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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

You love to travel but always feel a pang of guilt leaving your pooch or cat at the kennel or with a dog-sitter? Taking your pet on a plane isn’t as hard or uncomfortable as you may thing. Here are some tips for taking your dog, cat or even your ferret on holiday with you.

At the vet’s

Passport and vaccines: Will my pet be allowed in the country where I plan to visit and under what conditions? As with us, animals also need to show photo ID when crossing the border. Passports, vaccine certificates… best to re-read our post Pet travel: getting your pet a passport to see what exactly you need to travel with your pet. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

Prescription drugs: If your pet has a tendency to be nervous in extreme situations then it’s best to ask your vet to prescribe some medication that will help calm and relax your cat or dog. Mild sleeping pills may also be good to have on hand.

Eating light: It’s better to have an animal that is hungry than an animal that has eaten too much before boarding. That being said, every owner knows what is appropriate and should plan accordingly.

Pet carriers and luggage

Many airlines accept small dogs and cats as carry-on luggage that can be stowed right in the cabin. It’s comes at an additional cost, but is still reasonable. Bigger animals will need to be checked as luggage and must travel in the hold. You will need to buy a certified animal carrier before the trip.

Only put your animal into the hold as a last resort. It can be very stressful for many and it is always better for them to travel in the cabin, just make sure your pet doesn’t exceed the size and weight limits on cabin baggage!

Always call your airline before booking because not all companies have the same pet travelling policies.

During the flight

Don’t neglect your pet! There are no rules against opening your pet’s container during the flight, given it is travelling in the cabin with you and their cage isn’t blocking the aisle. Let them have a little stretch and give them a bit of a snuggle to reassure them that everything is fine.

Pet diaper? A healthy dog will be able to refrain from going to the toilet (let’s face it, a necessary topic) for a number of hours. It should be no problem on short and medium-haul flights but when it comes to puppies and older dogs, a pet diaper might be necessary. We admit, you won’t look great (and your pet even less) but it’s better than having an accident.

This post is for information purposes only. Rules and regulations concerning pet travel are likely to change so we recommend you always consult your vet before travelling with your pets.

Have you ever taken your pet on a plane with you? What was the experience like? Would you do it again? 

Img: Sir Bentley and Zsuzska

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