The dog days of summer are here. August is promising to be a hot and humid month, with UV indexes and summer scorchers that are hotter than celebrity dramas on the evening news.
With heat advisories from the national weather service in effect, walking a pet to a regular appointment with the groomer or the vet in a crowded and muggy urban environment can jeopardize the health and safety of both you and your four-legged friend.
The simple solution to take a taxi is a nice thought, but in big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, most taxi drivers won’t accommodate pets. “[While] there are no rules against transporting pets, most taxi drivers won’t take dogs because they are afraid that they will get the seat dirty” said Nadia Zonis, New York Editor of Urbanhound.com, a guide to raising dogs in big cities.
Zonis suggests that you either “carry a large towel to show the driver that you will cover the seat [that your dog rests on], or hire a pet chauffeur.” In New York, Chicago, and San Francisco pet taxi services specialize in escorting your cosmopolitan pooch around town safely, in style.
New York public transportation is not particularly dog friendly. “Animals must be in a carrier or a large crate on the subway. On the bus there just isn’t any room,” said Zonis.
Zonis has used New York pet taxi services many times to travel to the airport. “I traveled a fair amount with my large dog [and] my experience [was] terrific. The drivers like dogs and make them comfortable, [even providing] water in the van.”
In Chicago, Paws Around Chicago Pet Taxi has offered pet transportation services for six years. Owner Ted Castro transports pets to and from vet and grooming appointments for a large number of elderly people in the Chicago community. “I’ll even go to the person’s house and pick up the pet. Then I stay with the animal for the entire appointment and finally return the pet home” he said.
Pet Taxi in San Francisco (415-386-2534) allows customers to pay on a monthly basis (most dogs don’t make a lot) and offers a flat rate of $30 each way, instead of running up the meter. Founder, Joseph Mays, transports baby rats and even armadillos. “The funniest thing happened to me one day,” said Mays. “I had to take this parrot to a hospital and when I picked up the parrot’s cage, it looked up at me and said, ‘What are you doing!’”
Other Pet Transportation Links:
Tabby Taxi (serving cities within Washington State): 425-990-8294, https://www.tabbytaxi.com
Fetch Pet Care (serving cities nationwide): https://www.fetchpetcare.com
L.A. Pet Taxi (24-hour emergency and non-emergency transportation): 310-575-1985, https://www.lapettaxi.com
Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association: 903-769-2267, https://www.ipata.com
Companion Air “Where Pets and Their Families Fly First Class” (Not yet launched):
By Jessica Reinis for PeterGreenberg.com
For information on traveling with your dog, check out “Dog-Friendly Destinations”.
For more tips for traveling with your pet, visit the Pet Travel section.
Previously by Jessica Reinis for PeterGreenberg.com: