Pet Airline Travel Tips

Safe and Comfortable Air Travel with Your Pet

Traveling can be very stressful, both for owners and pets. You should think twice about flying your pet on a commercial airline, especially if you have to check them in as cargo. But with thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.

A list of US domestic carriers that accept pets can be found here.

If your are committed to airline travel with your four legged friend then here’s some useful tips:

    1. Get a full veterinarian checkup before long journeys. Ensure your pet has a microchip for identification and is wearing a collar and ID tag. The collar should also include destination information in case your pet escapes. More information on Microchip implants can be found

    2. Talk to your airline before purchasing travel to ensure you have the full information on their pet travel rules and facilities.

    3. Book a direct flight whenever possible to minimize stress and ‘tarmac time’.

    4. Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Shipping crates can be purchased from many pet supply stores, online stores and airlines.

    5. Write the words “Live Animal” in letters at least one inch tall on top of and at least one side of the crate. Use arrows to prominently indicate the upright position of the crate. The home and destination address of the animal should also be clearly marked on the container. Place a current photograph of your pet on the crate for identification purposes. Should your pet escape from the carrier this could be very helpful in recovery.

    6. The night before you leave, freeze a small dish or tray of water for your pet. This way, it can’t spill during loading, and will melt by the time he’s thirsty. Tape a small pouch, preferably cloth, of dried food outside the crate. Airline personnel will be able to feed your pet in case he gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.

    7. Talk to every airline employee you encounter, on the ground and in the air, and express that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo hold. If the plane is delayed, or if you have any concerns about the welfare of your pet, insist that airline personnel check the animal whenever feasible. In certain situations, removing the animal from the cargo hold may be required.

    We hope that helps smooth the journey with your furry friend. Have fun and think of us next time you book a hotel.