What you should know when traveling with your pet

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According to the Air Transport Association, more than 500,000 pets travel by air each year in the United States of America alone. However, traveling is very stressful for a pet. Imagine the stress you go through when traveling and multiply it a thousand times and this is how your pet feels. So if you are planning on taking your pet on your next trip, this article will walk you through the pros, cons, and downsides of traveling with your pet.

Good

  • You don’t have to try to find a trusted pet sitter or try to find a reliable friend / family member who will remember to care for your pet.
  • Being able to travel with your pet can give you comfort. This means that you don’t have to worry about how your pet is at home or with a sitter while on vacation.

The bad

  • Not all airlines accept pets. Some airlines do not allow pets on their flight.
  • Depending on the airline, but those that allow pets on board will often charge around $ 125 to $ 250 one way (this also depends on where you’re flying).
  • Pets are under a lot of stress when traveling. Many environmental stressors are present when animals travel on an airplane, such as changes in temperature, noise, and movement.

The ugly one

  • According to statistics presented by the Department of Transportation, 122 dogs died in the holds of American airlines between May and July 2010.
  • In 2011, 35 animals died on a plane and more than half died on Delta flights.
  • Airlines are not required by law to report animal accidents such as accidents, losses and fatalities.

Now that you have an idea of ​​what traveling with your pet could be like, here are some things you need to know when deciding to take your pet with you.

Preparations before the flight

  • Because traveling is already difficult for your pet, think about other factors that could add more stress to them before deciding whether or not to take them with you. If your pet is too old or too young, consider leaving it with a neighbor or family member. The same is true if they are in heat or pregnant.
  • Take your pet to the vet for an exam. This is to ensure that your pet’s health is in good condition for travel. Also obtain the necessary vaccines for your pet before leaving on your trip. You can request a health certificate to present at the counter before boarding your flight.
  • Book your flight early. Since different airlines have different policies for accommodating your pets on board, it would be best to make arrangements early. An easy way to do this is to make a reservation online. This way, you can find out more about your options not only with their pet policies but also with their prices.
  • Airlines have different policies regarding the size of carriers they allow inside the cabin. Check with your airline for size and requirements before purchasing a carrier. Remember that a carrier is subject to the same regulations as that of hand baggage. You can consult the FAA policies on carry-on baggage rules for reference.
  • Some dog trainers recommend training your pet specifically for travel before your flight. Some suggested techniques involve laying them on the floor of your car while driving. This will get them used to the changes in movement they are likely to experience on an airplane. Others also recommend using a pairing scent on your pet like lavender oil. You can put a drop of the oil on your hands before meals or take them for a walk. This allows them to have a positive association with this smell. So if your pet is separated from you, you can put a drop of lavender oil on their carrier to keep them calm during the trip.

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