If you’re going on a short jaunt overseas, leaving your dog or cat at home is often the best way to show your love. Your four-legged friends are usually more comfortable in a familiar environment than spending hours in a carrier. That being said, if you must bring your fur baby on board, there are some ways to make sure he is safe and comfortable. Flights.com and TripsWithPets.com teamed up to help you prepare properly and remember to bring along everything you need to keep your pet safe. After all, you don’t want to introduce your own turbulence to the in-flight experience.
Preparing for Your Flight
To avoid delays and drama at the airport, make sure your dog or cat has the necessary shots and paperwork to sail through security. Depending on your international destination, you may also need a special visa. Having your ducks in a row means you can make it to your flight on time and remain stress-free. And when you’re stress-free, it’s easier for your pets to relax! Once your flight is booked, look up the pet relief areas at both your departure and arrival airports. If your pet needs to do his business, you’ll be able to navigate to a pet friendly area more quickly when you’ve planned ahead.
Asking the Right Questions
Always find out your airline’s carry-on restrictions for pet carriers prior to travel. The last thing you want to have happen is to show up and find out your carrier is too big and the airline insists your pooch goes into the cargo area. Other things to ask about include: where your pet is allowed to relieve himself on the flight, if there are restrictions on where you can sit with your pet on the plane, and which documents are necessary to check your pet in on travel day. Contact an embassy or consulate in your destination country to ask about local quarantine laws and what you need to know about clearing customs with an animal at your arrival airport.
Finding the Perfect Carrier
The right carrier can make your pet’s journey an easy one, while the wrong one can spell disaster. When you’re looking for a pet carrier for your next international flight, make sure it has proper ventilation and the bottom is leak-free. Even if your carrier is soft, it should be crush-proof to protect your animal. Of course, your pet should fit comfortably inside, and ideally be able to move around a bit. Give your dog or cat about a month to become familiar with the carrier and get his scent on it before you take to the skies.
Staying Safe On Board
There are a few extra precautions you can take to make sure your pet stays safe on board your next international flight. For instance, always clip your pet’s nails so they don’t get caught in the carrier door or fabric. Keep your pet’s essential medications with you at all times, and always have an ample water supply. This might mean buying bottled water once you get past security. Try to keep your pet’s temperature in mind, and point your overhead fan in his direction on particularly warm planes.
Traveling internationally with your pets can be safe and fun, as long as you plan ahead! Where would you love to travel with your pet?
Article contributed by Flights.com writer Lara Vukelich.