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Traveling Via Flight with Your Dog and or Cat: By Linzy Trueblood

by Ryan on October 27, 2012

in Cats, Dogs, Linzy Trueblood, Pet Travel

While leaving your pet at home in his or her own home environment may be ideal.  For some people this may not do.  A vacation away from Fluffy, Oodles and Sugar may not be a vacation at all.  It can be excruciating anxiety for both pet parent(s) and pet.  Also, with many people having relocations of their residence, your pet may need to make the voyage across state or country with you.  And you being the loving pet owner you are want to make this the smoothest transition for both pet and pet parent(s).

First and foremost, only travel with your dog and or cat if they have excellent health and no significant underlying health problems.

Traveling via Flight Tips:

Before booking your vacation flight, make sure the destination you are going to is pet friendly.  Certain hotels, timeshares, etc. allow pets.  Not all are pet friendly.  The American Automobile Association (AAA conducts surveys of top pet friendly hotels in many cities.  They offer a book you may purchase for a small amount to AAA members and non-members.  You may learn more here: http://www.aaa.com/petbook/.

Check with the flight carrier about any flight fees or special instructions for transporting your pet.  In addition to regular airlines, there are “pet only flights” offered on Pet Airways.  Pets fly in the cabin rather in the cargo area of the plane.

Make sure to talk with your vet regarding sedation to make the trip smoother and less stressful.  Due keep in mind that sadly, the most common cause of animal death during airline travel is due to over sedation.  Sometimes it can hamper their breathing.  Therefore, consult with you veterinarian before making a decision to use sedation at all and if yes, make sure you know the correct dosage, how often the sedation may be given, and symptoms that may mean your pet is in danger.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a complete list of regulations governing the transport of animals by air.  This is available to you on their Traveling with Pets website: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=PETS&navtype=RT&parentnav=TRAVEL_RECREATION.  We highly recommend that you take the time to research the regulations before traveling in the air with your pets.  Your dog must be at least eight weeks old at the time of the trip and hold a current Certificate of Health, completed by your veterinarian within 10 days of your travel departure date.  To learn more about interstate travel (within the United States) visit: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_import/animal_imports_states.shtml.  To learn more about international travel (outside of the United States), visit: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_import/animal_imports_states.shtml.

Pet’s are required by the U.S Department of Agriculture mandates that they must be fed and watered within four hours of the flights scheduled departure, you will be asked to sign a waiver that certifies your pet has been given food and water at the check in at your flight.  Do make sure to not overfeed and water your pet though as they may vomit from travel sickness

Traveling in extreme temperatures can induce your pet(s) stress.  Keep that in mind when making your flight destinations.

Also, consult with the airlines to see what the crate requirements may be.  They vary with different airlines.  Make sure to write “LIVE PET” on the side of the crate.  A picture of your dog and or cat is always helpful for identification processes as well.

Always include your name, address, phone number and destination info on the crate.  Never leave the pet’s leash on as they could get tangled in it.  Have practice runs getting your pet into the crate before traveling so they are more accustomed to the crate.  Shop for a sturdy one as well.  Try to have as many few stops and layovers as well to help induce any stress on the pet.

Once on the flight, if the plane is delayed.  Make sure to let all personal workers know your pet is in cargo and insist they are checked on.  In certain cases such as this, it may be warranted to have your pet removed from cargo.

Taking all tips into account will definitely ensure your pet and your travel will be easier and the least stress possible.  Happy and safe travels!

Warm regards,

Linzy Trueblood

Passionate 4 Pets


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