10 Tips For Flying With A Pet – What Major Airlines Don’t Wan’t You To Know

The presence of animals on domestic flights has always been a touchy subject. Now things are even more complicated due to a controversy about emotional support animals. That’s why it’s important to be especially vigilant when you’re flying with a pet.

Flying with a dog or cat isn’t ideal, but sometimes you don’t have any other options. And it isn’t just about comfort. If you don’t follow airline regulations to the letter, you might not even be allowed to board.

Do you plan on traveling with a pet anytime soon? There are several steps you can take to make it as seamless and relaxed as possible. Your wallet and a furry friend will thank you.

Flying With a Dog Or Cat: Follow These Helpful Tips

Cats and dogs are allowed to travel on pet carriers

Between airline guidelines and pet comfort, there’s a lot to consider before taking your companion aboard. I know I can hardly stay seated for an entire flight.

How can we expect our pets to make the trip? They’re going to need your help. Here are the top ten tips for flying with a dog or any pet for that matter.

Pick the Right Airline

Even when you’re flying alone, it’s difficult to choose the right airline. You have to consider prices, amenities, and more. Unfortunately, it’s even worse when you want to bring your pet aboard.

Every airline has its own specific pet policy. These include which breeds of dogs are allowed, along with weight guidelines. Some airlines don’t allow pets at all.

While you can find this information online, it’s best to call the airline directly. They can give you a clear answer before you spend hundreds of dollars on a nonrefundable ticket!

Know If Your Dog Can Fly

As much as we all love our pets, we have to face the facts: Some animals are more sociable than others. Even if your pet is within a carrier’s guidelines, ask yourself if they can handle the stress of flying.

It’s not something for everyone. You don’t want to be removed from a flight because your happy pet is disturbing the entire cabin. If you don’t think your dog or cat is fit for flying, consider an alternative option, such as a dog sitter.

Book a Flight in Advance

You should always book a flight as soon as possible to snag the best rates. But when you’re bringing your pet along, it’s a necessity.

Airline carriers only have a few spots available for pets. By a few, I mean two or three. Once these spots are booked, there won’t be room for your furry friend.

By reserving your spot in advance, you’re more likely to snag a seat for your pet before they’re all gone. Otherwise, you’ll have to find another flight if you still plan on bringing them with you.

Visit a Veterinarian

Many airlines require a recent health certificate for your pet. To get this certificate, you need to visit your veterinarian for a checkup. The veterinarian will make sure your pet has all the vaccinations it needs for safe travel.

Train for the Trip

Is your pet accustomed to its kennel? Since they’ll be in the container during the entirety of the trip, you need to train them in advance. They should think of it as a safe space — not as a prison.

But it’s not just about getting cozy. You’ll want to be sure they can hold their bladder and avoid having an accident on the plane.

Get the Right Kennel

Along with breeds and weight limits, airlines also have guidelines for kennels. Generally, they’re required to be no larger than a certain size but still provide adequate space for your pet.

Since all airlines have different rules, you should become familiar with the airline of your choice. Or keep it simple and purchase an airline-approved kennel.

Remove Excess Energy

Keep your pet calm by tiring them out in advance. This is intended to lessen their anxiety but also encourage them to sleep through most of the flight.

Before the flight, take your pet to the park or out for an extended run. If you have a very energetic pet, you might want to spend the whole weak gradually wearing them out. Maybe it’ll help you sleep too!

Manage Food and Water

As another precaution to avoid in-flight accidents, be mindful of when you feed your dog. It’s best to take the food bowl away a few hours before the flight. Anxiety doesn’t mix well with a full stomach.

The same is true of water. Provided it’s a shorter flight, don’t let them drink an hour or two before you board. But if you’re really worried about a dehydrated pet, you can line the bottom of their kennel with absorbent padding.

Find a Pet Relief Area

Every airport is required to have a pet relief area. These are intended for service dogs, but you’re free to use them as well. They are usually nothing more than a bit of astroturf.

Before you board the flight, take your pet to a relief area. They may not have to pee or want to but it’s better to give them a chance while they can.

Avoid Sedatives

Some owners give their pets sedatives to calm them down before a flight. Although it might be tempting, don’t use a dog sedative for flying.

Sedatives can cause temperature and respiratory complications. If your pet can’t handle the stress of flight without sedatives, they’d be happier to avoid the trip entirely.

Find Out The Pet Carrier Requirements

Get a pet carrier that is compliant with the International Air Transport Association so that you can ensure the safety and comfort of your pet during air travel. These requirements include proper ventilation, secure locks, and sturdy construction to prevent any accidents or escapes.

The appropriate pet carrier can also have features such as a leak-proof bottom to contain any accidents or spills and a soft, comfortable interior to provide a cozy environment for your pet. Also, it is important to check the specific size and weight restrictions set by the airline you will be traveling with to ensure that your pet carrier meets their guidelines.

Each airline has its own maximum dimensions when it comes to pet carriers. , so it is crucial to measure your pet carrier accurately before your trip. Additionally, some airlines may require you to provide documentation of your pet’s vaccinations and health records, so make sure to have those prepared as well.

Experience Travel With Your Furry Friend

Fewer airlines are pet friendly and do not allow guinea pigs to flight

Yes, flying with an animal can be stressful. But don’t forget to enjoy yourself once everything is said and done. Whether you’re moving house or going on a vacation, traveling is an exciting and fulfilling endeavor.

And it’s even more fun when you bring your pet along! So what are you waiting for? Purchase those tickets you’ve been thinking about and bring your pet with you on your next adventure.

Find out if your airline accepts pets prior to booking your flight. Some airlines have specific restrictions and requirements for traveling with pets, such as size limitations or the need for a health certificate. It’s important to check with the airline directly to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience for both you and your furry friend.

Visit the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website for more information on traveling with pets. They provide helpful guidelines and regulations that can help you prepare for your journey with your pet. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy and fit for travel before making any arrangements.

What Are Pet Relief Areas?

Traveling with pets is not always easy, especially when it comes to finding suitable places for them to relieve themselves. Pet relief areas are designated spaces in airports, parks, or other public areas where pets can go to do their business.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, some airlines do not accept pets that have been sedated, as sedation can pose risks to their health during air travel. It is important for pet owners to research and plan ahead to ensure they can locate pet relief areas and make necessary arrangements for their furry companions while traveling.

If your cat or dog can fit on a carry-on bag, then they may be able to travel with you in the cabin of the airplane. However, it is crucial to check with the airline beforehand, as there may be specific regulations and requirements for traveling with pets in the cabin.

Figure Out If The Airline Accept Pets

Some international flights do not allow pet carriers in the cabin, but they may have specific guidelines for transporting pets in the cargo hold. It is important to check with the airline beforehand to understand their policies and procedures for traveling with pets.

Most airlines accept pet travel as long as certain conditions are met. These conditions may include the size and breed of the pet, as well as any necessary vaccinations or health certificates. It is also advisable to inquire about any additional fees or restrictions that may apply when traveling with a pet.

Other major airlines allow you to travel with up to two pets. Aggressive pets can be denied boarding or may require additional precautions such as a muzzle or sedation. It is crucial to provide a comfortable and secure carrier for your pet, with enough space for them to stand, turn around, and lie down.

Are There Any Extra Pet Fees For Cats And Dogs?

Service Animals are allowed to stay without any additional fees. The establishment might, however, charge an additional pet fee for common pets like cats and dogs. These fees are typically used to cover any potential damages or additional cleaning required after the stay.

Additionally, some airlines will charge a pet fee ranging from $75 to $150, depending on the size and breed of the animal. It is important to check with the specific establishment or airline for their pet fee policies before making any reservations or travel arrangements.

Southwest Airlines accepts pet strollers and crates as checked baggage for free, which can be a cost-saving option for pet owners. This allows them to bring their pets along comfortably without incurring any additional fees. However, it is worth noting that there may be certain size and weight restrictions for these items, so it is advisable to check with the airline beforehand.

Should Your Travel Your Dog To A High Risk Country?

High risk countries are known to have a higher prevalence of diseases, unstable political situations, and potential safety hazards. Before deciding to travel with your dog to such a country, it is crucial to thoroughly research the specific risks involved and consult with a veterinarian who specializes in travel medicine for pets.

Moreover, taking necessary precautions such as ensuring your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and providing them with appropriate preventive medications can help mitigate potential health risks. Your service animal may also require additional documentation and permissions to travel to a high risk country, so it is important to check the specific requirements and regulations beforehand.

Dogs like the Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs, with their short snouts and brachycephalic features, may face additional challenges when traveling to high-risk countries due to their increased susceptibility to respiratory issues. It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian familiar with these breeds to assess their fitness for travel and provide any necessary advice or precautions.

Can Your Pet Fly In Cargo?

Pets flying in the cargo hold can pose certain risks and challenges. While some airlines do allow pets to be transported in the cargo hold, it is important to consider the well-being and safety of your pet. The cargo hold can be a stressful and unfamiliar environment for animals, with temperature and pressure changes that may affect their health.

Your pet can travel as an air cargo shipment if they meet the airline’s requirements and are properly prepared for the journey. It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian and the airline beforehand to ensure that your pet is fit to fly in cargo and to understand any specific guidelines or restrictions that may apply.

Keep in mind the extreme heat that a pet can be exposed to in the cargo hold, as well as the potential for delays or mishandling during transit. Taking necessary precautions, such as using a sturdy and secure carrier, providing proper ventilation, and attaching identification tags, can help ensure a safer journey for your pet.

What to Do If Your Are Traveling Internationally?

Carry on pets Traveling on international flights may require additional documentation and preparations compared to domestic travel. Firstly, it is crucial to research the specific requirements and regulations of the destination country regarding pet entry.

Small pets are able to travel in the cabin with their owners, but larger pets may need to be transported in the cargo hold. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your pet is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and has a certificate from a veterinarian.

The airline can limit the number of pets allowed to travel on the same flight so that they can protect airline personnel from any potential issues or risks associated with handling multiple animals. It is also recommended to acclimate your pet to their travel carrier beforehand, as this will help reduce stress and anxiety during the journey.

Last Updated on 19/12/2023 by Karen Snow