First things First
Moving your pet involves several different factors that will affect your price, personal involvement and the stress of you and your animal. Many of these can be avoided as you pay attention to the detail of its destination requirements, weight and needs of each pet, departing/arriving cities, date, time, season, and any other special circumstances that may arise. We strongly suggest having the answers to this information readily available while planning your pet's move.
Find the airlines that fly to your proposed destination, select one and contact them to check that they will accept your pet(s) on the day and flight that you prefer. This will allow you to see if this date works, or how you can work around their flight times.
Airlines transport animals in a pressurized and temperature controlled area of the plane and advise the flight crew that animals are onboard the aircraft. The temperature of these compartments is the same as it is in the passenger area and your pet can rest comfortably in their kennel during the flight. Pets actually travel better this way, because it is quieter and they will rest well in a darkened environment. As soon as you get on the plane, ask a flight attendant to confirm that your pet is on board. That way, if there's been any mix-up and it has not been loaded, you have a better chance of getting something done about it.
There are some airlines that allow passengers to carry their pets in the cabin of a plane, if the animals are small enough to fit under the passengers seat. Many times, a small cat or dog will exhibit unusual behaviors when in such an environment and we recommend you think of your fellow passengers first. WE DO NOT recommend any form of tranquilizers.
Your Vet must be consulted well before your departure date. They will give your pet a full check up and advise you on any potential problems and can also assist you with questions or concerns that you may have. Make sure you have all the required documentation, from your Vet, for your required destination
Always take the temperatures into consideration. Your pet is going to be more comfortable if traveling during early mornings or late evenings in hot climates - extreme temperatures add to the stress level for animals.
Prepare your pet for its journey by reducing the quantity of food (not water) the day before flying. It is also a good idea to freeze water in the travel crates water dish. This will allow a great source of water for your pet during transit. Make sure to walk your dog before you go to the airport and before check in, which should be 1-2 hours before the flight.
Your animals travel crate must meet the airline's standards and be large enough for the pet to lie down comfortably turn around and stand freely in. Mark the crate with Live Animal- This side upӔ and include your name, address and telephone number. Dried food must be supplied and attached to the top of the container, in case there are any flight delays. Any medication that has/is used for your pet must also be recorded with the name of the drug, the time and directions of administration.
While you can make all the arrangements yourself, nothing is worse than having your pet impounded or lost because of an oversight or lack of knowledge. Make it a point to double-check all requirements and to follow up on each aspect of them.