ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Things You Should Know About Shipping Your Pet By Plane

Updated on February 1, 2014

Shipping a pet by cargo is always a bad solution -- but sometimes it's the only solution.

I didn't want to ship my pets by cargo, but coming from the Hawaiian islands left me no choice. Certainly, some people would say that I shouldn't have gone to the islands to begin with -- but, having been born there, I had never been presented with any alternatives. When it came time for me to leave paradise, I learned quite a few things about having to ship animals.

Have you ever traveled with pets?

See results

1. Pay Attention to the Weather

Don't trust the airlines to do this for you. The airlines will gleefully let you make a reservation only to let you know the next day that it is too cold to ship an animal. In general, animals shouldn't be shipped in less than 45 degree weather -- on either end. However, exceptions are made down to about 20 degree weather. This isn't healthy for the pet, however, and many vets will not allow it. When the temperatures are below 45 degrees, you'll need an "acclimation" letter from your vet.

2. Put Your Information On Your Pet's Crate

You should sharpie your information directly onto your pet's crate. Don't tape it on, as this could get lost. Pets, like luggage, can get rerouted to another place entirely, and without your contact information the airline may have difficulty getting your pet to you. The information should include both sending address and destination address, as well as a phone number through which they can quickly contact you.

3. Get the Shortest Trip Possible

Always get the shortest flight possible. Dogs shouldn't be in their crates for longer than 8 hours at a stretch, while cats can be in their crates for slightly longer. Further, do not under any circumstances take a flight that has a layover or a "comfort stop." While these comfort stops theoretically walk your dogs and feed your dogs and cats, this is purely theoretical. There have been many cases in which dogs are not fed or walked at all; they are simply crated the entire time, which can be over 12 hours.

4. Don't Get Your Vet Check Until the Last Minute

To send an animal by plane, you need to have a vet check within 10 days of the departure. Don't make my mistake. I got the vet check about a week early, which meant that when my flight was delayed until the next week due to weather issues, I had to take my pets to the vet again. Vets will charge you for a full exam every time you go. Instead, schedule your vet visit just before your pets get on the plane. This way, if anything does happen, you have at least 10 days to figure out something else. There is no charge for rescheduling your flights in the event that you can't get the vet visit done in time, but there is a charge with the vet for having to get an additional certificate.

5. Fly With Your Animals, If Possible

If possible, you should fly on the same plane that your animal is traveling as cargo on. This will reduce the amount of time they spend in the airport, give you peace of mind and allow you to watch to ensure that your animal is boarded on your plane. As you board the plane, feel free to ask the flight attendant to let the captain know that an animal is on board and ask them to keep an eye on the temperatures.

While all of the above tips may help your pet's trip, it's still not advisable to fly your pets as cargo unless absolutely necessary. In my situation, it was the only way; even boats do not travel from Hawaii to the mainland. However, in most cases you should be able to take your pets by road, and this should always be done. Animals can -- and do -- die in cargo. It's not a pleasant experience for them and is often deadly. Taking your animals in cabin is much more relaxing for them, if they are small enough.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I often travel with my pets in the car, but only once had to fly with one of our dogs in cargo. First you have to buy a suitable crate that passes the airline's regulations, then as you say arrange the vet check which is required before flying, and hope that weather conditions are suitable. Also not all flights will carry pets so you have to make sure the plane you are on will allow animals as well. Good hub with helpful information.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)