Flying with pets is often necessary (when you're permanently moving overseas, for example), and though the process can initially seem overwhelming, in reality it's not as scary or as difficult as you may have heard.
Thinking of shipping your pet? Want to minimize the risks and plan for success? Here are our top tips for managing safe and streamlined pet air travel.
1. Crate Train Your Pet
This is something often overlooked and under emphasized, but here at PetRelocation we consider crate training to be one of the most important parts of carrying out a safe move. Helping pets get used to (and even like) their travel kennel means setting them up for an easier and less stressful flight. Need a few more details? Here are our tips for crate training your dog and crate training your cat.
2. Research Your Options
Before booking your pet's flight, take some time to research all options available to make sure you're doing what is best for your pet. Will your airline use temperature controlled vehicles to bring your pet from the check-in area to the plane? Is a direct flight really better than having layover? Learn about the airlines and what they offer, consult with other pet travelers if you can, and consider hiring the assistance of experienced pet shipping experts if you're feeling overwhelmed.
3. Assess Your Pet's Health
Discussing your pet's health with your vet is another highly important piece of the pet shipping process. Have an older pet? Request a geriatric exam. Have questions or concerns? Bring them to your vet and make time for an honest conversation about whether or not your pet is truly ready to fly. And remember: Sedation is never a good idea (as mentioned above, crate training is the best way to help pets feel calm and safe during their flights).
4. Have a Back Up Plan
Sometimes problems arise when pets are bumped from a flight, sometimes a paperwork error causes a last minute delay, and sometimes bad weather strikes. Dealing with your own travel plans makes managing these unexpected events much more challenging, so it's important to have a contingency plan in place when you can.
Whether this means having a friend on call or keeping a set of emergency phone numbers on hand (the cargo office in the layover city, a USDA accredited vet, etc.), it's better to be over prepared. As you may know, the reason many people ultimately decide to hire professional pet shipping assistance is the peace of mind that goes with knowing your pet will be taken care of in the event of an unexpected change of plans, so if you're already busy managing your own move, keep this option open.
Making a permanent or long term move shouldn't have to mean leaving your pet behind. Here's wishing everyone safe travels and happy reunions!
Need further assistance? Contact our team of experts to discuss your safe pet air travel options.