Each company has its own list of rules that you must take into consideration before flying with them.
So, before you book a ticket, you should contact the company of your choice to collect information in regards to their regulations.
However, this does not depend on the owner’s will, but on the company’s regulations.
In fact, your pet can travel in cabins only in certain situations.
In both cases, the dog must be placed in a pet carrier, which must:
In regards to the carrier, the airline will indicate the necessary regulations which include the accepted dimensions and material.
Alternatively, the airline could ask you to purchase a special carrier from the same airline.
If your dog is placed in the hold, the carrier must present all the characteristics that are suitable for a living being (such as light and ventilation).
Up to 5 dogs of the same breed can travel in the same carrier, as long as their total weight does not exceed 10 kg.
The same weight limit also applies to a single dog.
Remember to ask the airline company if it is possible to hook food and water bowls to the carrier.
In general, on airplanes, the places available for dogs are limited.
Therefore, it is advisable to book a spot for your pet in advance.
How much does it cost to take your dog on the plane?
The price depends on the company.
However, the dogs that accompany blind people can fly for free.
Before traveling, dogs cannot be sedated.
In fact, many companies do not admit sedated dogs at a high altitude since they might have heart issues.
If your dog is particularly nervous, you can decide to give him a tranquilizer such as chamomile.
Some companies guarantee the presence of specialized personnel who will take care of our puppies.
What To Keep In Mind:
Pets Traveling In The Holds
If your pet is traveling in the hold, make sure he has an appropriate size carrier.
In fact, you may think that a large carrier will provide your pet with comfort during the journey.
Wrong! In case of turbulence during the flight, your pet will be shaken inside the carrier and could injure himself while banging against the side walls and the ceilings of the carrier.
Therefore, make sure that there is at least (and no more than) 5 cm between this head and the carrier’s ceiling when the dog is standing in a natural position.
Your pet must also be able to turn around and sit down comfortably.
For a dog, being locked up in the hold can be a real shock.
You are the only person that knows your pet.
So think carefully if it is worth taking your dog on holiday with you and putting him through all this stress.
What To Do Before You Travel On The Plane With Your Dog
Tips For When You’re Traveling
When You Reach Your Destination
Sedating Your Pet On The Plane
Sedating a dog or cat before traveling by plane, involves dire risks.
IATA (the International Air Transport Association that provides the general rules of transport throughout the world) discourages the use of sedatives and tranquilizers on animals that must be transported in the cabin or in the airplane’s hold.
This is because of the possible side effects that can occur during the trip.
This view is also shared by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Sedatives or tranquilizers are generally administered before or during transport to minimize the risk of your pet displaying undesirable behavior.
Common ingredients in tranquilizers are acepromazine or benzodiazepine.
Acepromazine rapidly depresses motor activity and the sympathetic nervous system (therefore dramatically reducing the fight or flight responses).
Depending on the administered doses, the dogs or cats that are sedated with these drugs, lose their balance.
They may also lose the ability to stand correctly and may injure themselves.
Such drugs are risky because they have the potential of causing respiratory problems.
Although sedation has a legitimate clinical use and can be used as an anesthetic or to minimize aggressive behaviors, using it when you are not observing your dog, can lead to situations in which your pet’s life is put at risk.
Other neuropharmacological agents such as amitriptyline (an antidepressant) and chlordiazepoxide (an anxiolytic), have also been used to modify dogs’ behavior.
Like other medicines, they can cause serious side effects if used in high doses. Some of the side effects include:
These medicines, as well as tricyclic antidepressants such as clomipramine, have been authorized by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the pharmacological treatment of separation anxiety in animals.
The sedatives mentioned above have been used to treat inappropriate behaviors in pets and must be administered for a few weeks before you can detect any improvements.
Animals subjected to this type of treatment due to behavioral problems may continue to exhibit good behavior even if they are not given any sedatives during the journey.
Moreover, it has not been proved that the use of tricyclic antidepressants or other psychotherapeutic can alleviate the risk of panic attacks and of destructive behavior during a flight.
Also, it is difficult to establish the appropriate dosage that can guarantee sedation during the entire period of the journey.
In fact, the time that you will spend traveling will vary and you must consider that you will have to check-in, go through security, boarding, and disembarking.
In essence, you will not have time to re-administer sedatives (plus, it could be dangerous).
When an animal is sedated, it is necessary to keep it under control by observing it constantly, and this is impossible to do if your pet is traveling in the hold.
Sedating your pet could be the riskiest thing you could do.
If your dog needs to be sedated due to valid medical reasons, this must be carefully planned by the veterinarian.
Your veterinary must be informed that your furry friend will be traveling. Dosages and other important stuff must be clearly noted in a prescription.
Traveling With Your Cat On The Plane
Of course, catching a flight with your cat isn’t as easy as some people imagine.
Unknown smells, loud noises, and pressure changes can make the flight not a very pleasant experience.
However, it is not always possible to leave your cat at home, and sometimes, you have no option but taking him with you.
No worries: with a little preparation, you will be able to transform your journey into a pleasant experience with your feline friend.
Those who want to bring their cat with them on the plane must first check the requirements of the airline with which they are flying.
In fact, keep in mind that some companies do not accept animals in the cabin and only allow them in the hold.
Regulations vary according to the weight and size of the carrier, in most cases, soft carriers are preferable.
If you go abroad, you will also need to pay attention to the entry regulations of the country you are traveling to.
You will find the necessary information on their embassy’s homepage.
Depending on the regulations, the cat may need a Health Certificate or special vaccinations.
If you are traveling within the European Union, a Pet Passport is usually required.
Don’t forget to bring all the necessary documentation with you!
Even if you think you are doing something good for your cat, administering tranquilizers may not be the best solution.
In fact, some airlines ban this practice. What’s the reason?
At high-altitudes, medicines have a much stronger effect than they do on land.
For this reason, many airlines advise not to transport sedated animals, either in the hold or in the cabin.
Supplements such as the amino acid tryptophan should help release more serotonin (the happiness hormone) in the brain, and as a consequence, it should lead to greater peace of mind.
If your cat is traveling with you in the cabin, he must be taken out of the carrier when going through security checks.
You should ask security if your cat can go through a security check in a separate space (away from other people and suitcases).
Remind employees that a cat running around is not helpful to anyone, and in fact, it can hinder the procedures. Very often, it helps!
During The Flight
Before you book a flight with your kitten, mentally prepare yourself for the journey.
Be aware that being on an airplane where the cabin’s pressure will increase will not be pleasant for your cat.
However, every cat has a different reaction.
While some may remain calm, others could complain, end up in a total panic, or breathe quickly.
No matter what happens, during the flight, your pet must always remain in the carrier.
Airlines have stringent rules in regards to pets on the plane, and these rules exist for a reason: no one wants a cat running around.
Moreover, by keeping your cat in its carrier, he will avoid getting in contact with other travelers who may be afraid or allergic.
Depending on the length of the flight, however, you can give your cat some water.
Try to calm him down if he is feeling anxious.
A sip of water or a little bit of cat paste will help him hydrate in case of high pressure.
If your cat is small and fragile, you can give him to drink by placing water in a syringe without a needle.
Due to the air conditioning system, airplanes often get cold.
You could place a blanket on the carrier to help your cat with the current.
However, keep in mind that not all cats love to travel in the dark…
Finally, you’ve arrived! However, your job is not entirely finished.
Once you arrive at the airport, you may need to go through customs again (especially if you are traveling to a foreign country).
This does not always happen.
However, keep your pet’s Health Certificate and Passport with you.
After The Flight
Once you arrive at your destination (whether it is in a house or a hotel), your cat might feel a little scared and not comfortable in his new environment.
Don’t fret, this is totally normal, as a matter of fact, leave your cat alone!
Again, if your cat is feeling anxious or depressed, try using Feliway or Bach flowers. It will help him feel more at ease and relaxed.
Below you can find some necessary information regarding airlines that allow you to travel with pets.
At the end of each section, you can also find out how much it costs to travel with your dog or your cat. Have a safe flight!
After several overwhelming scandals, United Airlines has decided to suspend the transportation of pets in the hold.
Dogs and cats can only travel in the cabin.
The dimensions of your carrier cannot exceed 44 cm x 30 cm x19 cm, and you are allowed to carry a maximum of two pets.
Pets can only fly in the Economy class.
Fee: $125 each way
Small dogs and cats can be carried in the cabin provided that your pet is small enough to stand up, turn around, and lie down in the carrier (which will be placed under the seat in front of you). Pets can fly on:
Your pet cannot travel in the cabin if:
Fee: $50-$59 for domestic flights; $100-$118 international flights (the fee is to be paid for each way).
If you are flying with Spirit Airlines, your carrier cannot exceed the following size: 18cm x 14cm x 9cm.
Moreover, the combined weight of the carrier and the pet should not be more than 18kg.
Pets are only allowed in the cabin, and flying in the hold is not permitted.
Fee: $110 each way.
This company only accepts cats and dogs that have a microchip.
Each animal must travel within its carrier for the duration of the flight.
American Airlines’ guidelines state that pets must be at least 8 weeks old to fly.
The total weight of your pet inside its carrier must not exceed 45 kg.
At high-altitudes, medicines have a much stronger effect than they do on land.
The carrier must be of wood, metal or hard plastic and must not be a foldable (since it could be potentially dangerous for your pet).
An odorless cloth must be placed inside the carrier to absorb your pet’s urine and keep everything clean for the duration of the journey.
Besides, the carrier must be large enough to allow the animal to move around during the flight.
Your pet must also have a passport and a recent Health Certificate that has been issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of the departure date.
Fee: $125 for a round trip.
Delta Airlines offer several options for transporting dogs and cats on board.
Some States may request for your animal’s Health Certificate.
To gain detailed information, you can contact the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America.
For flights to South Africa, Hong Kong or the United Kingdom, pets cannot travel in the cabin, they must travel in the hold (this rule does not apply to service dogs).
Pets that are traveling in the cabin must be small and must stay in their own carrier.
For domestic travel, dogs and cats cannot be younger than 10 weeks old.
To fly internationally, they must be at least 16 weeks old.
Your pet will be counted as hand luggage, and his carrier must be placed under the seat in front of you.
Your dog or cat can also travel with its puppies without any numerical limitation.
Delta Airlines does not accept animals on board while flying to Australia, Barbados, Dakar, Dubai, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
Fee: $125 (for flights to the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico); $200 for the Virgin Islands and International flights (the fee covers a round trip).