By Ray Welds
Do you have to travel by air in the near future? If you do, are you a pet owner who needs to bring your pet? Although most of us leave our pets at home, you may not want to. There are a number of important points that you need to keep in mind when taking your pet on vacation.
Make sure that you can actually bring your pet
- Although a good number of airlines will allow pets on their planes, not all will. You may be in a predicament if you plan to depart from a small airport with only one or two airlines. If they do not accept pets or if their rules and restrictions are too much for you to handle, you will want to examine other nearby airports. Larger airports are usually pet-friendly.
- Many first time pet travelers believe that they can count their pets and their pet carriers as a carry-on bag or a checked bag. This isn’t how it works. You will, almost always, be charged an extra fee for traveling with a pet. This extra fee will likely depend on the airline in question as well as your pet’s location, such as in the cabin or in the baggage compartment.
- Not all airlines that allow pets like cats and dogs aboard their flights, will allow pets to be in the cabin with other passengers. This is particularly common on small planes where allergies may be a big concern. If you cannot part with your pet, be sure to search for an airline that will allow you to keep him or her in the cabin with you. With that said, remember that the size of your pet will also play a huge factor in your options.
- Regardless of where your pet is stored for the plane ride, you will need to have a pet carrier or crate for them. Many airlines have specific rules and restrictions on what type can be used. Restrictions often include the materials used, as well as size. Most will provide you with that information when asked. Make sure that the crate is big enough so that your pet can stand and move around a little bit. In fact, most airlines will refuse to transport pets that they feel are inhumanely contained in small pet crates and carriers.
- You will want to make sure that your pet has had all required vaccinations and is fit for travel. Also, all airlines require that you receive a health certificate, stating that your pet is healthy and safe for travel.