If you’re traveling with your pet, you want to be sure that your pet arrives at your destination with the least amount of stress. To achieve that, it’s important to know the ins and outs of traveling with a pet on an airline.
Research Flight Options
You can get your pet to your destination in several ways. You need to do the research to determine which option is best for your situation.
In the Cabin
If your pet is small enough to fit into a carrier that will slide under the seat in front of you, this is usually the best option. You’ll be able to supervise your pet, and you’ll always know where it is.
Accompanied Checked Luggage
If traveling in the cabin isn’t an option, you may be able to check your pet’s crate at the gate and pick it up at baggage claim. Make sure to determine whether your pet will fly in a pressurized and temperature-controlled environment. If the area is pressurized but not temperature controlled, don’t travel in very hot or cold times of the year.
If you choose to send your pet to your destination via cargo, you’ll drop your pet off at the carrier’s cargo receiving area and retrieve it at the same carrier’s location at your destination. Again, determine what the environment will be during the trip.
Some people prefer the cargo option because their pet is tracked as a package. With checked luggage, the pet doesn’t have a separate “ticket.” Some people feel more comfortable with their pet traveling on the same airplane. Don’t forget to check the airline’s history of handling pets.
Obtain Required Papers
No matter where you fly, you’ll need to provide the required documentation for your traveling companion. For example:
- A rabies certificate and a health certificate are the most common types of documentation you’ll need for domestic travel.
- Some airlines won’t allow you to fly with an emotional support animal in the cabin. If it is allowed, there may be size restrictions and you’ll need to gather the documentation the airline requires.
- Typically, service animals are always allowed on airlines. However, it’s best to carry documentation that identifies your traveling companion as a service animal, along with health certifications.
- Keep in mind that any pet that is with you on an international flight may be required to be quarantined after you reach your destination. In addition, you should check with the laws in your destination country to confirm whether emotional support or service animals are allowed.
Find the Right Travel Crate
When looking at crates and carriers, keep in mind that most airlines require that your pet be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. However, regulations can vary, so be sure to ask the airline you’re using about size limitations.
In-cabin carriers come in a variety of styles, and most are made of fabric. Here are some of the features you’ll find:
- Wheels for easy transport through the airport
- Pockets for treats and food
- Foldable when not in use
- Shoulder straps or backpack straps
- Velcro or zipper closures
For cargo travel, there are a number of requirements, including:
- No wheels
- Constructed of fiberglass, metal, rigid plastics, etc.
- Some airlines require metal hardware and cable ties
- Carriers must be marked with “Live Animal” stickers and hold your pet’s papers
You need to get your pet acquainted with the carrier before you leave. Encourage the pet to sleep in the carrier, eat dinner in the carrier, and so on. It’s also a good idea to start bringing your pet along when it is young. Pets are much more adaptable as youngsters, and travel will become a normal occurrence.
Always Bring Extra Food and Water
For cargo travel, you can buy nozzles that screw into regular soda bottles (filled with water, of course) and attach to the carrier to provide water during a flight. Food dishes are also available. But, in the case of flight delays or rerouting, be sure to take extra food and make arrangements for additional water.
Airlines are trying to make it easy for pet owners to travel with their pets. If you know and follow the rules, you’ll be like thousands of other pet owners who take their pets on vacation. Have you ever considered adding a pet-friendly amenity to your business? Contact us to learn more about whether an Evolution Dog Wash is right for your business.