The Scoop on Traveling with Pets
Traveling with pets can be stressful for both owner and pet. Many owners are concerned with taking their four-legged friends on a plane. There are many things passengers can do to make their pets' travel experience safer and more enjoyable. The first thing any passenger flying with a pet needs to do is call the airline and find out what rules and restrictions they have on pet travel. Many airlines will only allow a limited number of pets on a flight so it is best to check in advance.
The size of your pet will determine whether you can take it into the cabin, or whether it will need to travel in the hold. Your pet will need to be in a soft-sided carrier for cabin travel and a hard-sided one for traveling in the hold. When you select a travel kennel, you must first determine the proper size. The size will be determined by you pet's length from nose to tail, width across the shoulders and height. It is very important that your pet can stand, sit, turn around and lie down comfortably throughout the flight.
While travel rules and regulations do vary from airline to airline, here are a few tips to help traveling with pets safer and easier:
- Call the airline 24 hours before flying to confirm you will be bringing your pet.
- Never sedate your pet on a flight. High altitudes and sedatives are a dangerous combination and should never be mixed.
- Always have your pet's leash and collar easily accessible for walking prior to departure, but do not take the pet out of the kennel inside the airport.
- Identification tags for your pet and travel kennel, including pet's name, home address and phone number, are essential.
- Never use a muzzle on your pet during travel, as this is dangerous to the pet.
- Familiarize your pet with the kennel prior to the trip so it is comfortable to him/her at travel time.
The Air Transport Association offers more tips for how to travel
with a pet.