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Flying with Your Pet: Tips and Restrictions

It’s a big decision to take your pet flying with you on vacation or when you are moving to a different part of the country. Sometimes you can choose an alternative – a long drive to your destination, for example, or leaving your pets at home with a sitter. But other times you have no option but to fly with your pets, especially if you are emigrating or going on a long vacation. This information is taken from the Delta airlines pet service – if you are flying with another airline you should check their own policy, although it is likely to be similar.

Some States and countries require health certificates and documentation for your pet so before you go, check at your destination for the rules. There are different options for transporting your pet by air. You can carry on your pet with you in the cabin for a set fee, as long as your pet is small enough to fit inside a kennel under the seat in front of you. There are some destinations that will not allow you to travel with pets in the cabin, so check before departure. Your pet must remain inside the kennel while onboard or while boarding and deplaning.

You can also check your pet into the temperature controlled baggage hold. The kennel must be ventilated on two sides and should be leak-proof. There is a fee for checking, and two pets of the same size and species may be allowed into one kennel to be charged as one pet so long as they are small enough to fit.

In many cases you will need to ship your pet in cargo. Cargo is suitable for warm-blooded animals, non-dangerous and carried in the hold. Travel is stressful for pets so familiarize your pet with the kennel beforehand to ease stress, and walk your pet before departure. Get your veterinarian’s advice on pet tranquilizers as they can often be dangerous at high altitudes.

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