With the holiday season upon us, many of us may be planning to travel by air to visit family and friends and plan to take along our furry friends.Here are some pointers to consider before the big day arrives.

Traveling with your pet by air can be stressful not only on the animal, but on the owner as well. Being confined to a crate and taken somewhere unfamiliar is not something most animals enjoy, but by taking a few precautions, you can make the trip easier on both of you. Read on to discover the dos and don’ts of traveling with your pet by air.

Do call ahead and check with the airline before booking your flight. Most airlines have a maximum number of pets allowed in the cabin of each flight, so make sure that number has not been exceeded before you book your flight.

Also, don’t be surprised when the airline tells you there is a fee for bringing your pet. Expect your pet to add about an extra $100 to your ticket, give or take.

Do make sure that you use an airline approved pet carrier for your animal. Check your airlines website for information on size restrictions and carrier recommendations before making your purchase.

Don’t assume that your pet carrier is good enough to use. Have courtesy for the airline and your fellow travelers by doing your homework before you arrive at the gate.

Do get your pet checked out by your veterinarian before flying. You’ll probably be required to provide a health certificate before being allowed to board the plane. Your pet should be up to date on vaccines and should be in good health before flying. You can also ask your veterinarian about tranquilizers to help your pet stay comfortable during the flight.

Don’t attempt to fly with a sick or injured pet. That will not be a good experience for you or the animal. Flying can be stressful on pets, so only take your animal along if they are in good health and are able to travel.

Do give your pet a pre-flight meal.

Don’t make that meal too heavy or too close to the flight time. In general, it’s best to feed your pet about 8 hours before a flight to prevent the need to eliminate on the plane and avoid motion sickness. A light meal is the best bet with only water after that.

Do give your pet a potty break before entering the airport. Make sure you give your animal ample time to do their business. This may require leaving your house early.

Don’t assume your pet doesn’t have to go if they won’t eliminate right away. Your pet can pick up on your travel-related stress and that may make them nervous. Nervous pets can’t eliminate on command.

Do check with your airport about their rules regarding pets. Some airports don’t allow animals outside of their carriers, while others have special areas for leashed pets.

Don’t assume everyone likes your animal as much as you do. Many people just don’t like pets and others may have allergies. Be sensitive to your fellow travelers.

These tips should help you have a safe, comfortable flight with your pet. Planning ahead and being considerate of others is the key to having a good travel experience with an animal. Flying with your pet doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult on either human nor animal.

 

pet carriers.

Pet carriers for small pets which are designed to fit under your seat in the cabin. Click here for some example of small pet carriers. Again, not all pet carriers meet airline regulations, so be sure to call ahead and make sure the crate you have meets requirements.

dog crate for air travel

Larger dogs generally have to be checked in using a plastic dog crates such as this one. Wooden dog crates and wire are not suitable to air travel. Click here for examples of airline approved dog carriers