Friday, June 10, 2011

Pet Air Travel Tips: More Safety - Less Stress

Sorry I haven't written you in a while...I have been adjusting to my new brother. And now I am adjusting to the idea that we are moving soon.

So in the spirit of moving, my mom got this email from PetLink the other day and I thought I would steal it and share it with you.

Dear DiploDoggie's mom,
Taking flight with DiploDoggie? Make it safe and relaxing for both of you with a few tips from your friends at PetLink.

Many thousands of animals travel safely aboard aircraft every year. How do they travel? You may transport your pet as accompanied baggage, if you are a passenger on the same flight as your pet. On flights of less than 6 hours most airlines will allow pets to be taken with the passenger in the cabin (except when flying to the UK). The container for the pet must fit under the seat in front of you and must have a waterproof bottom. The other way that pets can travel by plane is in the pressurized cargo hold (if they cannot be accompanied or if they are too large to fly in the cabin). Whether the pet is flying as checked baggage or as cargo they will arrive in the same special area of the cargo department, which is pressurized and temperature controlled. Airline personnel make every effort to handle pets with the care they deserve.

If you are thinking of flying with your pet, how should you prepare?


•Visit and update your contact information, including adding temporary contact information where you can be reached during your vacation.

•Animals traveling internationally need to have a 15 digit microchip that should appear on all Veterinary and Vaccination Certificates. This microchip will also be read at security.

•Purchase an IATA compliant pet carrier crate in which your pet can comfortably stand, lie down and turn around. Remember to cover the bottom of the pet carrier with a cozy towel or other absorbent material and give your pet at least one month to become familiar with the carrier.

•During the winter months, the airlines may require documentation called an 'acclimation certificate' stating that your pet is acclimated to temperatures lower than 45 degrees.

•Check your pet's collar tag to make sure it won't become caught in the carrier doors. Get a durable collar tag that shows your pet's microchip number and the PetLink toll-free number. As a precaution, also attach a separate collar tag with destination address & contact information.

•Clearly identify your pet on the outside of the crate including his or her photo, name, and contact information for your pet's destination point. Carry a photo of your pet.


•Within 10 days of your trip, obtain a health certificate from your vet, including an update of vaccinations. •Bring your pet's medical records.

•Bring your first aid kit.

•Bring DiploDoggie's medications - especially anti-diarrheal and motion sickness meds.

•Take prescriptions with you.

•Take along fresh water - freeze it the night before.

•Choose direct flights where possible to minimize exposure to extreme temperatures or stress of sitting in the cargo hold.

•For longer flights or layovers, attach a small pouch of dry food to the outside of the carrier.

•Keep in mind that each airline has its own guidelines: let airline personnel know that you're traveling with a pet.

•Always remain on the same flight as your pet.

Remember, the number one stress-relieving tip is to prepare well enough in advance of your trip - beginning with a visit to your vet and another one on to learn more about pet travel! Relax! Thousands of furry travelers fly safely every year.

Most importantly... have fun!

Sincerely,Your PetLink Team

PS The ASPCA does not recommend flying your pet in the cargo hold. If it is unavoidable, the above tips can help ensure your pet's safety and well-being.


  1. Hi I am travelling to the US for a month and am considering taking my dog with me - am I nuts??? I'm worried about the stress on her travelling as we have to connect through atlanta from Dublin en route to LA - 13 hours in total flight time... she's young and healthy but I don't want to stress her too much

  2. I have a cat, I generally carry with me when I travel to different countries. I have a special carry bag for her, ventilated on both sides, and I have printed "live animal" on all sides to prevent any happening.

  3. One more note about pet safety, get your pet tagged with the antilosta label so that if its lost, anyone finding it can immediately connect with you via e-mail. This is a free service at a smart thing to do especially if we travel with our pets.

  4. Flying with pets need not be such a stressful thought for the travellers. With proper guidance and appropriate adherence to suitable suggestions, travelling with pets will be a hassle-free prospect for pet owners.