Tips for Traveling with Your Pet by the Air.

Your dogs won't get this kind of service unless you own your plane, but there are lots of things you can do to help make your pet's flight a comfortable one

A picture by Roman Fleysher
A picture by Roman Fleysher

Take your pet on a flight only if you absolutely have to

It goes without saying that the best place for you pet is at your loving house, where he has a comfortable bed, his favorite bowl and all those lovely and familiar smells of a home, sweet home.

Unfortunately (especially unfortunately for your pet) sometimes for different reasons we have to take our pet with us when we travel. Every time it is a big stress for your animal companion and it is up to you to make this experience less stressful (at least, as less stressful as possible) for both of you. If you cannot leave your pet with a pet sitter, or at your family member house, or at your friend’s house with whom your pet is familiar, you will consider taking your four legged friend with you on a travel. There is another option to leave your pet in a boarding place, which might be also stressful for a pet, depending on his disposition.

Well, if you absolutely have to take you pet with you, follow the rules.

Things to check.

If you fly, first of all, check the carrier’s information on Pet carry-on, travel, and shipping for the airline you are going to fly with. Never ever arrive with your pet to the airport before the flight without making arrangements. Pet should always be in a suitable approved kennel.

The first thing, check whether the air carrier allows pets at all.

If your pet is small, check the rules that apply to a pet flying with you as carry-on. Usually pets under 8 weeks old are not permitted. Also the number of carry-on pets allowed per flight is limited, so check it as soon as you know for sure that you have to take your pet with you. Before you book your flight online, contact the carrier reservation phone line to make sure that the carry-on pet quote is available.

Check the regulations for a pet’s kennel. Usually, the pet must be able to move comfortably in the kennel (stand up and turn around). The kennel must fit completely under the seat forward of the customer and remain there at all times aboard the aircraft. The certain dimensions of a kennel will apply, so make sure that your pet will fit comfortably in the kennel. The usual allowed dimensions for a pet kennel are: 22" L x 14" W x 9" H (56 cm L x 36 cm W x 23 cm H). For a First Class cabin: 16" L x 12" W x 8.75" H.

This information should be checked with every particular air company.

If you have a large pet

If your pet is large, it may be allowed to travel as cargo. If you are on the flight with your pet, then your pet is flying as baggage. If you are not on the same flight, then your pet is traveling as cargo. In both cases make sure to check that an aircraft is equipped with heated and pressurized luggage compartments.

Being concerned for pet’s well-being air companies have special cargo programs for transporting large pets. These programs have different embargos: for pets breed (companies would not accept aggressive breeds), seasonal restrictions (some breeds are not transported during summer period).

Make reservations.

After you checked this information, make a reservation for your pet together with your reservation. Make sure that a reservation agent put a cross reference on your reservation that you travel with a pet. Before the date of a flight reconfirm reservation for a pet and check that it is cross-referenced with your reservation. When you are doing reservations or re-checking your existing reservation by phone, always have a track (log) when and with whom you talked.

There is a fee that you’ll have to pay for your pet, usually in a range of $150-250 one way collected in the airport.

Documentation requirements.

Many airlines do not require a health certificate for carry-on pets. However, it is your responsibility to comply with all local, state and national entry requirements which may apply.

Many states and foreign countries require that pets be accompanied by a health certificate.

When traveling internationally, failure to comply with all requirements may result in your pet being refused entry, placed into quarantine or returned to origin at your expense. For the most up-to-date information, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate General office for each country on your itinerary at least four (4) weeks prior to departure.

Your local veterinarian clinic might not know the requirements, but still you can ask your pet’s vet, because he can also check the rules and regulations about pets vaccination required for travelling. He can also get all the required forms and he will fill them correctly.

My pet flew overseas three times. Every time I took care of her health papers and vaccinations. Some countries have different expiration dates for certain shots. For example, Rabies vaccination in Israel is due every year vs every two years in USA. Also, the vaccination should not be too fresh. So take care of it beforehand. But a health certificate from your veterinarian should be no more than 10 days in advance of your trip.

Using sedation aid.


You might consider using tranquilizers for your pet when you fly to make a trip less stressful.

On the other hand, many airlines and veterinarians don’t recommend tranquilizers, because tranquilizers can adversely affect your pets breathing and ability to regulate body temperature. Be sure to discuss tranquilizers with your vet.

If a flight is of short duration (less than 3-4 hours) you don’t really want to use it.

With my vet's approval, I was using a pill to calm down my dog, because the trip was overseas, overall 15 hours with planes change, without opportunity to take the dog out.

My dog took it fine all three times, but now that she is old, I would not even consider taking her on a flight.

My dog is ready to travel
My dog is ready to travel

Other tips:

  • Animals who are in heat or who are pregnant should not travel by air.
  • Make sure that your pet’s tags are current and that you have current contact information on file with your vet or microchip vendor.
  • Take a picture of your pet. Tape one copy to the kennel, and keep one with you should your pet become lost.
  • Exercise your pet before the flight so it will be more relaxed and tired; this will help it to remain calm in the kennel.
  • Pets might travel better on an almost empty stomach. You may want to discuss feeding with your vet.
  • Arrive at the airport with enough time to relieve your pet. Be sure to bring a bag to cleanup if necessary.
  • Properly label the kennel - Federal regulations require that each kennel be properly labeled with the words "LIVE ANIMAL" on the top and at least 1 side of the kennel in 1" letters.
  • Prior to your trip try to accustom your pet to a travel kennel. I placed a kennel next to my pet’s bed and used to leave treats and toys in a kennel, so my dog felt free to get into and out of it.


http://www.petairways.com/

No, no! Not THIS one!
No, no! Not THIS one!
This is Pet Airways!
This is Pet Airways!

Pet Airways: A New Option for Pet Airline Travel

A new airline providing dedicated travel for cats and dogs is being launched in the United States.

Unlike conventional airlines, Pet Airways will not consign its four-legged flyers to the cargo hold.

Instead, the pets, called 'pawssengers', will ride in the main cabins of specially converted planes.

Cats and dogs are able to enjoy pre-boarding walks and at each of the five airports Pet Airways serves, there is even a pet lounge providing pre-flight entertainment.

Upon boarding, the jetsetters are escorted by pet attendants who see to their every need during the flight.

The first flight from New York to Los Angeles was a success, Pet Airways says.

- BBC

Pet Airways began flying in July 2009. Pet Airways is an airline for pets only, with the exception of their human flight attendants. The initial cities served are New York, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. Fort Lauderdale was added in October.

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Comments 12 comments

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

How cool is that--pets can to travel in style. This is a very thorough hub for those thinking of flying their pets. Nicely done, Vera.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Angeline, for being the first to comment! I remember how hectic it was for the first time, trying to get any information before the flight, doing things in a hurry, being more nervous than my dog. Now that I know the ways, I will be happy if I can help anyone who needs it.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I'd heard about the pet airline but didn't know any particulars. Thanks for the information.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

sheila, nice to see you! I found this pet airways not long ago. If they prove to be reliable, they might be a nice solution for people who have to transport their pets by air.


sjk6101983 profile image

sjk6101983 6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

This is kind of cool! :) Thanks! :)


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan

I am going to bookmark this - you really write Hubs that are so informational! This is a great resource for anyone who wishes to travel with your pets.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, sjk and cjv!

My dog had to fly with me overseas three times- first time when we moved to US and of course, we took our Shoko with us, second and third time happened when we went to Israel to visit my mother. I could not leave Shoko with anybody (this type of a dog I have). So, I have first hand experience in this field. It always helps to have first-hand experience when you write hubs, right?


Lgali profile image

Lgali 6 years ago

another good hub


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

Lgali, thank you, you are very nice.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 5 years ago from Michigan

You really covered everything here! My Yorkshire Terrier is too old now too. I've never flown with her but there were a few trips coming up where we considered it. But it's best we leave her at the kennel with our Vet. She stays in a "condo" so she's very well taken care of. You've really made this a valuable Hub for anyone who wishes to fly with their pet or even send their pet on a flight with that new Pet Airways. Great Hub for pet lovers!


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 5 years ago from USA Author

Carol, thank you for coming back to this hub! I am very happy if people can learn things from my hub, because I know how stressful it might be to try to get all the information when you have to fly with a pet.


camdjohnston12 profile image

camdjohnston12 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips, This is great hub.

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