There are a lot of questions when it comes to airline travel with pets. A lot of pet parents can’t travel without their precious fur babies and this is understandable; most especially if they act as therapy pets. Knowing that there are airlines that were involved in pet travel controversies can make you a bit hesitant in giving it a try. What you should know, however, is that this doesn’t have to be stressful and shouldn’t really be scary.
A few weeks before your travel date, what you really need to do is to plan everything in advance and learn about the important pet policies of the airlines and even the places you’ll be visiting.
Airline Travel with Pets, What You Should Know
Surprisingly, even if traveling with pets isn’t uncommon nowadays, not all airlines would allow you to take your pet with you. Some airlines that do not allow pets are Jet2 Airlines in the UK, Fly Dubai in the UAE, and Royal Air in Ireland.
This means that you have to look for other airlines that accommodate pets on the same flight as the owner or you and your pets will have to be flown separately by a different plane or by a third party service.
If you have more time, you can already start checking for pet-friendly places to go to. Pet-friendly hotels are definitely something you should be looking for as well!
Pet Breed Restrictions
Unfortunately, even if some airlines allow pets to travel with their owners, there are specific breeds of dogs, cats, and even rabbits that can’t be allowed to fly at all. Don’t be bothered by this as there is a valid and physiological reason why this is the case. There are certain breeds of animals that are considered as flat-faced or those termed as brachycephalic.
Pets that have such feature only have subpar respiratory performance and this is mainly because of selective breeding. It simply means that they can’t handle the atmospheric pressure. In fact, such pressure can even be fatal to them. If you’re curious to know what breeds of animals are not allowed to get into a flight, here is a list that you can check:
- American Bully
- Pit Bull
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- Brussels Griffon
- Chow Chow
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
These are just a few breeds that are included in the list of the banned pet breeds of most airline companies. It’s a bit unfortunate that some of these breeds are the most common in the US. However, don’t lose hope! If they are banned from flying, it doesn’t mean that they are also banned from sailing!
Mode of Flight
If you’re lucky and your pet is not included in any airlines’ list of banned pet breeds, then what you now need to consider is whether your pet will be allowed to stay in the cabin or not. Here are how your pets can be seated in the airlines and what you need to know about them.
- Cabin – This means that your pet can ride with you in the passenger area. Airlines charge for this so it’s best to know the different fees for the pet-friendly airline of your choice.
- Checked Baggage – Some airlines only allow pets to be checked in as baggage. One reason is that some pets can be too big than what is allowed, although there can be several reasons. Take note that additional fees will also apply.
- Cargo – This is similar to having your pet checked in as baggage. The difference is that your pet will have to be on a different flight. This is the only option if the airline of your choice does not allow any pets on its flights.
- Special Cases – Now, if you have a pet that is registered as an official emotional support or service animal for disabled passengers and those with psychological afflictions, your pet will be allowed to stay in the cabin, regardless of its size. Just make sure that your pet will be in its best behavior during the flight!
- Private Jet – If you really don’t want any inconvenience and just enjoy the ride with your pet and let it roam around the cabin, then this is the best and an expensive solution for you.
Once you’re done familiarizing yourself with all these airline pet rules as described by PurringPal, and you’ve finally chosen the best airline for you and your pet, then it’s time that you focus on preparing your pet’s documents.
Think of how you need to take care of your papers whenever you’ll be traveling. The same goes for your fur babies. There are a few things that you need to prepare and present to the airline once you’re ready to go. These are as follows:
- Health Certification
This is also known as a veterinary certificate or certificate of good health. It should indicate that your pet is healthy and has no known health issues to be allowed to travel. Some countries would even require you to show a clear result from rabies testing and proof that your pet is vaccinated for anti-rabies.
- Pet Passport
There’s really not much to discuss here as a pet passport is very much similar to your own passport. You just need to have this certified by the USDA. Your vet can help guide you with what you should prepare in order to get your pet a passport.
Other Information that Should be in Your Pet’s Documents
- Pet’s Age – It’s very important to have this in your documents as most airlines require a specific age for pets to be allowed to travel. Some airlines require your pet to be more than a few weeks old. Some may even require an age of more than 15 weeks.
- Date of Rabies Vaccination – There are countries that won’t allow your pet to get in if it is not more than 21 days vaccinated for rabies.
- Proof of Treatment for Ticks and Tapeworms – This is to make sure that your pet is free from any parasites. This is a must to avoid your pet from getting quarantined.
Waste Law or Ordinances
Laws vary in all places and so if you’re used to places where it’s okay to leave your pet’s waste or let your pet do its thing almost anywhere, you need to think differently when you’re in a different state or country.
Some places will not even allow you to throw your dog’s waste in the trash bin. If you’re caught, you’ll be fined. Definitely, it’s a must to have a strategy when it comes to cleaning and disposing of your pet’s waste.
If you’re traveling with a dog or cat, bringing a leash with you is a must. Some municipalities, states or countries require pets to be leashed at all times whenever you’re outdoors. The reasoning behind this is to protect bystanders and other people from any pet attacks that are sometimes unavoidable.
Dog Bite Statutes
Even if your pet is rabies-free, there are places that are strict when it comes to pet-inflicted injuries like dog bites. It’s best to know what statutes or laws your next destination has to pertain to this issue. You’ll most likely be fined and will be liable for the medical expenses of the victim if in case this happens.
A Few Tips
As much as possible, avoid having an unplanned trip with your pet to avoid any hassle and inconvenience. Preparation is a must whenever you’ll be traveling with your pet – whether you have a dog or cat.
Always call the airline in advance to make sure that you have everything prepared before your scheduled flight. Always ask for the restrictions if in case your pet will be allowed in the cabin or what would be needed if your pet will be checked in as baggage. But definitely, bringing a carrier is another must.
Have fun traveling with your lovely fur baby!