Airlines have loosened their rules and regulations for passengers who travel with pets. Now they're accepted in the cabin as long as they can fit underneath the seat in front of the passenger or on your lap. Therapy animals are also allowed on flights even if they don't fit into the designated space. And in the event your pet is too big to ride in the cabin with you, they can safely and comfortably ride in the cargo hold. Following are tips to help you get ready to fly with your pet.
Plan Ahead and Get Your Pet Ready for Travel
Pets are like people when it comes to flying. Some do just fine while others fall apart. It's always best to assume that your pet isn't going to be the best traveler and plan accordingly to minimize the unexpected. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get their vaccination records and sedatives just in case your pet winds up being a lousy traveler. You may not need to show paperwork for your pet or sedate them for the flight, but you at least have them with you as insurance.
Make Sure Your Pet has ID
Check to make sure that your pet has a collar with tags that contain your contact information. Also get your pet microchipped if you haven't done so already. Accidents happen and you want to increase the odds your pet can be found in case you get separated from them.
Book With Pet-Friendly Airlines
Just about every airline has a policy for bringing pets onto a plane, but some are more welcoming than others. Look over the pet policy of the airlines you'd like to book a flight with and compare it with other airlines to determine which airline has a pet policy that makes you comfortable.
Fly Non-Stop to the Destination
Airline travel is exhausting for pets and people alike. Layovers and plane changes add to that exhaustion. Don't take a flight that has layovers in other cities on your way to the destination. It's better to get to the destination in one flight, even if it's a long one.
Make Sure Your Pet is Accepted for Flying
Some breeds are not allowed on flights due to their inability to handle changes in temperature and humidity levels, specifically those such as pugs, chows and Boston terriers. Check the airline for their list of restricted breeds before booking a ticket.
Don't Feed Your Pet Before Getting on the Plane
Make sure your pet has eaten long before you reach the airport to eliminate the potential for an upset tummy. You don't want your pet vomiting while on the plane or in a carrier. It creates a mess for you to clean up and can upset the rest of the passengers on the plane. You can bring a small meal with you and feed your pet once both of you are off the flight and on the ground.
Bring the Necessities With on the Flight
Pack extra collars, leashes, waste bags, puppy pads and baby wipes in your carry-on luggage. Bringing these items means you'll be prepared for an emergency if it happens before, during or after the flight and won't have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
Eliminating all potential issues before you book your flight makes for a smooth and safe journey. While you may not be able to avoid every possible thing that can go wrong, you can minimize their impact and get to your destination with minimal disruptions.