How to Fly on an Airline with Your Pets
As I prepare for the holidays, two very important (and hairy) family members make this time extra special. Of course my husband and little human fit the bill, but the boys I especially like to snuggle under the Christmas tree are Abe and Chico—my fur kids. And, the thought of leaving them to travel this season makes my heart sad.
Most pet parents feel the same way. In fact, Virtuoso magazine’s travel blog states that 30 million people travel with pets each year, which equates to about 76 million pets. And many are doing so by air!
Tips to Tackle the Airways:
- Do Your Homework: Prior to booking your flight—research. Each airline has a unique pet policy. Most airlines allow passengers to travel with small pets in the cabin with you. Most often, there is a fee associated to travel with pets on board, as well as weight limits, carrier restrictions and more.
- Book Early: Airlines allow a limited amount of pets in cabin on each flight. The holidays are a popular time to travel with pets, so booking early will increase your odds of your pet making it on board.
- A Word About Cargo: If your pet is larger than 20-25lbs they will have to travel in cargo, which means under the cabin and not with you. Uncommon? Nope! One of my clients, Lily, a 90lb Ridgeback, travels to Vegas and New York multiple times a year. There are more rules, regulations and cost, however. Not to mention breed and health restrictions, which leads to my next tip. The vet.
- Pre-Flight Vet Visit: Although it is another thing “to do” prior to your trip, a vet visit will ensure that your pet is in tip-top health to make the flight. You can discuss any concern you might have regarding your pets travel anxiety or safety in flight. They know your pet’s medical history best and can make recommendations.
- Get Packin’: A comfortable carrier that meets airline requirements is key. As are waterless dog shampoo, urine remover, disposable diapers and doggie waste pickup bags. These basic items will take care of potty clean up, pick up and will keep your pet smelling great on their vacation.
A travel calm supplement coupled with your pet’s favorite toy, blanket and treats may help take the travel edge off too. Flying with your pet during the holidays may seem a bit daunting at first, but with a little preparation, the sky is the limit—pun intended!
Jenn is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle expert who resides in Tampa, FL with her husband, son, and their two rescued fur kids. In addition to owning her own holistic pet food market, Wag, for ten years, Jenn launched ThePackMom.com, a destination for pet parents. Jenn’s goal is to make life easier for pet parents by imparting her knowledge of pet wellness and lifestyle in an easy, entertaining and real way.