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Pets on a Plane: Air Travel with Your Pet

One of the trickier aspects of air travel is how to get our pets from point A to point B. There are many guidelines and restrictions when it comes to pet air travel that you will need to be aware of before planning your trip.

* Unless your pet’s carrier can fit under your seat they will need to be checked as cargo.
* Pets should be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned.
* Sedating your pet is not recommended, as it may cause difficulty breathing at high altitudes.
* The travel crate must be large enough for your pet to lie down, turn around and stand comfortably.
* The door of the crate must be metal that is thick enough to prevent the animal from bending or distorting it.
* Mark the crate with the words “Live Animal” and “This Side Up” along with your name, address and phone number.
* Many airlines stop shipping pets as checked baggage during extreme hot or cold weather. However, many have special programs that allow you to ship pets as cargo during times of day when the temperature is more comfortable.
* Make your pet as comfortable as possible in the crate with a blanket or towel and toys.
* Do not feed your pet prior to air travel, as this may cause them to have an upset stomach during the flight.
* Give your pet frozen water or ice cubes that will melt slowly during the flight.
* Book a direct flight whenever possible to avoid your pet having to be handled more than necessary on the tarmac.

Keep in mind that not all airlines allow pets to travel in the cabin or as cargo. Each airline will have their own restrictions and policies regarding pet air travel. It is best to check the airline’s website for their policy regarding pet travel before booking your flight.

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