Dream and me at the World dog show in Paris

I started to show my Cotons more than 20 years ago.  We have traveled by plane and by car and now, I think I know what to do to have a safe and fun trip with them. 

If you are heading to another country, be sure you know exactly what vaccinations and health certificates are required. For specific restrictions, as well as information concerning vaccinations and documentation requirements when traveling with an animalto a particular country, your best bet is to contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country.

 If you travel by plane, be sure to make a reservation for your pet as soon as you plan to go.  There are restrictions addressing the number of pets accepted in the cabin or in the cargo area. 

 As for the cargo area, there are also Winter and Summer restrictions, as not all airlines will accept pets during these seasons.

 Go to the airline web site for more information regarding restrictions and regulations about baggage, the age of the pet, check in time, etc.  As an example, here is the Air Canada website link: Restrictions and regulations will vary from one airline to another. 

 You cannot check-in or procure a boarding pass on-line when you travel with your Coton.  If you made your reservation through a travel agent, you can ask this person if they can help you finalize your check-in.  If it is not possible, you will have to do the check-in at the airport. You need also to arrive a full 30 minutes prior to the recommended check-in time because you have to see an agent for the check-in.

 Some airports have a specific area for the dogs where they can relieve themselves.  If you are in transit, you will have to pass through security if you decide to use this area.  If time is  short and you don’t want to through security again, you can use the family restroom and put a peepee pad on the floor. 

When you go through the security, don’t forget to take your dog out of the bag!  You will proceed through the metal detector with your pet in your arms.

 If you plan to go for an extended period, here is a suggestion:  you can use a crate as luggage for all the equipment you will need. 

It is a good idea to copy all the papers needed and to put them in a different luggage.

As for immediate needs, what items or equipment would you need when you are with your Coton?

 If you are traveling by plane:

 - in the cabin :  a soft crate.  Be sure the crate is accepted by airline and is the right size for your dog.  If your Coton has a favorite toy, not too big, I would suggest you put it in the bag.

- in cargo : be sure the crate is the appropriate size for your dog.  If it is going to be a long trip, you can freeze water in a water dish and attach it to the door of the crate.

- wet wipes (travel size)

- leash, collar and harness if appropriate

- paper towels

- poop bags

- pee pee pad(s)

- a little bowl for water and food

- food

 - first-aid kit : Consult your vet for the appropriate items that you may require for your Coton in case of an emergency.

- travel pills (motion sickness, etc.).  If my Coton is too stressed, I’ll have them on hand and it helps a lot, although they are not needed very often as most Cotons are excellent travelers.

- to help to relax :  Rescue remedy (natural stress relief).  You can also put a drop of lavender oil under the ears (I love this smell and I am sure, it also helps me to relax…)

If you travel by car :

 - for safety, it is better to have your pet in a good crate strapped or restrained using a seat belt. There are restraining harnesses available for the dog if you so choose.

- the same items that you would take on a plane.

- I also like to take along an expandable pen or enclosure.  It doesn’t take a lot of room when folded.  If you have to stop, just open up the ex-pen in a safe area and your Coton will be able to move around in security.

Up till now I never had any serious problems while travelling with my Cotons.  They don’t cry or whine, usually quiet, patient and settle down knowing that you are with them.  

Being well prepared makes traveling with your furry friend a pleasant adventure.

Have a safe and happy trip!


Polana Cotons & Pons

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