When planning a vacation, it can be quite difficult to leave your pets at home, especially if you’re taking a longer trip. Here’s an informative guide for traveling with your dog to Florida.
Entering the United States
To be able to clear customs with your dog, your dog must be vaccinated against rabies. Dogs must have received the vaccine at least 30 days prior to entering the country. Adult dogs older than 15 months that have received a vaccine in the past that has since expired should receive another dose before entering the United States. Note that, in this case, they do not have to wait for 30 days to be able to cross the border.
You must have a valid health certificate for your dog.
This certificate should include: your name and address; the dog’s breed, sex, age, color and any other relevant information; the date of its vaccine against rabies and the vaccine expiration date; and, finally, the name, license number, address and signature of the veterinarian who administered the vaccine. Puppies cannot be vaccinated against rabies before three months old. Therefore, the youngest that a puppy can enter the United States is 4 months of age. These requirements apply to all dogs, including guide dogs for the blind.
By Anabel Hebert
Traveling With Your Dog by Plane
Most airlines will allow you to travel with your dog. Depending on the breed and size of the dog, you might be able to bring it on the plane with you at an additional cost, provided that it remains in its cage and under the seat in front of you for the duration of the flight. Restrictions and fees for flying with your pet may vary from one airline to another, so it’s important to check with the airline before arriving at the airport.
Airlines will inform you of their regulations, such as maximum dimensions and weight for cages and other accessories.
Also, most airlines accept a maximum of one to two dogs in the cabin per flight, so be sure to check if there is a “seat” available for your pet before buying your tickets! Once you have booked your flight, you must register your dog as well. This must be done within 24 hours of purchasing your ticket. Larger dogs that aren’t accepted in the cabin must be kept in cargo. Capacity is also limited for this type of transport, so make sure to check availability when booking. If you decide to have your dog travel in cargo, you’ll need to arrive at the airport well in advance since you must register your dog 4 hours prior to the departure of your flight.
When looking into hotels for your vacation, keep in mind that not all hotel chains accept pets. To facilitate your search, here are a few recommendations that will make your holiday much easier!
La Quinta hotels boast more than 830 locations across the United States and accept two dogs per room, at no extra charge. The Kimpton Hotel chain with its 59 locations does not charge customers who have pets with them in their room. If you decide to stay at Loews Hotels and Resorts, your room may be equipped with a mat, water bowls, food, treats and a bed for your dog, all for $25.
In addition, this chain offers room service for pets, with a menu suggested by a veterinarian.
Best Western, another well-known hotel chain, has over 1600 hotels and will accept your pet for a fee of $20 per day. At the Fairmont Hotel and Resort, your dog is welcome if it weighs less than 25 pounds. You will receive a bed, water bowl and food bowl for $25.
If you decide on a vacation rental property while in Florida, make sure to comply with the regulations issued by the owner, such as the size and breed of the dog, as well as the number of dogs accepted in the home. Some owners may request an additional deposit in case of damage caused by an animal.
Restaurants in Florida That Allow Dogs
Several well-known restaurant chains will accept your dog if you are seated outside on the patio. Some of these chains include Starbucks, Joe’s Crab Shack and Panera Bread.
You can find a wide selection of restaurants that are open to hosting you and your pet at www.petfriendlyrestaurants.com and www.bringfido.com/restaurants. These websites allow you to search by city and restaurant for different areas that accept dogs.
It’s important to know that most beaches in Florida do not accept dogs. You should respect the rules, because fines for non-compliance can be very stiff! Beaches that allow dogs will most likely require that your dog be on a leash and always close to you. Some cities also charge a fee for a permit that allows you to take your dog with you. For example, Fort Lauderdale offers a weekend permit that costs $7.
There’s always a way to make sure that your pet can tag along on your vacation and enjoy the very best holiday by your side. Have fun planning your next trip!