Yes you heard that right. Now that airlines have relaxed air travel with your pet, time to jet set with your furry one! While traveling with pets, most parents prefer to hit the road in their private vehicles. It allows you and your pet to travel in a familiar comfort space. Air travel has always remained a doubt as it can be stressful for them as well as their furry baby. It is close to impossible to make them feel that comfortable during air travel. But on certain occasions, sometimes we do not have a choice but to opt for air travel. In such situations, do not panic or stress. That same energy gets transpired to your furry one. All you need to do is have your research ready and plan your trip well!
There are millions of animals that fly each year. While some travel along with their pet parents a few are brave enough to make the trip alone. Many airports and airline companies have upgraded their services for pets. Always remember that safe flying with your pet starts with you. We have noted down a few tips that can help you plan and prep for your furry baby’s air trip.
- Consult your veterinarian:
This is the first and crucial step while flying with your pet. It is necessary to know that your pet is healthy and can catch the flight. You can travel with your pet only if you get a green signal from your veterinarian. Mostly, airline companies ask for your pet’s health declaration certificate before you board the flight. Hence, it is advisable to take your furry one’s health declaration certificate from your vet issued at least 10 days before your travel. Ask your vet about food, water, and medication to be provided before flying with your pet.
- Pet Cargo or Carry on:
Most airlines do not allow you to purchase a seat for your pet. You will either have to send them to the pet cargo section or carry them along with you in the cabin. The rule to travel with a pet varies in each airline company. Nonetheless, one basic rule is that you can carry your pet in the cabin only if your pet’s carrier can easily fit under the seat in front of you. If not, he or she will have to travel through the pet cargo section.
- Book your tickets in advance:
Airlines allow only a specific number of pets on their flights. If you book last minute, there are chances that your pet might not be able to get on board. Booking in advance can give you the opportunity to choose the flight that provides better facilities for your pet and your preferred time. If your pet is big and will have to travel in the pet cargo sections, you must make reservations for him or her in advance.
- Contact the airlines:
After booking your ticket, contact the airline company and ask them about their rules, regulations, and requirements while traveling with a pet. You must also ask for the list of pet documents required at the airport and by the airline company. You might need documents such as a health declaration certificate, vaccination certificate, rabies vaccine certificate, pet license, etc.
- Keep the documents handy:
Now that you know the list of documents required, make a copy of them and keep it in a separate folder. Do not mix your documents with your pet's documents. Keeping it handy can help you provide the documents quickly in the event a staff member requires it. This will speed up the boarding process and not cause any end moment panic or stress.
- Help your pet get used to his or her crate:
Crate training is essential while traveling! Purchase a crate that is appropriate for the size of your pet at least a month before your travel. Your aim is to make him or her feel like the crate is a safe and comfortable space for them. Allow him or her to play, eat and spend some alone time in the crate before your travel. You can deck up the create in a cute and quirky way with a few treats inside the crate to motivate your pet to enter or spend some more time in it. This will massively help in reducing their stress and anxiety during the actual travel. Keeping a set of their favorite toys and a tiny blanket can make the little space feel like home!
- Prep the crate:
On the day of your travel, prep the crate by adding a travel bed, water or food bowl, and their favourite toy. You can top the travel bed with pet pads. If you are on a longer journey, you can provide your pet's food to one of the airline’s staff members. They will ensure to feed your pup on time.
- Request to board early:
You have the benefit to board early while traveling with your pet. You can ask for it by getting in touch with one of the airline's staff members. Early boarding can help you and your pet find your seat on the flight early. Having a few minutes extra can help you and your pet stay calm before the take-off.
- Have a chewy toy for take-off and landing:
If you’ve travelled with your pet before, you might have noticed your pet constantly pawing at his or her ears and shaking their heads. Hand them a chew toy or a hard chewy treat which can help relieve them from any discomfort they are facing/feeling.
- Pick your pet soon after the arrival:
Once you land, grab your baggage and move straight towards your airline’s specified cargo location. Airlines have a specific time at which they will let you pick up your pet. Some airlines might ask for your pet’s document once again before handing over your pet. Take your pet out for a walk soon after you’ve exited the airport premises.
Air travel might be nerve-wracking as hell, but it's not! Following these tips might help you both have a stress-free and hassle free travel experience. You can get your hands on a few travel essentials right here! It is time to get ready for departure!
We wish you and your pet a safe, stress-free and a happy journey!