ticket handy and politely inform the agent that a pet is in your carrier and should not be exposed to the x-ray. You can carry your dog through security or have the agent use a hand-held metal detector to examine the bag.
7. While on the plane, your pet must remain in the bag under the seat in front of you. In a properly sized bag, your dog can stand up and turn around comfortably. That’s more that you can do in your seat.
8. Before going to someone’s home, call first to make sure your dog is also welcome, and even then, always ask permission before opening the travel bag. Just because you adore dogs doesn’t mean your host does.
9. Don’t forget to take along your food/waterbowls and utensils. You mustn’t expect your hosts to serve puppy chow on their fine china.
10. Always keep plastic bags in The Organizer or Accessory Pouch. Cleaning up after your dog is unfortunately your job. Don’t leave anything behind!
Gayle Martz, founder of Sherpa’s Pet Trading Company has revolutionized the way people travel with their pets by personally lobbying the airlines to allow small animals to travel with their owners in the passenger cabin. Through her crusade for safe travel for animals, Ms. Martz has become one of the most recognized experts in the industry working to increase awareness of the issues that confront people who travel with their pets.