Flying with a pet can be a nerve-wracking experience. You must put your furry friend into their crate and take it through security. Book direct flights whenever possible. This will decrease the chances that your pet is left on the tarmac during extreme weather conditions or mishandled by baggage personnel during layovers.

Book Direct Flights

Airplanes can be a very stressful environment for pets. Even if your pet is comfortable in its crate, the plane’s constant movement, noise, and smells can upset them, especially if the flight has frequent turbulence, which is very hard on the nerves. If you plan on flying with your pet, try booking direct flights whenever possible. This will help to minimize the amount of time your pet is in the cargo hold, and it will also reduce the chance of any delays or errors that may occur between connecting flights. A reputable international pet transport service will offer several options for your pet’s travel, including private jet flights (at a premium cost). If you decide to use this option, start training your pet to love its carrier in advance by using it as a bed or play area.

Check the Airline’s Policies

Airline pet policies vary widely. It’s important to know what to expect before booking your international flight. Many airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin if they are small enough (less than 100 pounds combined), fit into a carrier that’s no larger than 36L” x26W” x28H”, and have a ticket. However, the airline’s requirements for flying as cargo may be more strict, and your pet might have to travel in the plane’s cargo hold. When your pet travels as cargo, it’s more likely to be exposed to high temperatures and rough handling. To make the trip as safe as possible for your pet, always have a photograph of them on hand, and write their name on the kennel and the inside of the carrier’s door.

Make Sure Your Pet is Vaccinated

Air travel can be stressful for pets, especially if they fly as cargo. This is mainly due to the airplane and transit’s unfamiliar noises, smells, and movements. This is why it’s crucial to ensure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations before they fly. Vaccines trigger your pet’s immune system to produce antibodies that fight disease-causing organisms. This helps to lessen the severity of an illness or prevent it altogether. If your dog will be traveling as cargo, have a veterinarian complete a health certificate for them at least ten days before their flight. The veterinarian should also ensure their rabies vaccine is up to date and any other required shots. Talk to your vet about the travel itinerary and geographical locations you plan on visiting to find out which core and non-core vaccinations are needed.

Pack a Comfortable Carrier

Whether taking your furry friend on vacation with you or moving them internationally, a comfortable carrier is essential to the travel process. Ensure your pet is crate trained and the carrier they’re traveling in will be big enough to allow them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably during the flight. You’ll also want to freeze a small amount of water in your pet’s crate the night before the flight so it won’t melt during loading and will be ready for them once they board. Tape a small pouch of food outside their crate so airline staff can feed them during layovers or long flights. Lastly, plan to arrive at the airport early to get through security screening and be ready for takeoff. Being on time can reduce stress levels for you and your pet, ensuring a smooth international travel experience.

Be Prepared for Delays

During international travel, delays can occur for any number of reasons. Being prepared for delays is essential, especially if you’re sending your pet as cargo. Research airlines that fly to your destination and their respective pet policies. Also, if you plan to ship your pet as cargo, look into veterinary clinics in the destination country for possible health concerns. Get your pet acclimated to their shipping kennel before the flight so they aren’t scared of the carrier during takeoff and landing. And make sure that their nails are trimmed to prevent them from getting caught in the crate’s door and crevices. Finally, research lodging options along your route in case of layovers. This information can save you stress and money should you need to change your flight plans during transit.