The holidays are coming and many will taking to the air traveling to visit friends and family. But no holiday celebration is complete without the entire family. That includes Fluffy!! It is extremely important to know the different hazards involved with flying with pets and if it is possible for you to actually carry you pet on the plane with you. Knowing how to properly travel with a pet will make your trip more enjoyable and safe for Fluffy.
Here are some tips provided by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services to help improve your pet’s travel experience:
- Try to book a non-stop flight.
- Clearly mark the outside of the kennel with your pet’s name.
- Walk your pet before check-in and immediately after, but do not take your pet out of the kennel while still in the airport.
- Provide the airline with a phone number you can be reached at upon arrival.
- Contact the airline for any additional travel requirements.
Here are some guidelines set forth by the Animal Welfare Act:
- Dogs and cats must be completely weaned and a minimum of eight week old.
- Kennels must be completely enclosed and allow plenty of room for your pet to stand, sit, breathe and be completely comfortable while traveling.
- Kennel floors must be solid, leak-proof and covered with an absorbent lining. The kennels must have plenty of ventilated openings, accounting for 14 percent of the kennel’s total wall space.
- All kennels must have grips and handles for easy lifting and mobility.
- The maximum number of pets in a kennel are two puppies or kittens that are less than 6 months old. Otherwise only one pet per kennel.
- If travel time is expected to last more than 24 hours, travelers must attach instructions for feeding, watering and any medications to be administered while traveling.
- Don’t forget to include all health certificates for the animal. Health certificates must be completed by a veterinarian who has examined the pet within 10 days prior to traveling.
Please note: If you do not plan to travel with you pet and leave Fluffy behind make sure someone is there to watch over her. Either board your pet in a local kennel or have a friend or family member who is staying home for the holidays check in regularly throughout the day on your pet. Do not leave a pet unattended thinking you have left enough food and water out for her. Things happen that may be avoided if you had someone checking in on Fluffy while you were away.
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