Tips for Safe Air Travel with Pets
Step 1: Feeding
Do not feed you pet any food at least 6-hours before your journey. If you are departing on a morning flight, your pet’s last meal should be dinner the evening before. Do not feed your pet breakfast the morning of departure. You pet may have small amounts of water.
A water dish that attaches securely to the door of the air crate may be half-filled with water and FROZEN the evening before. Clip the water dish to your travel crate door right before you leave for the airport. This way, the ice will melt slowly and it will provide your pet with a drink when he is inside the plane. Please DO NOT use water bottles as the ball-bearing mechanism will leak water into the crate with any vibrations or movements. The water bottle will empty out into the crate and your pet may be wet and uncomfortable for the rest of the journey.
Step 2: Going to the toilet before departure
Walk your dog normally in the morning but try to build in one extra walk at least 30-minutes to 1-hour before you depart for the airport. For cats, make sure the litter box is accessible until right before you put your cat into the crate for departure. Keeping the litter box clean and scooped will help encourage your cat to go to the toilet.
Step 3: Pet Identification
Provide your pet with a collar that will not get caught on the doors of the crate. Attach two pieces of identification to the collar – a permanent ID with your name, home address and contact number and a second travel ID with the name, address and contact number where you or a contact person may be reached.
Tape a travel label to the carrier with your name, permanent address and telephone number and email address. Write down your final destination and flight numbers.
Carry a current photograph of your pet for easy identification. If your pet is lost during the trip, a photograph will help airline employees to search more effectively.
Tranquilizers and Sedatives
Animals should NOT be given tranquilizers unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian. NEVER GIVE HUMAN MEDICATION TO ANIMALS WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR VETERINARIAN. There are several homeopathic calming remedies available that have been demonstrated to be effective on dogs and cats. Please inquire with the International Center for Veterinary Services about calming remedies if you are concerned about traveling with your pets.
Get Your Pets Used to the Air Crate
Give your pet at least a month to get used to being inside the crate before flying. This will help minimize stress during travel.