Q&A Four-legged travel trends

Maggie Gallant and Dixie

Maggie Gallant, host of Animal Planet’s Pet Trends, and her dachshund, Dixie.

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According to a recent poll, more than 29 million people in the United States traveled with pets during the past three years. To sniff out more, we spoke to Maggie Gallant, host of Animal Planet’s Pet Trends, and her dachshund, Dixie.

Q Why are so many pets traveling?
A They’re members of the family. Plus airlines and hotels have made it easier.

Q What are some recent trends?
A Aromatherapy. If Dixie gets nervous at security, I give her a spray of lavender, a natural essence that relaxes both people and pets. You can find great organic sprays at trixieandpeanut.com.

Q Any particularly pet-friendly destinations?
A New York. Walk into Bergdorf Goodman and you’ll see dogs perusing the jewelry aisle. Also Los Angeles—people love their pets in L.A. and there’s so much outdoor dining.

Q What about international travel?
A You need to plan well in advance. Contact the country’s consulate and check in with your vet about paperwork and health abroad.

Q What do you pack for Dixie?
A Shot info, our vet’s phone number, and an emergency vet’s number. Plus, a rawhide chew or treat, a spare leash, and a jacket in case she gets cold.

Q What’s more difficult, traveling with a dog or a baby?
A Well, Dixie is a lot quieter than most babies on a plane. So I’m giving the dog the Better Traveler Award!

Purchase Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook at select AAA branch offices, most major bookstores, or AAA.com/barnesandnoble.

Photography by Nina Subin

This article was first published in July 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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