Sometimes flying can be a frightening experience – not only for people but also for animals. If you’re going away on a long trip and don’t want to leave your pet home alone, you may consider taking him or her with you. So, how do you prepare your pet for flying on an airplane?

Can my pet fly on an airplane?

Traveling with pets - ASAP Tickets Blog Air travel doesn’t suit all pets. Before you decide whether to take your pet with you on a flight, you should find out if your pet is able to travel by air.

Air Travel is Not Recommended for

  • Pets who are very young, very old or not in good health
  • Snub-nosed or brachycephalic dogs or cats, such as pugs, Shih Tzus, Boston terriers, Pit bulls, Pekingese, chow-chows, Persians, Himalayans, exotic short hairs and Burmese cats. These breeds can experience difficulties with breathing.

Your pet’s health is very important. Visit the vet to give them a medical check-up. Make sure your pet has had all the necessary vaccinations. If your pet is one of the breeds mentioned above or your vet has recommended that you don’t take your pet on a flight, you should consider leaving your pet at home.

Traveling with Exotic Animals

Traveling with pets - ASAP Tickets Blog1   Most airlines and countries approve travel for cats, dogs and ferrets. Other animals, like birds, rabbits, reptiles, fish, and turtles, have to meet special requirements. Every country has a unique travel policy. Before booking a flight you should research your country’s travel regulations. Most of them require your pet to have a microchip and vaccinations, and to have a health certificate, passport, and vaccination card. Pay extra attention if you want to travel with exotic animals like birds and turtles. Some of them may need a permit to enter the country you are traveling to, or require extra verification. For more information about the necessary requirements, visit pettravel.com. Once you’ve got an approval that your pet is healthy, suited for air travel, and has all the necessary documents, you can start to search for the best flight! To make sure your pet is safe and comfortable during the flight, it’s important to follow some basic tips and guidelines.

Book the Right Flight for Your Pet

Book a flight in the low season. A crowded aircraft is a stressful environment for your pet. Non-peak season flights are the best – there are only a few passengers, there’s more cabin space, and it’s less fuss. Also, try to look for an airline that offers insurance for your pet. Changing planes with your pet may cause extra emotional tension for you and your pet. Book a direct flight or non-stop flight so that your pet only needs to go through one security check. You can transport your pet in a cargo or in a cabin. In both cases, the price of the ticket depends on an airline. Whether you choose to fly your pet in the cargo or in the cabin, always make sure you travel on the same flight. If you’re traveling during the summer or winter months, choose a flight that will protect your pet from the extreme temperatures, especially if your pet is traveling below the cabin.

Buy a Proper Carrier

pet for flying on a plane   Choose a carrier that has plenty of space for your pet to turn around and stand up without hitting their head. Ensure the carrier is secure and your pet can’t escape. If your pet hasn’t traveled before, give them a few weeks to become familiar with the carrier. Put your pet’s favorite toy or bedding in the carrier for more comfort.

Prepare the Necessary Identification

Remember to bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination records and a health certificate from the vet – most airlines require them. Prepare the necessary identification for your pet, such as an ID tag, microchip, and a photo of your pet. Attach a label containing your contact details at home and at your final destination to your pet’s collar and carrier in case you get separated from each other. Some countries are pretty strict, especially Australia.

Prepare Your Pet for the Flight

  • Take care of your pet’s claws – keep them well trimmed. This will prevent your pet from getting their claws caught in the carrier door, ventilation holes, and other crevices.
  • Don’t feed your pet for six to eight hours before the trip. Give them small amounts of water and ice cubes before the flight. Most importantly, avoid giving your pet any tranquilizers unless your vet prescribes them.
  • Before leaving for a flight, exercise your pet – go for a walk with your dog or play with your cat. In this way, you will get some exercise, too. The more tired your pet is, the more likely they are to sleep during the trip.
  • Remember – when you’re traveling with your pet, be ready to arrive at the airport earlier than you normally would. You’ll then have extra time to prepare for the flight and you’ll have a chance to walk your pet before check-in.

Travel safe and stay tuned for more travel tips from ASAP Tickets team.

4 Comments

  1. I have a shitzu mix, the dog first time on a plane and it will be a long flight from Baltimore to Lagos in April. She has been checked out and paperwork is ready except those that need to be done closer to flight. Do most airline charge extra for a pet? Can you get a seat next to you to use along with under the seat? On a long flight can they be exercised walking the aisle at all? The more informed you can be the better. Any airlines that ban animals entirely

    Reply

    1. Hi Joan,
      This is highly dependent on several things, such as the airline, the size/type of dog, the length of the flight, the rules of the country you are flying in to. There’s a guide here http://www.dogjaunt.com/guides/international-airline-pet-policies-for-in-cabin-travel/ , but I would suggest to contact your airline directly to be 100% sure.

      Reply

  2. Thanks for the wonderful article

    Reply

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