The holidays are coming, which means they’re bringing the busiest travel days of the year with them. As Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s approach, remember these tips so your pets can enjoy them with you:

American Airlines and Sherpa Pet Group have introduced the “Guaranteed on Board” program to ensure your buddy’s safety, and Continental Airlines is another pet-friendly airline. But always check with your airline before making reservations — policies vary greatly among them.

2 Check in with your veterinarian before taking a long trip to make sure your pet has had the proper vaccinations and is able to travel. Some dogs may be too old, too young or just not ready. Also, never use sedatives for your pet when flying — ask your veterinarian for the safest way to calm it down in high altitudes.

3 More than ever, your pet needs proper ID when traveling. Make sure your name and contact information is on the collar, the crate and anywhere else.

4 If your pet is traveling in a crate, make sure it feels comfortable and gets used to being inside. Fill it with your pet’s favorite blanket and toys so it feels more like home. Also, make sure your dog can lie down, sit, stand, roll over and fetch. OK, well, not the last one.

– Wendy Diamond is a pet lifestyle expert, author, animal rescue advocate and editorial director of Animal Fair magazine,


Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.

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