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Tips for Traveling by Air with Pets

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

If pets could talk, they’d tell you that they don’t like traveling on planes very much at all. The noise and vibration of the plane scares them, and when their ears pop on the flight, it’s quite uncomfortable. Many airline companies require that pets fly in the cargo section, which definitely isn’t the most pleasant place to take at trip in the air. With all this in mind, you may be wondering how to make your pet feel more comfortable and less frightened on a plane trip. Here are some suggestions:

Photo Credit: thepetscentral.com
Avoid having your pet ride in the cargo area at all costs

Some airline companies will allow small pets to ride in crates underneath their owners’ seats. If your pet is small, you should seriously consider booking a flight with one of these kinds of airline companies. If your pet is not small enough to fit in a crate underneath your seat, you may want to consider chartering a jet. Jet charter companies generally allow pets of all shapes and sizes to ride up front beside their owners in International Air Transport Association (IATA) certified crates.

Ask your pet’s vet for advice

Most airline companies require that you provide proof of your pet’s health and shot records from a veterinarian before your pet is allowed to ride on a plane. While you’re obtaining the necessary paperwork from your pet’s vet, you should ask him or her for advice about flying with your furry friend. If your pet has anxiety issues, your veterinarian may prescribe some medication that will help keep your pet calm at the airport and on the flight.

Make your pet’s crate as comfortable and comforting as possible

Put a piece of clothing that smells like you in your pet’s crate, and line the bottom of the crate with a folded blanket or towel to make it more comfortable. The more comfortable your pet feels in her crate, the less likely she is to freak out on the plane.

Photo credit: travelandleisure.com

Follow the airline company’s rules and regulations carefully.

Each airline company will require you to do different things before your pet will be allowed on a flight. Generally, you’ll need to get an IATA certified pet carrier, get proof of your pet’s heath from a vet, make a reservation for your pet on the plane, and pay a $50-$150 dollar reservation fee. You will typically have to reserve a spot for your pet on a plane at least 24 hours before the plane takes off, but it’s a good idea to try to make the necessary reservations a few weeks in advance because only a certain number of pets are allowed on each flight.

Your pet probably won’t enjoy flying, but there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasant. So, put forth some extra effort on behalf of your pet if you’re going to put him or her through the harrowing experience of flying!

Logan is a guest post writer on the subjects of traveling with pets, taking care of pets, and private jet charter companies that are kind to pets.

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