How to Travel with a Cavalier

As I’ve already established, flying with a Cavalier can be tricky.  Brachycephalic syndrome can affect dogs with shortened muzzles, creating respiratory issues. Although there are exceptions to airline pet travel, brachycephalic animals have been banned from traveling in the cargo hold on some commercial flights due to the increased potential for asphyxiation. Cavaliers are often able to travel in the cabin, as they are generally small enough to fit under the seat. However, if the pet seats are taken for a given flight, you might want to think twice before flying him in cargo.

“But I want my Cavalier to come on vacation with me!” Yes, yes, I understand the pain. Vacations would not be the same without our furry friends. Unfortunately, getting a Cavalier from Point A to Point B is tougher than it would be for other breeds. Don’t fret—I have a few tips to help you out.

If you’ve determined you can’t board an airplane and still need long-distance travel, consider riding with Amtrak. Round-trip human prices are often the same, but the pet fee is just $25 (or 800 Amtrak Guest Rewards points). The process is similar to flying with a dog; you must have an approved pet carrier, and the animal cannot exit the container while in the station or train. As with planes, your pet should be at least eight weeks old, harmless, and not disruptive. Dogs are only permitted in Coach Class.

Additionally (and again, as with planes), there is a maximum pet number allowed on each train; most Amtrak trains allow five pets, but service animals do not count toward the limit. There is a 20-pound limit on all animals, but your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should not have difficulty with this—most are under 20 pounds.

If you don’t want to take a train, driving is always a possibility. It will take a similar amount of time to get to your destination, and you will be able to stop frequently to let your Cavalier relieve himself. However, as the driver, you must keep your eyes and focus directed at the road at all times. Personally, I am prone to distractions—especially when my dogs are in the car. This is a personal decision, but an important one nonetheless.

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