Last updateFri, 09 May 2014 2pm

Traveling with your pet: select airline with care & plan your journey well

This second article examines journey planning and airline conditions for pet travel.

Before booking your pet’s veterinary appointment for its Certificate of Health, you need to make your travel arrangements and obtain an IATA compliant kennel.

If your dog or cat is one of the Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, consult your veterinarian about the increased risk of heat stroke and breathing problems. Some airlines refuse these breeds as checked baggage and also prohibit carriage of breeds requiring reinforced crates. Check with the airline.

Routes, times

First check the distance(s) and flight time(s) for your particular journey. Decide how long your dog should be enclosed in a crate – under the seat in front of you, or in the pressurized cargo hold, depending on it’s size. (Service and seeing-eye dogs are usually allowed in the cabin.)

If the journey-time is over five hours, without the check-in time, then do consider breaking the journey with an overnight stop. It is kinder to your pet and takes the pressure off you both if there’s a departure delay. Most hotel websites indicate whether or not they take pets, or google “pet friendly hotels” (for example, www.officialpethotels.com/#axzz2y2GpfTrw  or www.petswelcome.com.) Always check that the hotel’s shuttle bus carries pets, or you may need to take a cab.

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