Here Comes the Sun!

Pet travels: Broccoli goes on vacation Part 1

Dear Broccoli:

We are going to miss you during our trip. You always bring that comic personality and add a little joy to our day. We hope you’ll enjoy your vacation!


Pet Travels: Broccoli visits his grandparents

Tomorrow, Ceci and I will be flying to Monterrey, Mexico to drop off our dog, Broccoli, with his maternal grandparents. And I’m pretty sure he knows. For the past few days, he has been taking out his stress on his toys, gnawing at them significantly more than he usually does.

He’s also been much less obedient than usual. I can always count on Broccoli to come when called, especially when I have a tasty treat in my hand! But not the past few days…

For the first time since I can remember (possibly, since he joined our pack!), Broccoli decided to run out toward the street when I opened the door. He just bolted out!

He can smell that something is off…

What spa would better serve Broccoli’s needs: the one in LA or the one in Monterrey?

After much discussion, Ceci and I decided to ask her parents if they could and would take care of Broccoli during our trip. Although my parents love him and his awesomely funny pesonality, my dad is slightly alergic and would struggle with Broccoli’s incredible ability to shed like no other.

Unfortunately, this meant taking Broccoli to Monterrey, Mexico some 1500 miles away from San Diego, wayyyyy on the northeast coast of Mexico just under Texas.

Location of Monterrey in northern Mexico

Location of Monterrey in northern Mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A photograph of Cerro de la Silla, a mountain ...

A photograph of Cerro de la Silla, a mountain in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had two choices: one was drive half way across the US and then south for a few hours into Mexico; or fly. Given that it takes about 24 hrs to drive and only 2.5 hrs to fly, obviously we chose to fly.

Pet Travels

Flying with a pet is no easy task; if he’s anything over 20 lbs, it gets much more difficult than just tossing your pooch in your purse, à la Paris Hilton, hopping aboard and arriving at your destination.

Chances are that your dog will be transported as cargo in the plane’s belly (cargo area). There are certain regulations that you must abide by and consider. For us, one of the biggest considerations was the need for a TSA approved kennel.

You can find many resources that will go into great detail as to what the requirements are, including Pet Travel

We chose to go with the Petmate Sky Kennel (for Pets from 50 to 70 lbs)

Broccoli is rather long, albeit short and chubby, so this was the right size for him.

We also ordered metal hardware as the OEM hardware consists of only plastic wing nuts. Be sure to keep this in mind!

Pet Prep

Keep in mind that your pet needs to be accustomed to the kennel well before flying. I imagine some pets have a hard time getting used to this enclosed space. Lucky for us, Broccoli felt right at home!

We started about a week before flying (ideally, you’d get 3-4 weeks). We assembled the kennel leaving the door off. We then encouraged Broccoli to go in the kennel by placing something he was very comfortable with inside: his bed.

Once he walked inside, we praised and bribed gave him treats. Quickly, he learned that kennel  = treats = happy pup. Before we knew it, Broccoli would make his way to the kennel without being asked.

In fact, I’m starting to think that we’ll let that be his little dog house without the door once we get back!

In any case, Broccoli seems to be ready for (what we believe will be) his first flight.

Broccoli making the kennel his home  -- Pet Travel

Broccoli making the kennel his home — Ceci’s backpack on the left





International Pet Travel


Traveling internationally with your pet adds one more step (at least Mexico keeps it relatively simple).

Broccoli had to be checked by his vet no more than 10 days prior to his flight, so as if he and we weren’t already plenty stressed, we had to take him to the vet where they would insert a thermometer in his butt. As always, as long as we bribe give him treats (especially chicken), Broccoli is down for whatever. BRING IT!

Once his vet confirmed that he’s healthy, she provided us with a nice form stating that he’s healthy and is up to date on his vaccines.

Tomorrow is the big day. We’ve never flown with a pet before, so we’re hoping that we’ve done everything we need to prepare, and that Broccoli has a stress-free flight and arrives happy and healthy as always.

Click here for Part 2 of this post!


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