If you’re planning to fly with Fido over the holidays, there are some things you may want to keep in mind before taking to the skies.
Before you leave home:
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends making sure your pet is healthy enough to travel. Some pets should not fly because of age, illness, injury or temperament.
- Find a reliable friend, pet sitter or boarding facility to keep your pet safe while you’re gone.
- If you do end up traveling with your pet, make sure it has a microchip and identification tags with your current contact information.
Get your pet acquainted with its carrier. If you’re bringing your pet along on your trip, make sure he or she is familiar with the carrier first. Leave the carrier out in your home and place your pet in it for a few minutes each day, gradually lengthening the time your pet spends in it.
Don’t feed your pet within five or six hours of your flight. Otherwise, you or your seatmates might regret it. Give your pet water up until two hours prior to your flight.
Check airline requirements before boarding. Find out if the airline allows pets to travel in a carrier under a seat in the cabin or if it must travel by freight. Of course, you’ll need any required documents, such as a health certificate signed by your veterinarian if you’re going across state lines.
Call us or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service at 800-545- 8732, option 2, or visit aphis.usda.gov for state regulations.
Don’t try to sneak your pet on the plane. We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you do not want to sneak your cat or dog on an airplane, for obvious reasons. If you can’t find a flight that will accommodate your pet, look into pet-specific transportation services.
Make sure your hotel accepts pets. Even pet-friendly hotels don’t always allow pets to be left in the room alone, so consider taking your pooch to a doggie daycare facility. The cost of daycare will likely be less than any damages he causes in your room.
Create a sense of comfort. Bring some of Fido’s favorite items from home, such as food dishes, blankets, toys and other familiar items to make him feel more comfortable.