Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 Tips for Flying with a Dog or Cat

Planning on taking your pet along with you when flying? Most airlines permit dogs or cats but there are restrictions that can apply. Here are some tips for flying with a pet.

1. Your Vet must see your pet before flying and complete an "Airline Veterinary Health Certificate" within 7 - 10 days before flying. If your pet is flying as cargo, a form for cold weather carriage may be required. Check with your airline.

2. You must call your airline to make a reservation for your pet. There may be restrictions for the type of dog, including a dog breed that may be deemed as aggressive or brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs and cats. There may also be restrictions on where you are traveling to as well. It is imperative that you contact your airline early. There may also be minimum age restrictions for a traveling pet.

3. The number of live animals per aircraft is limited. It is important to reserve as early as possible. There will be fees to take your pet, whether they are traveling in the cabin or as checked as personal luggage. No airline will guarantee acceptance of an animal it has not seen.

4. Based on the number of pets on board and if your pet's carrier can fit under the seat in front of you, you may be able to take your pet along as personal carry on and they will require a reservation.

5. When arriving at the airport, you must go to the check in desk - you cannot do curbside or self service check in. Give yourself plenty of extra time to check in, as the process can be more time consuming.

6. It is best to try to book non-stop flights or fly early in the day when traveling with an animal.

7. If your pet is allow to be taken on as carry on, you are not permitted to take the animal out of it's carrier on the plane.

8. Your carrier must meet all federal and airline criteria, including size, labeling and ensuring that separate food and water dishes are securely attached and can be reached without opening the kennel. Pets may also need to be able to sit, stand and walk around comfortably in the kennel without touching the sides. Your airline can give you the exact guidelines.

9. Pet sedation is not permitted on many airlines .Whether flying as a cabin or checked pet, animals are exposed to increased altitude pressures, which can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats which are sedated or tranquilized.

10. Service animals for disabled passengers in a cabin are permitted. However, there may be restrictions to certain countries. Check with your airline.

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