By adhering to a few key tips, traveling will no longer mean having to part with your precious four-legged friends. By, Paul Rubio

At some point in the lives of jet-setters comes a temporary yet tough farewell to the canines and felines who love them unconditionally. ThatÂ’s why pet lovers rejoiced when upscale hotels began rolling out the red carpet for their beloved friends. However, the intricacies of pet-friendly travel are far more complex than supervised doggie socials. Airlines have yet to match the pet-friendly paradigm, severely limiting choices for comfortable transportation. From domestic getaways to international immigration, itÂ’s a tangled web of terms and conditions, restrictions, and hidden charges. According to Chris Nichol of pettravel. com, advanced planning and due diligence are key to overcoming the diverse requirements for taking your precious pets on the road.

Fine Print Commercial Airlines Airlines differ when it comes to rules for pet types, breed restrictions, and whether pets can fly as carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or cargo. Checking a pet as luggage or cargo carries risk, especially with seasonal variations, extreme temperatures, delays, and airport mishaps. All pets require a certificate of good health from a veterinarian.

Pocket Pets To bring a small pet on a domestic flight as a carry-on, he or she must fit into a small International Air Transport Association-approved carrier with a waterproof bottom that fits under the seat in front of the passenger. He or she cannot weigh more than 18 pounds and must be less than 12 inches tall. Note: most airlines will not allow more than two pets per cabin.

Size Matters A number of high-end hotel companies, like Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and Mandarin Oriental, permit only small pets (usually less than 30 pounds) and may charge a one-time cleaning fee for the duration of the stay.

Pet Passport Outside the continental U.S., each country and territory imposes its own restrictions and immigration rules. Nichol recommends that all pet owners create six months in advance a Pet Passport, a collection of all identifying and required documents for entering a given country. This will facilitate travel and avoid unwanted quarantine.

Flying Private This is the superlative method for bypassing commercial restrictions on quantity, size, and breeds.

Pooch Palaces Brands like Kimpton, Loews, and Fairmont are committed to welcoming all pets at no extra charge. Most properties even boast in-house mascots, who ham it up in the lobby for Scooby snacks.