Tips for your carry-on canine
As a new pet owner, I’ve never traveled by air with a dog. My puppy is a yorkie, topping the scales at 4.5 pounds. To some, traveling with small pets is second-nature; to a beginner it’s a whole new world.
Of course, you should always make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. And, traveling with a favorite toy or blanket is always a good idea.
What NOT to do
Do NOT send your pet through the x-ray at airport security. Remove your sweet pet from her carrier. Place the carrier on the belt and send it through x-ray. You and your pet then walk through screening together.
As pet owners, we tend to worry about our pets when we fly. Small pets fit easily under the seat in front of you (not in an exit-row or at the bulkhead, thank you). You’ll be surprised at how easily they travel. In fact, you’ll be more stressed about them than they are.
Look for family-style restrooms at airports
Most airports have family restrooms. They’re perfect for you and your small pet. These restrooms typically consist of a large counter space for diaper changing. If your pet is small enough, place her pad on this counter.
Do not allow your pet to relieve himself near the air traffic control tower
You’ll be ambushed by security. Best thing to do is to research your airports online to learn where pet-friendly areas are (Tampa International, for example, has a lovely grassy area that’s perfect for pets).
Easy does it
Don’t feed your pet just prior to boarding to ward-off potential air sickness issues. A lite meal approximately two hours pre-flight is generally recommended.
Home sweet home
Allow your pet enough time to get adjusted to their travel carrier before your trip.
Always check with the country your pet is going to because each country has their own set of rules. Some of those rules are simple; some are more complex. Consider contacting that country’s consulate or embassy for information.
- Foreign Consular Offices in the United States (US Department of State website).
- Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (UK)
- Movement of Pets (Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) – Non-Commercial Movement within the EU
Do you have any small-pet travel tips to share? Please leave a comment – we’d love to hear from you.