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Traveling with a Pet by Airplane

By Edited Dec 20, 2013 0 0

There are a lot of people who travel by airplane in our current day and age. This is a mode of transportation that gets most people to a destination faster than any other type of moving from one place to another. Along with people traveling in this way, lots of them have pets either journeying along with them or meeting them at their destination. Be aware of several things when deciding to journey with an animal by this method which will help them be more comfortable and with the least amount of fuss during the trip.

Before deciding whether a pet will fly back and forth with you, think about several factors.

  • Does the airline you plan on using accommodate them?
  • Will they take a trip with ease and without undue stress that could be harmful both physically and psychologically to them? They are similar to humans in this regard.  Owners know their animal and can judge their psychological response to the ordeal before a trip. Although you will personally know your pet well, a veterinarian is the best judge of their  physical well-being

If the airline says no or if you or the vet believe this could harm them, you do not need to read any further. Still, if we have a yes to these questions and no issues-find out more helpful material to make both of you travel with safety and ease.

Cost of transport

More than likely you will be charged a fee for the service. Contact airlines for the specifics related to the costs. Ask specific questions that relate to where and how the pet will travel along with any rules and regulations surrounding the flight. Answers will put you at ease. Animals are able to sense any anxiety in their owner and if you are stress free they will be as well. Less stress is a better trip.

Have a vet check them over

Have a vet check them over before the trip for a complete positive bill of health. Make certain they don’t have any illness or injury that could be aggravated by flying.  This is another preventive measure to ease any anxiety. Additionally, if they are healthy before the flight, any health issues that occur will relate to the flight and the airline will have responsibility for any bills.

Other animals outside of pets can fly

Airlines will let pets fly and in certain situations other animals needed for your profession or livelihood. For instance, dogs used for racing at a legal racing facility move from one place to another this way. Service dogs are always the exception.

There two methods of transporting by airplane.  They can travel by cabin or by cargo.

Cabin travel

Cabin is only for those that can fit into a carrier comfortably. This means your 300 pound St. Bernard will not fit comfortably in one no matter how hard you try. However, a small Chihuahua will.

When considering the cabin method think about whether they are content and restful in a crate for the entire time. They will sit in the same area as you during the trip inside of one. If you have any qualms about whether they will be comfortable for the entire trip, do not move them in this way.

A comfortable one means enough room for a pet to move around inside with ease. Having one with wheels is ideal because it permits movement effortlessly through airports if the animal and carrier move over a great distance which includes through large airports to change planes.

When deciding which seat you will take on the flight, allow more space under you. Choose one of the window or middle seats. Aisle seats have less space underneath.

Cargo travel

Cargo will need an approved container or carrier for a pet according to an individual airline's standards. Basically these are airplane approved dog houses. These items are hard sided and non-collapsible. They will be in the cargo hold of a plane with the luggage and other items for the trip.

The hard sided non collapsible nature prevents injury in the case of one coming into contact with other things in the cargo area. It keeps them safe while they travel until retrieved after landing.

If you already have a hard sided one make certain it is airline approved before showing up for take-off. If not, you could be wasting your money and time on the entire venture if they turn you away.

Sedatives are not advised

Many pet experts recommend against giving an animal any type of tranquilizers before take off. Remember if any adverse effects happen there wont be the benefit or luxury of a vet to take care of an illness thousands of miles in the air and hours away from landing.

In most cases after take-off pets fall asleep without help. This added benefit of medication making a pet sleep may not always be a benefit and is typically unnecessary. Additionally, some have the opposite effect of sedation and could make them more anxious than relaxed.

Prepare them beforehand

There is not a lot you can do to prepare them for a trip. However, for an animal that is not used to being in a carrier or crate for an extended period there is one benefit they can get. Get them used to being in this enclosed space for an extended amount of time before take off.

Crate training animals for several hours each day leading up to the day you are ready to leave is great. If they are already crate trained they should do well without added time beforehand.

Great behavior and control of a pet is also an added advantage for a better experience for everyone. This helps the airline staff and pet owner as well as the animal. If an owner is calm this will typically relate to the animal and calm them psychologically for the excursion. A stress free own and pet will make airline staff less anxious along with other passengers. In many cases other passengers do not even realize an animal is on board.

Traveling outside of the country

Traveling outside of the country has different rules and regulations than trips inside of the United States. Anyone moving with a pet abroad will need to verify with both countries rules and regulations on bringing animals in and out of the country. 

 In conclusion

Making your trip and your animal's trip as comfortable as possible is a possibility following these tips.

tips on traveling with your pet via airplane

tips to travel with pet by airplane
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