(PETS/PET TRAVEL) Air travel is often stressful, and even more so when a trip includes an airline flight with the four-legged members of your family. But with a bit of preparation, flying with a pet can be safe and comfortable for everyone. Here’s how to plan for friendly skies and wagging tails, courtesy of the ASPCA. – Global Animal

Photo Credit: ASPCA
Air travel can be very stressful for our beloved pets. Review these tips below to ensure a safe and comfortable trip for you and your furry friend. Photo Credit: ASPCA

ASPCA

Traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and the four-legged members of your family. But with thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.

The ASPCA urges pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo.

Unless your animal is small enough to fit under your seat and you can bring him or her in the cabin, the ASPCA recommends pet owners to not fly their animal.

If pet owners have already committed to transporting their pets on commercial airlines, the ASPCA is offering the following top ten tips for safe air travel with your pet:

  1. Make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian for a checkup, and make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of departure. For travel outside of the continental United States, additional planning and health care requirements may be necessary. Contact the foreign office of the country you are traveling to for more information.dog in suitcase
  2. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and is wearing a collar and ID tag. Breakaway collars are best for cats. The collar should also include destination information in case your pet escapes.
  3. Book a direct flight whenever possible. This will decrease the chances that your pet is left on the tarmac during extreme weather conditions or mishandled by baggage personnel.
  4. Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Shipping crates can be purchased from many pet supply stores and airlines.
  5. Write the words “Live Animal” in letters at least one inch tall on top of and at least one side of the crate. Use arrows to prominently indicate the upright position of the crate. On the top of the crate, write the name, address and telephone number of your pet’s destination point, and whether you will be accompanying him or if someone else is picking him up. Make sure that the door is securely closed, but not locked, so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency. Line the crate bottom with some type of bedding—shredded paper or towels— to absorb accidents.
  6. Affix a current photograph of your pet to the top of the crate for identification purposes. Should your pet escape from the carrier, this could be a lifesaver. You should also carry a photograph of your pet.
  7. The night before you leave, make sure you’ve frozen a small dish or tray of water for your pet. This way, it can’t spill during loading, and will melt by the time he’s thirsty. Tape a small pouch, preferably cloth, of dried food outside the crate. Airline personnel will be able to feed your pet in case he gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.
  8. Tranquilizing your pet is generally not recommended, as it could hamper his breathing. Check with your veterinarian first.
  9. Tell every airline employee you encounter, on the ground and in the air, that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo hold. This way, they’ll be ready if any additional considerations or attention is needed.
  10. If the plane is delayed, or if you have any concerns about the welfare of your pet, insist that airline personnel check the animal whenever feasible. In certain situations, removing the animal from the cargo hold and deplaneing may be warranted.

More ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips

MORE PET TRIPS:

How To Travel With A Pet

Top Cities For Dogs

Ready to hit the road? Anytime you travel, please consider booking flights, hotels and car rentals through the GLOBAL ANIMAL FOUNDATION TRAVEL PAGE. A portion of all bookings goes to the nonprofit  and emergency rescue for animals in crisis worldwide.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. There are so many problems that can happen when traveling with pets on air lines. It’s such a headache! And then you have to deal with finding hotels or kennels to place your pet when you get there! Well, for me that parts been easier with http://bit.ly/g6lVxr but the airlines are such a hassle.

  2. Pets CAN and DO fly safely every day….if you follow the above-mentioned steps, it should be fine. Stressful for all involved, but fine. We are flying our dog overnight, direct from CHI to Zurich in July and I just have to pray that all will go well. European airlines are usually way more conscientious than our domestic airlines…