Tips for Airline Travel with Pets
Airline travel with pets is always a bit stressful – for pet owners and their pets – but with the right type of travel plans and preparations you can help to reduce difficulties associated with pet travel and ensure that your pet’s journey is a safe one.
Confirm Reservations Early
Plans that include airline travel with pets should always be arranged well in advance of the trip. Many airlines will only allow a certain number of pets on their flights – within the cabin and in the cargo area – and early reservations will secure a spot for your pets on the plane.
Check Airline Rules and Regulations
Airlines have specific rules and regulations regarding pet travel, so always check with the airline(s) you are flying on to be sure that your pets have the required documents and vaccinations which are needed before they may fly. In addition to medical records, airlines also require specific types of carriers for pets on flights and if your pets are not in the right type of carriers they will not be allowed on the flight.
Follow Pet Airline Travel Safety Tips
For the safest airline travel for pets, follow these tips below:
- Never tranquilize your pet for the flight unless your veterinarian recommends it – pets that are tranquilized have increased risks for hyperthermia, hypothermia and nausea.
- Make sure your pet’s carrier is labeled with your pet’s name, your name, your address and your cell phone number.
- Pad the bottom of the carrier with a comfortable towel. If your pet has a favorite soft toy place the toy in the carrier, but try to keep the carrier as bare as possible for your pet’s travel comfort and safety.
- Bring a water dish with you and offer your pet a bit of water as soon as possible after the flight.
- Try not to arrange airline travel with pets during times when the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold. If you must fly with your pets in the summer, choose an early morning or late night flight – if you are flying with your pets in the winter try to reserve a flight in the daytime when it is warmer.
- Double check your pet’s collar to make sure it is snug but not too tight, and in addition to a rabies tag include a tag with your emergency contact number on the collar.
- Try to schedule direct flights when you travel with pets.
Consult with a Travel Agent
If you have never arranged airline travel with pets before, you may want to contact a travel agent who has experience booking flights for clients with pets. The travel agent will reserve the best flight schedule for you and your pet and advise you on the airline’s regulations for pet travel.