Tips for Flying with Your Pet

Traveling with pets using public transportation is not new these days.  Always check with your airline carrier well in advance of your scheduled travel date regarding their pet travel policies.  Advance preparation can help reduce the stress of traveling for you and your pet. Here are some helpful hints in preparing for your pet’s travel:

Advance planning can help make air travel with your pet less stressful.

1. Costs of travel – If you are debating whether to check your pet in to travel as cargo or have him travel with you in the cabin, you should check the airline fees before deciding.  Some airlines offer lower rates than others, which can add $200 to your airline fare.  JetBlue and Southwest airlines usually have less costly airline fees for both you and your pet.

2. Rehearse the trip – Familiarize your pet with public transportation, especially if he is a first-time flier.  Take the subway or any form of public transportation well before your flight so you can get your pet acquainted with the movement and the crowds.

3. Prepare the kennel – Be sure to buy a proper sized kennel well in advance of your trip.  Use this time to allow your pet to become familiar with it before your scheduled flight.  If you plan to bring your pet into the cabin with you, the carrier must fit under the seat in front of you.   Be sure to select an IATA compliant pet crate, and check with your airline to find their specific crate requirements

4. Vet visit – Aside from making sure that your pet is fit for flying and up-to-date on necessary vaccinations, some airlines need veterinary certifications and medical records before checking in your pet.  Therefore, be prepared with a health certificate for your pet. Tranquilizing your pet for travel is generally not recommended, but check with your vet if you have any concerns.

5. Work him out – You can help your pet be relaxed on the day of your trip by exercising him the day before.  Take your dog for longer walks and more play outside.  Let your cat play longer as well and get him to engage in high-energy movements around the house.  That way, they’ll spend the next day trying to sleep it off, resting in their cages.

These tips can help ensure a good trip for you and your pet.  If you have everything prepared for your pet’s first journey, then hopefully you will both have an enjoyable trip.

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