17 Jun Traveling by Air with Your Pets
Plan ahead for a wonderful trip. Call your airline well in advance to inquire on any restrictions. Most airlines require a USDA health certificate to be issued within 10 days of travel. Some states require specific vaccinations. If traveling to a foreign country, contact the country’s consulate regarding what you need. Avoid opening the cage at the airport or using a cheap crate that might fall apart. Generally, dogs and cats under 15 pounds (crate plus animal) can ride in the cabin in a suitable carrier which can fit under the seat. Consider taking tranquilizers if your pet is prone to high anxiety. Confirm with the airline 24 hours before the flight. Microchipping is required for European destinations and a good idea for identifying a pet under any circumstance.
Pets traveling as checked luggage may face more restrictions. Most states will not accept animals under 8 weeks of age. High temperatures (or low) on the tarmac may restrict travel. Some airlines have maximum weight restrictions. Airline crates are required with Live Animal labels, contact information, and certification that the animal has been offered food and water within the last four hours. It is more comfortable for the pet to not be fed within one hour of the flight. Include two empty dishes securely attached to crate and accessible from outside. Absorbent material must be provided in the bottom of the crate. Newsprint is acceptable but no straw, hay, or wood shavings are allowed.
United Airlines has a number of restrictions including a “no fly” list of certain breeds of dogs.
Have a safe and fabulous trip!