When you finally have enough time for anything you’ve long wanted to do, the first thing that comes to mind must be going on a vacation. Let’s admit it, who doesn’t want a few days off work and away from everything that stresses us out! Long trips are, in a way, a necessity. And we all know it, it’s fun, but travels are way more enjoyable if we’re with our pets.
Flying with pets, however, is not as easy as it sounds. There are airlines that are unfortunately not so pet-friendly. But there are also those that consider our furry pal a valued customer. Either way, you as the owner still have a lot of things to keep in mind to make sure flying with your pet is hassle-free and safe. To help you, we gathered tips for safe airplane travel with pets for you to follow.
Helpful Tips for Safe Airplane Travel with Pets
Don’t let what should be a memorable trip with your pal turn into something better forgotten with these tips for safe airplane travel with pets.
1. Look up the best airlines to travel with
As mentioned, not all airlines are as pet-friendly as we want them to be. You have to find an airline that you’re certain will take care of your pet and, if possible, those that allow you to have your pet in the main cabin. Some airlines check pets as baggage and that’s not what you want.
Scroll down for the videos
Pet-friendly airlines include Air Canada, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Virgin America, Air France, American Airlines, and Southwest. These airlines allow both cats and dogs in the main cabin. After you’ve picked out an airline, make sure to read through their policies; you don’t want yourself getting caught in an intense exchange with the staff just because you didn’t read the rules.
2. Make your pet’s safety and security your main priority
More than anything else, keeping your pet safe should be your main concern. Flying with pets is extremely risky. The American Humane Association even prohibits this altogether, saying, “As a general rule, puppies and kittens, sick animals, animals in heat and frail or pregnant animals should not travel by air.” But sometimes, circumstances force us to bring them with us, like we have to go on a long travel and we can’t find a sitter who could watch over them.
Before packing your and your pet’s stuff, weigh the risks. Consider the weather, your dog’s breed (the Humane Society of the United States says dogs with pushed-in face are more at risk when traveling by air), the flight time, etc.
Your dog cannot verbally tell you how they feel and what they want, so you have to be more observant.
3. Purchase a crate that is approved by the USDA and IATA
If your pet ends up in the cargo, a good crate is necessary. The United States Department of Agriculture and International Air Transport Association have set standards for pet crates that owners should follow when they travel.
For one, the crate should be big enough for your pet to stand, sit, and run around like they usually do. And as a safety precaution, you should place towels as a type of bedding that can absorb the impact should anything bad happen. Also, make sure the crate is securely closed but don’t make it too hard to open so you can easily get your pet out when an unwanted situation calls for it.
It is also highly recommended that you print your name and contact details on the crate so people can easily reach you when something happens and your pet ends up somewhere unexpected. You can also attach a GPS pet tracking device so you’d know the location of where your pet might be in real time.
4. Take a trip to the vet before flying
The veterinarian knows a lot more than you do. With their help, you get to make sure your pet is fit for a long travel and that their vaccinations are up-to-date. Some airlines also require a pet health certificate, so that visit is certainly required.
With pet ownership comes great responsibility. And when flying with pets, the job can be more challenging. Make sure you and your furry best friend are getting the hassle-free vacation you deserve by following the tips for safe airplane travel with pets above.