Sunday, May 8, 2011

Still Planning for Italy with Seymour

My current planning steps include getting everything I need lined up for Seymour's Pet Passport and getting the travel gear Seymour will need. What I've done so far related to his Pet Passport:
1. I downloaded the paperwork I need to take to my vet from the USDA website:

Part of the paperwork is in Italian so I think I have to get it translated but I haven't gotten that far in the process yet.

2. I updated Seymour's chip information because I hadn't done that since I moved and I wanted to add an emergency number.
I now have to contact the Animal Shelter that put in the chip to see what type of scanner they used. If they don't have an international one, I have read that I have to bring my own. I have to say, that doesn't make sense because if he does get lost in Italy, he won't have the scanner attached to him. Again, I need to do more research on this.

Then I started looking for Seymour's Travel gear. I think I'll be able to start my own Pet Travel Store with all of the stuff I'm getting and probably won't use. Hopefully, I'll save others from making the same mistakes.

My first concern was finding a carrier that is airline approved and is the right size. I went to Pet's Mart and also checked on and eBay. After reading great reviews about a rolling pet carrier, I purchased one similar to the attached picture

The chihuahua in the carrier looks a bit like Seymour, but Seymour wasn't as happy as that dog when he tried it. He was willing to go into the carrier and have me roll him around, but he was bracing himself because the carrier was at a 45 degree angle when rolled. I then unzipped it and left it on the living room floor to get him used to it - and he wanted nothing to do with it. Although it was for pets up to 15 pounds, he looked gigantic in it. It was also not very comfortable because when it's laying down, the metal handle is folded under it.

I then checked on the carriers that the different airlines sold and decided to get one similar. It's a Sherpa carrier, size medium with 3 mesh sides and a back pocket. It is a little bigger than the rolling carrier.

Seymour seemed to like this carrier a little better because he would go in by himself but wouldn't stay in long. It has a nice Sherpa pad but when I pushed on the bottom of the carrier, there was a very hard floor under it and the pad is very thin. I couldn't see Seymour being comfortable in it for 8 plus hours. I took out the floor and put him back in the carrier, zipped it up and carried him around. His body weight made the bottom droop a little, but overall, he seemed satisfied with it. I plan to make another Sherpa-type pad that is a little more cushy for him and will zip him in it when we are in the car so he gets used to being confined. This is the carrier I plan to use - I just hope I don't have to put that hard floor back in it. The other thing I do like about it is that I can make the strap long enough to be able to carry it across my chest - so it's hands-free.

Next I checked on carriers I can use when I take him in stores. etc. but it needed to be very fold able since I am only carrying one small carry on suitcase with me. I found a Outward Hound Sling that said it was for pets up to 15 pounds. I purchased it and tried it out while we walked around an outdoor festival last weekend. He was pretty comfortable and I did like that there was a strap inside that I can connect to his collar and a Velcro strap that goes across the opening. He felt pretty secure in it.

But, the bad news is that it is bigger than I expected - it really is for pets up to 20 pounds so Seymour swims in it. It is sturdy and folds up but is a little bigger than I wanted. Luckily it was only $19.99 because I decided I needed a different one. This trip is getting expensive and I haven't even purchased our airline tickets yet!

I found a smaller Outward Hound sling. It fits in a small pouch - included - and is for pets up to about 7 pounds, which is close to Seymour's weight. It hasn't come yet, so I haven't been able to test it. I really hope that this one works because it would take up minimal space in my suitcase. The only thing that makes me a bit nervous is that they show the carrier with a stuffed animal in it!

If it doesn't work, we will go back to the larger one.

The other thing they mention in the pet travel site regulations is that dogs are supposed to have muzzles, in case they need them. Now, I tried a muzzle on Seymour and he hated it. He is so little, I am hoping no one will say anything because I just can't see putting his little snout in one!

As to other things I will bring for Seymour, he will have a couple of sweaters, a couple tee shirts, a raincoat and a harness. He is just about packed and ready to go!

1 comment:

  1. You should try to get him used to the muzzle. Loki had to wear one when he got his nails clipped because he was a nipper. You don't want his first few experiences with the muzzle to be in a new, scary situation.