Based on the questions I receive each week, Pet Transportation by airlines is confusing. Our goal here is to demystify pet travel by clarifying the rules and providing you appropriate questions to ask. Whether you are moving domestically or international, or buying a new puppy, pet travel does require planning. Some countries as well as some airlines do not allow certain breeds. For those of you shipping pets other than cat and dogs, some airlines refuse to ship certain types of pets.
If possible you should start making your plans at least six months in advance for international travel, and one month in advance for domestic travel. There may be special requirements to get into some countries and some test need to be done far in advance. To get into the U.K. without going into quarantine you need to start out six months in advance. To get into Europe you need to start out at least four months in advance.
To ship a pet, it must be over 8 weeks of age. The crate that you use must meet certain standards for size, ventilation, strength and design. Your pet must have enough room to stand up and turn around comfortably. You must also include at least one food and one water dish which attaches to the door of the crate. You must attach live animal stickers on the crate and place absorbent material on the bottom of the crate. For pets traveling inside the cabin, they travel underneath your seat. You may use a soft sided crate for this, however you may not take the pet out of the crate during the flight.
The most important thing to do to make your pet’s travel more comfortable is to get your pet use to the crate. Try to get your pet to sleep in the crate or eat in the crate prior to the trip. Try to book a non stop flight if possible, and do your homework about the various requirements to get into different Countries. For international travel, call the airlines cargo section, the consulate of the Country you are going to and even our Embassy at that Country to get their requirements to ship a pet. In the summer choose early morning or late evening flight. Don’t travel during heavy traffic times such as weekends or holidays if you have a choice.
Some of the things to remember for shipping your pets are:
Never use tranquilizers unless it is absolutely needed, and then take them yourself, your pet does not need them. Do not feed a big meal before the flight. Keep the leash and collar with you so that when you get to your destination you can take out the pet out safely. Take a plastic bag with you in case the pet gets sick or messes up the crate. Plan ahead and check everything twice.
Courtsey of Club Pet International , Chantilly,VA