Air travel with the pet is plausible, but now it necessitates some planning. You must notify the air carrier and reserve the pet’s flight ahead of time, just as you would for yours. You’ll also want to make certain your pet is used to traveling in a container and the turmoil that comes with it.
Ensure the pet does indeed have water and meal on the day of the journey, and keep the conversation as cool and collected as conceivable for them. You can guarantee a simple and secure plane ride for both you and the pet by putting all this together before you leave for the airport.
Do not worry if all this seems a bit messy to you. We have collected and listed the main tasks for you, and you will need to complete to make air travel with your pet safely and securely.
Before Booking your flight
Make sure air travel is suitable for your pet
Not all dog and cat breeds respond positively to air travel. Some breeds of dogs and cats face breathing problems while traveling by air. Experts do not recommend having these breeds travel by air, and airlines that accept these breeds do not take any responsibility for these types of pets. Some examples are French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Boston Terriers.
Some breeds of pets are marked as aggressive breeds by the airlines. While traveling by air, their aggressiveness may accelerate and cause problems to other animals traveling in the same space. Most of airlines do not accept these breeds. Examples are American Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Chihuahuas, and Chow Chow.
So, your first and foremost task is to make sure your pet’s breed is suitable for air travel and identify which airlines accept the breed of your pet.
Choose a Pet-friendly airline for your flight
Not all airlines have suitable rules and regulations for pet travel. Most of them have strict requirements to fulfill before traveling with your pet through them. Identify the pet-friendly ones which have reasonable and flexible requirements so that you face no problem whatsoever in complying with them.
Read the airline’s rules and regulations thoroughly
Airlines have complete rules and regulations regarding pet travel. Read them thoroughly and list the tasks you will need to complete to take the flight. The requirements for pets in the cabin and pets as checked baggage can be different. So make sure you understand them properly.
There may be other restrictions like temperature, destination, aircraft and etc. Please go through the rules with proper attention to not miss any of them.
Sometimes there can be hidden surcharges also. So, contact the airline’s customer care service to learn about them and clear up any confusions you have.
Consult with the embassy of the country to which you will be traveling
This part will not be applicable if you are traveling domestically. But in the case of international air travel, this part is very crucial. The target nation of your itinerary may have specific requirements for pet imports which your airlines may miss.
So contacting them directly will help you learn properly about the customs requirements, quarantine times, etc.
Visit the vet
Every expert about pet air travel recommends owners to visit their vets at least for once before making air travel with their pet’s. Paying a visit to the vet makes sure that the pet is healthy enough to make air travel. On the other hand, you may have to submit medical credentials stated by your vet to the airlines.
Buy a suitable container and make your pet used to that
Airlines have strict regulations regarding pet containers. They specify the dimensions of the containers and their materials. So read the container requirements section thoroughly and purchase one that complies with all the requirements.
After purchasing the container, your task is to make your pet used to that. At first, the pet may show some restraint as the container is unfamiliar territory to him/her. Start by offering some snacks inside the container. You can also take them on walks while they remain in the container or take them on short drives. This will help them get habituated for travel while remaining inside the container.
Prepare all the credentials as per the requirements of the airline
Airlines may require different paperwork for pet travel. If you do not start gathering them ahead of time, they can cause a headache at the last moment. You may already have some of them, all you need to do is make them up to date. Some examples can be Health certificates, Import/Export permits, Pet passports, microchips, etc.
Booking your flight
Book for your pet in advance
Airlines require passengers to confirm about their pets at least 2 days prior to the scheduled departure of the flight. So make sure you book your flight well ahead in time and notify the airline about your pet.
Some airlines require passengers to submit the paperwork couple of days ahead of the flight. If that’s the case of your airlines, submit the papers on time so that they can review them and make sure you are all set to fly.
Check the weather forecast of the flight day
As we said before, airlines can specify temperature restrictions for pet travel. Check whether the weather conditions of the flight day will be suitable for the pet to travel.
On the day of the flight
Feeding your pet
Most airlines require that pets should not be fed in between 4 hours of the departure. Give light meals and adequate water to the pet so that they don’t feel uncomfortable while in the flight.
Take the pet on a walk
Walking before heading to the airport can get your pet used with the outside environment and ease their muscles.
Look for a pet relief area after arriving at the airport
Allowing your pet to relieve themselves before the flight can make their flight a comfortable one and also help to avoid unnecessary accidents. Pet relief areas are available at most of the airports. If you are having trouble finding one, ask any airport staff.
Check-in with the pet well ahead of time
Checking in ahead of time can help you and the pet have some time to prepare mentally for the flight. It also allows the airline to check the paperwork thoroughly. Besides, if you check in earlier, then you may request the staff to get on the aircraft before other passengers. It will allow both you and the pet to get along inside the aircraft.
Make sure the pet stays inside the container throughout the flight
Airlines require pets to stay inside their carrier and do not allow them to roam around in the hallways or stay on their laps (except for service dogs). So keep the pet inside the container while in the air.
None of the above-mentioned points are avoidable. To prepare your pet for air travel with comfort and safety, you must ensure that all the tasks are properly ticked or checked. If you miss any one of them, there is a high possibility that the airline will refuse the onboarding of your pet or force you to pick another flight after complying with the prerequisites.
Air travel is fun, and when your furry friend accompanies you on it, the journey becomes a better experience. So, don’t let any mistake spoil the fun of your trip.