Hitting the road with your pet this summer? If you’re traveling by plane, follow these tips to keep your pet safe along the journey.
We advise only bringing your pet if they are small enough to keep under the seat with you. Otherwise, leave them with a boarder or a relative. They’ll love the socialization and you can all skip the stress. If you must bring them, remember:
Book a direct flight whenever possible. This decreases the chance of a baggage handler misplacing your pet or leaving them on the tarmac in extreme temperatures.
See your vet first. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date and that you have a health certificate to bring with your to the airport. Your vet can also find ways to keep your pet relaxed if they get nervous during travel.
Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably, and lined with some type of bedding—shredded paper or towels—to absorb accidents. Prior to your trip, tape a small pouch of dried food outside the crate so airline personnel will be able to feed your pet in case he or she gets hungry during a layover. The night before you leave, freeze 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 or she is thirsty. Make sure the crate door is securely closed, but not locked, so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency.
Make sure your pet’s crate has proper identification. Mark the crate with the words “Live Animal,” as well as with your name, cell phone and destination phone number, and a photo of your pet. Should your pet escape from the carrier, this could be a lifesaver. You should also carry a photograph of your pet.