Travel tip: Air travel with your pet

The best advice for travelling with pets by plane is: don’t.  However circumstances may arise where you want or need to bring your pet on an extended vacation.  Here are some general tips:

If you are travelling internationally be sure to check the guidelines for travel. Some countries may require a six-month quarantine; others require specific documentation such as a rabies vaccination certificate.

Animals must be at least eight weeks old, weaned, and healthy.

Plan for emergencies – bring along your pet’s vaccination records and vet contact information, and if possible have the number for an emergency vet in the area of your destination.

Always check with the airline before booking. The rules vary from airline to airline.

Some airports may allow you to walk your pet between flights – it is worth asking to help your pet have as pleasant an experience as possible.

Make sure your pet’s tags are up to date with your contact information; add a tag with your travel information as well.

Purchase a hard-sided carrier the appropriate size for your pet, and give your pet time to get used to it before travelling.

Choe your flights with your pet in mind: non-stop is always best.

Avoid travelling in extreme heat or cold. Some airlines will not permit pets to travel during the winter months.

Do not feed your pet too close to the time of your flight; 4 to 6 hours before is best so that they are less likely to be ill.

If your pet is lost or harmed during a flight, they are considered the same as baggage for insurance claims.