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Safety Tips for Traveling on a Plane with Your Pet

Updated on August 3, 2010

Traveling on a Plane with a Pet

Be careful if you have to travel on a plane with your pet, especially if you are traveling with your pet as cargo. Commercial airlines will not treat your pet as though you would, and I'm sure you've heard the horror stories.

If you have to travel on a commercial airline with your pet, please think twice.

If you can't travel with your pet in the cabin of the plain, it's really not recommended to fly with him. If your dog or cat isn't small enough to fit under the seat, please try to find another method of travel, or consider leaving the pet with a sitter or vet to board.

Traveling is stressful enough, but remember that your pet is more stressed than you because he has no clue as to what's going on. If you decide to travel on a commercial plane with your pet, do your best to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable.

10 Tips for Safe Air Travel with Your Pet

If you are fully committed to traveling on a plane with your pet, consider the following pet travel tips.

1. Have your pet checked before you leave. Make sure that the vaccinations are up to date, and get a copy of t he health certificate and rabies vaccination. If you're traveling out of the country, make sure to contact the foreign office of the country you're traveling to in order to get more information about proof of vaccinations.

2. Make sure that your pet is micro-chipped. If he's not, then you want to make sure that he has on his collar and identification tags and your destination information. If you haven't had your pet micro-chipped, it's in your best interest before you get on the plane to do so.

3. Book a direct flight. You may spend a little more, but you'll reduce your chances that your pet is left behind when your next leg of the trip leaves. Plus, it will potentially prevent mishandling by personnel.

4. Make sure that you have an airline approved shipping crate. You want the crate just large enough for the pet to be able to stand, sit, lay down, and turn around.

I'd rather walk than fly.
I'd rather walk than fly.

5. Write "Live Animal" in clear letters that are at least one inch tall on the top and on at least one side of the crate. Make sure to draw arrows indicating the upright position of the crate. Also, write the name, address, and phone number of your pet's destination point, and whether you or someone else will be accompanying him or picking him up. You should also make sure that the crate door is securely closed, but not locked because you want the personnel to be able to open it in case of an emergency. Line the bottom of the crate with shredded paper or towels to absorb any accidents your pet may have during the trip.

6. Attach a current picture of your pet to the top of the crate so that he can be identified in case he escapes the carrier. Also, make sure to have a picture in your wallet or purse.

7. The night before you leave, freeze a small bowl of water. The ice won't spill during loading, and it'll melt by the time your pet is thirsty. You may want to tape a small pouch of dried kibble on the outside of the crate so personnel can feed your pet if absolutely necessary.

8. You do not want to use a tranquilizer because it can cause breathing problems during the flight. If you feel like your pet will need one, consult your veterinarian first.

9. Make sure that every airline employee- on the ground or in the air- knows that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo area. This way, they'll be able to make any considerations if needed.

10. If your plane is delayed or you have concerns about the welfare of your pet, insist that an airline employee checks on him whenever feasible. There may be certain situations in which the pet may need to be removed from cargo and deplaned if necessary.

Small Airline Approved Pet Carrier for Plane Cabin

Dog Carrier Airline Approved Duffel Style for Dogs 5 - 18 Lbs.
Dog Carrier Airline Approved Duffel Style for Dogs 5 - 18 Lbs.

This is a more traditional small pet travel carrier. It has ventilated mesh panels with roll-up privacy flaps on the front and side, as well as a zippered storage pocket and a berber mat. The carrier has top handles and a removable shoulder strap. It measures 17.5"L x 9.5"W x 10"H


Airline Approved Pet Crate

Cayman 1 Small Animal Carrier - Small - Blue
Cayman 1 Small Animal Carrier - Small - Blue

The Marchioro crate has an easy to access door and well ventilated sides. The crate measures 19.5"x13"x12.5"



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    • hossamreffat profile image

      hossamreffat 8 years ago

      Great hub thanks ,pics are so fantastic !!!!!!! keep writing

    • myawn profile image

      myawn 8 years ago from Florida

      I haven't flown with a pet yet very good tips Thanks!