We've traveled around the world with our pets. In fact our pets have flown more air miles than many people. But it is important to understand the right way to fly with your pets. Here are some of tips we've learned over time:
Check with your vet
Ask your vet if it OK to fly with your pets. Your pets may have illnesses, conditions, or be of an age which might making flying unsafe. Also certain types of dogs are prone to problems with flying. Check and make sure all of your vaccinations are current - some airlines will required documentation from your vet.
Avoid layovers or connecting flights
Air flights are taxing on pets due to increased stress, changes in pressure, fear of flying, lack of ready access to food & water, or the inability to relieve themselves. Direct flights, especially red-eye flights, help to minimize some of these problems. When we fly overseas, we spend the night in a pet friendly hotel if there is a connecting city to allow the dogs to adjust. If you do this, verify with the airline in advance that you won't be charged an additional pet fee.
Consider getting pet tracking device
When pets are in an unfamiliar place, they are more likely to bolt out of fear. Pet tracking devices can help you find your pets if they wander or take off. If you are checking your pet in the baggage compartment, some trackers can help you locate where you pet is if they are inadvertently missed placed by the airline. You'll find various types of trackers at the Dog Clinic. At a minimum these devices can give YOU a little more piece of mind that your pets are safe.
Check for international pet passport requirements
If you are traveling overseas with your pets, make sure to check for foreign regulations regarding bring pets into that country. Most countries will require that your pet be micro chipped. In addition, you will likely have to get a certificate from your vet. These international health certificates require original ink signatures from the issuing USDA Accredited Veterinarian and the endorsing APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer with the application of the APHIS embossed seal. These documents will be presented as you enter the country.
Get an approved pet carrier.
You'll probably be required by the airline to used an approved pet carrier. Check our the airline requirements below.
Know your airline's pet policies
AeroMexico | Air Canada | Air France | Air New Zealand | Air Tahiti Nui | Alitalia | All Nippon | American | Asiana | Austrian Air | Avianca | British Airways | Brussels | Cathay Pacific | Condor | Copa | Delta | Egyptair | Emirates | El Al | Eva Air | Iberia | Icelandair | Japan Airlines | Jet Airways | KLM Airlines | Lan Chile | Lot Polish | Lufthansa | Norwegian Air | Philippine Airlines | Qantas | Qatar | SAS | South African | Swiss | TAM | Thai Airways | Turkish Airlines | United | Virgin Australia | Virgin Atlantic
We have two small dogs and when we travel, we usually put them up in a dog resort where they are watched by professionally trained staff with a veterinarian on 24 hour call. It is pricey, but we feel that our "children" will be well cared for, so that we can relax and enjoy our vacation without worrying about them. But there have been times when we have taken the dogs with us, and then we face the challenge of finding a nice hotel that will accept dogs
Our favorite website to find hotels that accept dogs is 1ClickPetHotels.com.
There you select hotels by state and then from a list of major cities. The site displays the cost/fees to bring a pet as well as whether there is a maximum weight allowed. From the site you can click to a page about the hotel, see its rating & comments, plus there is a link to check availability and make a reservation.
1ClickPetHotels does not have not have foreign hotels listed. So we use DogFriendly.com to check for dog friendly hotels around the world,
as well as a second resource for US hotels. This site also displays the cost per dog/cat as well as any size limitations. BUT, it is also a good resource for other travel
issues related to pets including airline policies on pets, quarantine issues by country, and more. However, verify any information that is important to you because some of the information appears to be out-dated.
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