Choosing the Right Airline Approved Pet Carrier for Travel

pet-travel-tips

Having your pet travel with you when flying is easy and many times the cost of bringing your companion with you is cheaper than an extended stay at a kennel. Pet travel policies are fairly standard among all the airlines but each one does have some specific requirements.

Proper planning for travel with pets also includes having a health certificate completed by your veterinarian. Knowledge of regulations is also important when travelling with your pet.

Weight Restrictions

Most airlines accept pets in cabin but you have to keep in mind the weight restrictions. Usually, it is a maximum of up to 20 pounds, pet and carrier together. If your pet is on the slightly heavier side then the lightness of the carrier itself is going to become extra important.

Number of Pets

Airlines limit the amount of pets per flight. So make sure you call ahead of time.

Fees

They average about $125 each way and some airlines charge more.

Approved Carriers

The general rule is that it must fit under the seat, must have breathable material on at least two sides and a leak proof bottom. Every airline has its own regulations, so make sure to call ahead.

Dimensions

The general dimensions that you are looking for are 19 x 13 x 9 inches. Before you fly, you may want to check with the airline about the exact dimensions of the carrier permitted. Their dimensions sometimes change depending on the aircraft and you need to make sure you are following those dimensions.

Features

No matter what, you want a carrier that is safe, easy to clean, well ventilated and easy to take your pet in and out. It is a bonus if the pet carrier can also be used as a cozy bed at your destination, has a shoulder strap for walking around and is flexible enough to easily stow away.

Tips to Prepare Your Pet for Travel

  • When you find out you are going to be flying, the first thing you should do is go to your vet and talk to them about the flight. Make sure that you have all the papers you are going to need. There are very specific certificate and shot requirements for each country you travel.
  • If the carrier is new, try to give your pet time to get accustomed to it before travel day. Also, make sure to bring any travel items your pet may need with you.
  • To avoid unfortunate messes, do not feed your pet for four to six hours before the flight but its okay to give them small amounts of water.
  • Some airports have dedicated pet relief areas. Be sure to let pets relieve themselves before boarding your flight.
  • Get your carrier bag in enough time for them to get used to it because all of a sudden when you are going to toss them in a new bag, they are not going to be happy. You may put a treat in there for your pet to relax so that they know it’s a really cool place to be.
  • On the day of your travel take your pet out for a walk as little bit of exercise will help them relax later when they are a little tired. Give them an early meal and make sure it’s not too close to the flight time.
  • You can also put a small blanket that you have close to your body, in the carrier a week before. This way they can smell you, which is more comforting for them.
  • In addition, when at the airport, you can bring their favorite little treats and put them in the carrier bag.