Airline Approved Pet Carriers

Using Airline Approved Pet Carriers: Do's And Don'ts

Airline Approved Pet Carriers

Many pet owners shudder at the thought of trying to travel with their pet on airline -- but this experience does not have to be a dramatic one, either for you or for your pet.  Here are a few good rules to follow -- some do's and don'ts:

The number one mistake that most pet owners make is not planning early enough.  There is much more involved than simply purchasing your airline approved pet carrier -- you need to get in touch with the airline you will be using, and do so early enough to allow you to make good decisions, and to give your pet enough time to prepare.

In order to travel with your pet with an airline approved pet carrier, you will need to get a health certificate from your veterinarian -- this will be a medical statement that your pet is free from any known diseases, and is the appropriate type and age to be able to fly.

The two primary features that all airline approved pet carriers have in common is that they will provide your pet with the comfort and also with security while flying.  How do you know that your airline approved pet carrier is actually approved?  One way is simply to ask them -- and make sure you ask them before you make a purchase.  Another way is to actually purchase your pet carrier from the airline you will be flying with.

You should also take time to make sure that your pet has become thoroughly acclimated to traveling in their pet carrier.  Well before your scheduled flight -- at least a month in advance -- begin to train your pet to spend significant amounts of time in their new airline approved pet carrier.  You should begin by having them stay in their pet carrier for short periods of time with the door open.  They can get used to entering and leaving their pet carrier whenever they desire.  Over a period of time, you can gradually expand the amount of time that they spend in their airline approved pet carrier.  If you do this on the day of your flight your pet will handle the stress of traveling much easier.

When flying with your pet using an airline approved pet carrier you will, of course, need to make a decision as to where they are going to fly -- in the cargo hold, or in the cabin of the plane.  Depending on the size of your animal, and the size and type of the pet carrier, you may not be permitted to bring your animal into the cabin of the plane.  Again, it is best to get in contact with your airline as soon as possible to discuss these matters.  Of course, where your pet will be stowed will impact the amount of money that the airline will charge to have your pet travel with you.

It is important for you to know that when your pet is traveling in an airline approved pet carrier, that the airline itself will not be under any obligation to constantly tend to the needs of your pet once they have been put in storage -- so make sure that your pet will have everything they need.  A couple of recommendations here: unless you want to end up with a mess in your airline approved pet carrier, do not feed your pet right before flying, as this can lead to an upset stomach.

Another recommendation is that you make sure your airline approved pet carrier is fully lined with some sort of paper or other material which can absorb urine, in case your pet needs to relieve themselves.  You also need to make sure that your airline approved pet carrier has proper identification on the outside -- your name and flight number, your pet's name, destination, etc. You should also make sure that your pet is wearing their collar, and that it also contains the proper identification tags.