With the upcoming holiday travel season, The ARK at JFK, the world’s first privately-owned animal reception terminal and quarantine which recently opened in New York City, shares their “Top 10 Pet Travel Tips”
Elizabeth A. Schuette, Managing Director of The ARK, gives her expert travel tips from micro-chipping your pet in advance, researching the individual country (or state) for importing your pet using the USDA-APHIS Pet Travel tool, making sure your individual carrier accepts your cat or dog’s breed, using a pheromone collar if your pet is traveling in a crate, among many others. Elizabeth’s full Top 10 list is included below.
The ARK at JFK is located at New York’s JFK on 14.4 acres and is opening up in three phases in 2017. As part of Phase 1, The ARK Pet Oasis and Equine Export Center opened January 2, 2017 and have welcomed horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, mice, goats, pot-bellied pig and many other animals. Phase 2 includes the The ARK Aviary and Equine Import Quarantine, which opened in September 2017. Phase 3 services will include a long-term pet boarding facility in 2018. Approved by the Board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), The ARK was constructed by ARK Development, LLC and is a $65 million state-of-the-art facility.
In addition, The ARK is partnered with the SPCA’s Operation Baghdad Pups Worldwide program. For members of the U.S. military stationed on bases all over the world who befriend local animals during deployments (and become their companions), Operation Baghdad Pups rescues and reunites these patriot pets with our service members in the U.S. To date, they have rescued over 650 animals from multiple countries in the Middle East, Central Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa.
PET HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS FROM THE ARK AT JFK
- Do Your Homework on Individual Country/State Requirements – Research the country and/or state requirements for importing your pet by using the USDA-APHIS Pet Travel tool. A number of countries require advance notice and preparation, so be sure to plan ahead.
- Do Your Homework on Your Specific Airline Carrier – Make sure your carrier accepts your cat or dog’s breed, since there are various breed restrictions according to individual airlines. Not all planes are equipped to handle live animal cargo and not all flights accept in-cabin animals. Pay attention to time of day and heat/weather restrictions as well, since they vary based on individual carriers.
- Register & Microchip Your Pet in Advance – Before your trip, be sure to register and microchip your pet in advance, with all important information on a tag attached to collar.
- Bring a Copy of Veterinary Papers – Bring an extra copy of your pet’s veterinary documents
- Bring Extras – Bring an extra collar and leash along and also keep a current photo of your pet in case s/he gets lost.
- Pack the Essentials – Pack a first aid kit for your pet, all of his or her medication needed for trip duration, and a day’s worth of food in case of flight cancellations or delays.
- Direct Flights – Use direct flights if possible and travel during non-peak flights.
- Stay Calm & Carry On – Always keep calm around your pet so they do not sense your stress or anxiety.
- Flying via Travel Crate – If your pet is flying as live cargo in a travel crate, use a pheromone collar or spray inside the crate to help to de-stress and calm. Also acclimate your pet with the travel crate so that s/he feels safe and comfortable inside it and place a photo of your pet along with emergency contact information on the crate. Also always ensure that the travel crate is International Air Transport Association (IATA) compliant and in good condition.
- Luggage vs. Your Pet Companion – If planning a move and flying out of JFK airport, consider arranging for your pet to fly a day later than you so you are not juggling your luggage and your companion. Your pet can stay at where s/he will get food, water, outdoor relief, spacious kennel, and lots of love. We will provide transportation to the airline and ensure the travel crate is properly marked, labeled and ready to be checked-in.