EXPERT ADVICE

Keep Your Dog's Tail Wagging

To most pets, traveling ranks somewhere beneath a bath and the vet. Few people know more about taking their dogs on flights and into hotels than American Kennel Club staffers (akc.org). We hit them up for tips on making the experience easier for both pooches and owners.

Be sure your pet's crate has extra hooks or latches so the door doesn't jostle open if it gets bounced around in transit. --Ray Scott, field representative, owner of Digby, a beagle

Request to be on the hotel's first floor so you can be closer to the outdoors and avoid disturbing other guests. Ask where the correct exercise area is. And always bag it! --Laura C. Bollock, senior internal auditor, owner of Australian shepherds Tucker and Gulliver

Most airlines accept reservations for carry-on pets ahead of time, but some companies may have a limit of three pets per flight: two that are reserved early, with the third on a first-come, first-served basis. Confirm the policy and book as early as possible. --Michelle Barlak, public relations coordinator, owner of toy Manchester terriers William and Daisy, and Alydar, an Ibizan hound

Traveling with a big bag of dog food is inconvenient. Order food online before you leave, and have it delivered to the hotel. --Niki Marshall Friedman, public relations director, owner of Boston terriers Rocky and Buster

Bring your dog's rabies certificate. It's the only vaccination required by law in all 50 states. Also, get a certificate from your vet 15 days before you travel that lists up-to-date inoculations, and search online for area animal hospitals. --Lisa Peterson, director of club communications, owner of Norwegian elkhounds Obie and Jinx

Always have a photo of your pet in case he gets lost or stolen. That way you can make signs quickly. --Stacy Mason, field representative, owner of Cujo, a Brussels griffon

I opt for Red Roof Inns or Baymont Inns because most locations don't charge pet fees. --Gail Storm, field representative, owner of border collies Lyn, Bea, Rip, and Tag

Tip baggage handlers well, as they're the ones who are mainly responsible for your pet. --Michael Canalizo, field representative, owner of Silver,a German shepherd

Research local dog parks or good walking spots near your hotel. --Bronwyn Taggart, AKC Gazette editor, owner of Henne's Baxter Beans ("Baxter"), a Boston terrier

Get the hotel to confirm that it allows pets and to specify rules about sizes and surcharges. Don't rely on what's on the website. And if you leave the hotel, confine your pet to the carry crate so there's no chance he'll destroy the room. That can cost you a fortune. --Daphna Straus, director of business development, owner of Zabar, a Pembroke Welsh corgi

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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