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Pet Travel Information - State and Local Regulations



State Law: Nearly every state in the United States has laws applicable to the entry of dogs, cats, horses, psittacine birds (birds of the parrot family), and other pets. Tropical fish are the only exception. It is important to comply with the laws of the state to which you are visting. Contact the State Veterinarian in the capital city of the state well in advance of your move or visit for specific laws concerning entry of your pet.

A few states have border inspection of all animals being imported; others have random inspection by department of agriculture officials or the state highway patrol; some check interstate health certificates; many depend on individual compliance with the law; and a number rely on a combination of these methods. Representatives of the state department of agriculture are usually present at airports to inspect any pets arriving by air.

Local Regulations: The majority of communities in the United States have enacted pet control and licensing ordinances. In many instances these relate only to dogs, but increasing numbers of cities are applying them to cats as well. Local laws may limit the number of dogs or cats permitted in one household.

Most communities prohibit the stabling of horses, ponies and other livestock within city limits. Where permitted, minimum distance from the barn to you and your neighbors' houses may be specified, as well as size of pasture required. You may have to stable your animal(s) outside the city limits.

License fees and the length of time a new resident has in which to obtain a license for a pet vary from place to place. Contact the city clerk at the destination city or town hall for specific information.

Pet Travel Tips

  1. Pack plenty of treats, food and toys. If you are driving, bottled water is a must for exercise stops.

  2. Make sure your pet's leash is easily accessible on driving trips. Never remove your pet's collar (make sure your contact information is on their ID tag).

  3. Plan your route ahead of time and make your Best Western reservations well in advance. Confirm the pet policy at the time of booking.

  4. Don't forget bowls for water and food.

  5. Pack your pet's bed, blanket or favorite toy to remind them of home.

  6. When driving, stop every 3-4 hours to allow your pet to exercise and burn energy.

  7. Don't feed your pet a large meal immediately before a long drive. Break meals up throughout the trip to minimize the risk of motion sickness.

  8. Reward your pet for good behavior in the car, at rest stops and in public places.

  9. Plan activities with your pet in mind. If an activity cannot include your pet, make alternate plans for your pet in advance (doggie day care, a trip to the groomer, etc.).

  10. When dining, look for restaurants with an outdoor patio. Please ask if your pet is allowed - many will welcome you and your four-legged friend.

  11. Never leave your pet unattended. New surroundings and the stress of traveling can cause your pet to act out in uncharacteristic ways.

  12. Bring plenty of disposable bags to clean up after your pet.



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