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10 tips for traveling with pets

Pets
By Debora Vrana,
Special to the Los Angeles Times


Here are 10 things to help take the stress out of your pet’s plane trip, as provided by Kathy Santo, a pet behaviorist, and veterinarian Karen Halligan:

1. Make sure your dog is ready to travel by spending time in public places that allow dogs. And make sure your dog obeys the “come” and “stay” commands. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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2. Familiarize your pet with its carrier before leaving home. Put it out with the door open and hide treats and toys in the back so pets begin to think of it as “magic.” (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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3. Get the best crate you can afford. Attach dog treats in a bag to the outside, with a letter: “My name is -------. You can give me a treat,” in a clear plastic envelope taped to the outside. Differentiate your crate with stickers or duct tape to make it easier to spot. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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4. Inside the crate, tape identification tags with your home address and phone number as well as the address and phone number of your destination. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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5. Pack a pet travel kit, with toys, food, medications and a recent health certificate. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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6. For cats, take disposable litter boxes (available at pet-supply or grocery stores). (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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7. Check with your veterinarian about giving water or food before a flight; the answer will be different depending on the age and size of your animal. Never use tranquilizers unless advised by your veterinarian. At least one airline doesn’t allow tranquilized animals. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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8. Choose a nonstop flight. If you are going somewhere hot, get the first flight of the day. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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9. Board the plane last, so you can see your animal get loaded into the baggage area. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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10. Evaluate how you think your pet will react; like people, some animals are extra sensitive to travel. Animals in heat or pregnant shouldn’t travel by air. (Marc Boutavant / For The Los Angeles Times)
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