It is never too easy for pets to keep up with travelling in commercial airlines. But if you must, there are three ways that you can take them with you on a commercial airplane: in-cabin, checked baggage and manifest cargo. In the cabin, there must be an adult passenger who is carrying the pet and must be fit in an airline compliant carrier for it to be stowed under the seat in front of the passenger. If your pet is accompanied by a traveling passenger and is too big to travel in the cabin, it can be transported as checked baggage. Lastly, if your pet is very large or is traveling unaccompanied or your destination country requires it, it will travel as manifest cargo. We bring you several ways in which can make your travel with your pet easier:
1.Packing Check-list: First and foremost thing to do is to make a checklist for your pet to travel in comfort. You must keep your pet’s health certificate and medical records, contact information of your veterinarian and an emergency contact at your destination, comb, brush, flea control products, spare collar with ID tag, grooming products, foods and treats, bottled water, food and water dishes, and leash and poop bags.
2.It Pays to Book Early: It would bode well for you to book your pet’s ticket as early as possible. You can get more information about how many pets the airline will allow in the said flight. Make sure that you get all the information as possible from the airline company in order to avoid any kind of surprises. First find out if a seat is available on the flight and only once the agent has confirmed availability, must you reserve both your and your pet’s seats on the same ticket.
3.Fly Non Stop: Even though stopovers are inevitable in some cases, you can attempt your best to book a non-stop, direct flight, or fly during weekdays when the airports are less crowded or hectic. If your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold, it’s best to fly in the morning or evening during the summer, and midday during the winter to avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures.
4.Visit the Vet before Flight: Just as your own health check-up is essential before you take off for a vacation or trip, it is wise to do the same for your pet. Get him/her a check-up and make sure that all vaccinations are up to date. Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of departure, and make sure that additional planning and health care requirements are taken care of.
5.Buy your own Carrier: Get a carrier is that bg and comfortable enough for your pet to move, stretch its limps or stretch out in. You do not want your pet to be cramped in transit and make him/her whine or bark as a consequence. Carriers are available in both hard-sided and soft-sided. Soft-sided carriers are more suitable for carry-on and tend to fit better under the seat, but they’re only permitted in the cabin only. You can also check for size restrictions of a carrier with your airline company, which will give you an idea about how big a carrier you can buy and which will fit under your seat. If your dog will be traveling in the cargo hold, purchase a hard plastic carrier with holes for ventilation instead. Carriers must be big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If the carrier does not permit him to do this, the airline will refuse transport.
6.Identification Labels: Along with the carrier comes identification tags and labels. You can write the pet’s name along with your own details (such as your home address and phone number, along with the one who can be reached at your destination) on the carrier. Carry a current photograph of your pet as well. If he’s lost during the trip, a photograph will make it much easier for airline employees or the local authorities to search effectively. You might also want to consider a permanent form of ID (such as a microchip or tattoo) that will increase the likelihood of reuniting with your dog if he gets lost on the trip.
7.Making Sure the Pet is Comfortable with Travelling At All: It is not unusual for pets to get uncomfortable (some even throw up) while travelling. This usually happens due to stress. This can be taken care of if they are accustomed to their carrier before they travel. In the weeks prior to your trip, put your pet in his/her carrier as often as possible for trips around town.
8.Bathroom and Food Issues: It is unlikely that your pet will get to use any bathroom facilities while in transit. Therefore, feed him/her at least four hours before the flight and avoid feeding him/her right before the flight, even though the right amount of water supply is necessary. You should also exercise your pet and let him use the facilities (i.e. grass) before heading to the airport.
9.Early Arrival: You must keep your dog’s health certificate handy and arrive at the airport early to avoid any unnecessary delays or glitches. For one, one is usually not allowed to check their pet in more than four hours before the flight as most airlines recommend arriving two hours before your flight when traveling with a pet.
10.Medication for Pet to Ease Up: Sedatives are known to create respiratory or cardiovascular problems in increased altitude pressures. Most vets do not recommend sedatives or tranquilisers prior to flying as they can also alter the animal’s natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium, which can be dangerous when the carrier is moved. However, while sedation is generally not advised, you can let your vet to make the decision on whether or not to prescribe a tranquilizer. If he or she decides that tranquilizers are medically necessary for the trip, indicate the name of the drug taken and the dosage on the dog’s carrier.