Make sure that you get everything your pet needs before you go to the airport.
Flying with animals can be tough and complicated. If you travel with your pet on the horizon, here are universal do’s and don’ts when traveling with your furry friend.
Make sure that your pet is travel-ready
Before booking your flight, a visit to your veterinarian to ensure that your animal is good to go. Some airlines approval signed by the vet saying your pet is healthy enough to travel.
Make sure that your airline is pet-friendly
To book your ticket, contact the airline directly to ensure that the (a) pets are allowed on board, and (b) pets are allowed for your specific dates. Airlines have rules about how many pets can travel on a flight.
American Airlines also has rules about how long a flight can be when an animal is on board — most flights are under 12 hours are allowed.
There are a number of options when it comes to bringing your pet on a plane to check it as cargo, or bring them into the cabin and placing them under the seat in front of you.
Decide how best to transport your pet
There are a number of options when it comes to bringing your pet on a plane to check it as cargo, or bring them into the cabin and placing them under the seat in front of you. There is a third option if your pet is a designated emotional support animal, but several airlines are cracking down on what qualifies as that.
You should always opt for in-cabin transport, if possible. According to the Humane Society, the cargo hold of a plane can be dangerous for animals. “In extremely hot or cold temperatures, poor ventilation and rough handling are often to blame” for the animal deaths on commercial aircraft, the Humane Society reports.
However, if your animal is over a certain length or weight – each airline has its own rules – they should not be allowed to travel in the cabin and must be checked in the cargo hold.
Consider your pet’s breed
If traveling with a dog, you know if they are a race that can travel safely.
“Air travel can be particularly dangerous for animals with ‘pushed-in’ faces (the medical term is ‘brachycephalic’) such as bulldogs, pugs and Persian cats. Their short noses leave them particularly vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke,” Humane Society reports.
Under no circumstances should brachycephalic animals will be transported in the cargo compartment.
Knowledge of the air crew
If your animal is too large to travel with you in the cabin, make sure that “the height of the pilots just to be sure that the message is transmitted that their furry friend is below” Meghan Hemingway, a flight attendant for a major airline and an editor for The flight attendant Life, said Care.com. Pilots can check that the correct temperature is set in the cargo hold, according to Care.com.
After the purchase of a ticket for you and a rate for your pet, check the requirements for crates.
Wait to purchase your ticket
Airlines have limits for the number of animals that can fly every day, so check ahead that there is space for you and your friend. For the smoothest travel experience, experts recommend that to avoid holidays and busy times, such as weekends. Choose a less busy day like a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.
American Airlines allows up to two checked pets, but only one carry-on pet per person.
Use of the wrong carrier
After the purchase of a ticket for you and a rate for your pet, check the requirements for crates. Each airline has its own rules for the size and structure. Soft-sided carriers that are easy to compress to sit under a chair is the best for travel in the cabin.
Cargo-bound pets will need a hard plastic crate with working handles and doors. Most airlines require your pet to stand and turn around in the crate. Delta requires two dishes attached to the door and is easily accessible without opening the chest.
Use of too much medication
While some animals may be nervous of flyers, it is not recommended by the Humane Society medication your pet for a flight in the event of a negative response. However, your veterinarian should have the last word, and may prescribe a light sedative.
As soon as you arrive, get to a safe place in the airport and examine your pet.
Let your pet during the flight
Your pet must remain in the company for the duration of the flight for the safety of the other passengers, as well as itself.
Place your pet in a place other than the cargo area or under a seat for you
Keep your pet under the seat in front of you when traveling in the cabin. Your pet carry-on ticket gives you the right to use the space under the seat in front of you. Place your pet in a place other than the permitted seat. Under no circumstances should you take your animal in the overhead bin, or in other areas of the aircraft.
Wait to check on your animal
As soon as you arrive, get to a safe place in the airport and examine your pet. “If something is wrong, take your pet to a veterinarian immediately. The results of the investigation in writing, including the date and time”, the Humane Society recommends.
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Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.