How To Bring Your Pet On The Plane

Nothing beats a new adventure. To make it even better, take your favorite furry friend along. You will both enjoy the new sights, sounds and smells that await you. Here are a few tips to make your trip easier, when traveling by air with your small pet.

    1. Plan Ahead – You will need to check with the airline to ensure they allow pets in the main cabin of the aircraft. You will be required to make a separate reservation for your pet. The cost per pet will range from $70-$125 each way. Most airlines have a limit regarding the number of pets they allow, in the main cabin, on each flight. So reserve your pet’s flight when you book your own.
    1. Pet Carrier – You will need an airline approved pet carrier for your little companion. Airline approved carriers are designed to fit under the seat in front of you. However, many isle seats will not be large enough to accommodate a pet carrier. Go to your airlines website for more information on acceptable carriers and carrier dimensions. Your pet needs to be comfortable and have the available space to stand and turn around inside the carrier. In the weeks prior to your trip, work with your pet to get them comfortable with their carrier. Including familiar items like a toy and blanket are good idea. Just be sure the items you put in the carrier are not too bulky. Please be aware, a pet carrier is considered a piece of carry-on luggage. Most airlines only allow two pieces of carry on luggage per passenger.
    1. Heath Certificate – Most airlines require a current health certificate from your veterinarian. This means your pet must be in good health and be up to date on all their shots. A current health certificate is one that is obtained 10-30 days prior to travel. Check with your airline to determine the appropriate time frame. If your trip will exceed the airlines health certificate expiration time frame, you may need to obtain another health certificate for your return flight home.
    1. Sedation – If you have never traveled by air with your pet, or you have a high-strung pet, you may want to consider sedating your pet. Talk to your veterinarian, at the time you are getting your health certificate, to determine if this is appropriate for your pet. There are herbal remedies available for calming and relaxing your pet. Rescue Remedy Pet is an excellent over the counter natural alternative to prescription sedatives.
    1. Pre-Flight Meal – Be sure your pet’s last meal was at least 8 hours prior to flying. A light dinner, the night before travel, is best. A slightly hungry pet will be more comfortable than a pet that needs to evacuate. Bring along some small nibbles for your pet to reward them for good behavior during your trip. Allow your pet to drink water up to an hour before your flight. When in the terminal, pick up a bottle of water. You can offer your pet a sip or two if you feel they may be dehydrated.
    1. Potty Break – Always give your pet an opportunity to go potty before your flight and on long lay overs (if appropriate). In advance of your trip research where the Pet Relief areas are located in the airports you will be traveling to. Be sure to bring your pet’s collar and leash to allow your pet to stretch their legs safely. Preston Ribbon offers a wide variety of collars and leashes that will express your personality through your pet. Pick a matching collar and leash that is the same theme as your destination. Never forget to bring a supply of poop bags.
    1. Airport Pet Etiquette – Almost all airports do not allow pets to be out of their carriers when in the terminal. However, this rule seems to vary widely from airport to airport. Familiarize yourself with each airport’s rules as they relate to pets. You may see dogs on leash in the airport, but this doesn’t mean it is allowed. Airports can be very crowded with passengers running through airports with large pieces of luggage in tow. Not to mention, the passenger transfer carts zipping through the terminal. It is best to keep your little-one off the ground.
  1. Clothing – It is not recommended to outfit your pet with a shirt, sweater or coat when traveling by plane. This may cause them to overheat and can hinder their ability to move causing them to get tangled inside the carrier. However, plane cabin temperatures can be unpredictable. You also need to take into account the temperature of the locations you will be visiting. Bring along a shirt or sweater, in the event, the plane is too cold. If you feel the need to clothe your pet, check on them periodically.

The more you travel with your pet the easier it gets. You know your own pet the best. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a stress free fun trip. Happy Travels!

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