How to travel by air with your dog and cat

Are you planning a trip and don’t want to leave your pet at home? The good news is that many airlines allow pets on board in the cabin or in the hold with different fares, from a minimum of 20€ for short routes and domestic flights to a maximum of 300€ for international flights. The factors that affect the cost are: weight of the animal, the size of the carrier, regulation of the same airline.

Animals on the plane: which airlines accept dogs and cats?

Some airlines do not allow the transport of animals by plane, with the exception of guide dogs, and in general it is good to inquire before embarking on a trip by plane with dog or cat and know the basic rules of the airline chosen.

Travelling with your dog by plane is possible, however you should bear in mind that it can be very stressful for your pet. If you really don’t want to leave your little friend and take him on holiday with you, in this article you will find all the useful information on how to behave during the trip: what you can take on board and what to prepare to take your four-legged friend on a plane.

Carrier for dogs and cats on the plane

To bring your dog, cat or ferret into the cabin it is advisable to check the maximum weight of the animal allowed (including transport). For most companies, animals weighing up to 10 kg travel with you in the cabin. Carriers for small animals should be soft, rigid or semi-rigid and for almost all companies should be slid under the seat. It is recommended that the bottom be lined with an absorbent carpet, a newspaper to make it waterproof.

Different speech for the air transport of dogs of medium-large size (usually from 10 kg upwards): the trip will have to be faced in the hold, therefore with the luggage, which means that it will be more stressful for the animal, especially if it is not accustomed. Also in this case, there are specific rules, indicated by the companies, about the dimensions of the carrier. It will be your duty to inform yourself well at the time of purchase of the ticket to be sure that with that company dogs can travel by plane.

Air travel with pets: necessary documents and the rules of the airlines

The guidelines are subject to change, depending on the country of departure, the destination. Here are the most important ones:

  • In the UK and Ireland, animals that do not have a chip are not allowed to travel by air.
  • All pets that have not yet reached the age of 3 months are not allowed on the plane, as they have not yet been vaccinated against rabies.
  • The animal must remain inside the carrier, which must have ventilation holes, and must remain there throughout the flight.
  • Guide dogs for the blind are allowed in the cabin regardless of their weight.
  • You must have an identification passport issued by the veterinary health services. The requirements to obtain this document are: microchip implantation, valid anti-rabies certification.

Advice and precautions before flying with pets

  • Make your dog or cat familiar with the pet carrier, feel comfortable and become his kennel. So leave him around the house, making it a bit like his kennel.
  • Insert an object, a blanket or a small pillow of your own so that you can feel reassured by a familiar smell during the trip.
  • Ask your vet for advice on how to get around in peace. There are pheromones that calm the animal and help it to overcome the stress of the journey.
  • Bring with you some useful accessories such as wipes, games not too noisy
  • Do not give food during the trip as it may cause nausea or physiological needs. For the same it is preferable that the animal is on an empty stomach.
  • Needless to say, a lot of pampering before and after the trip will help to reassure your four-legged friend.

Have a good trip!

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