Pets in the Air

Jasper laying in Daphne´s carrierPutting your pet on an airplane with you is sometimes the only option you have when you are traveling. It might be more convenient, but it also might be more stressful for you and your pet. Over the past holiday, two of Canada’s largest airlines had blackout periods for larger pets up to 99 pounds who would have to travel in the cargo hold. It’s important to plan ahead when you are traveling with your pet so the trip is drama free. If you are already making travel arrangements for the new year, there are some things you should consider.

First, you should know your pet’s weight. Usually pets up to 22 pounds can travel on the plane with you, because they can fit under the seat. Larger pets up to 99 pounds usually have to travel underneath the plane, so they have to be checked with your baggage. If your pet will have to be checked, consider scheduling a visit to your veterinarian prior to the trip to find out about tranquilizers. Also make sure that you have a fitted ID collar on your pet as well as a label with your contact information on the carrier.

To reduce the risk of your pet becoming lost or experiencing injury or death, you can use direct flights. When you check your pet, request that your pet be put on the same plane as you. You can also try to avoid traveling during hectic traveling periods such as the holidays. Carrying a current photograph of your pet might help airline employees search for your pet too. As soon as you arrive at your destination, you should check your pet to make sure it has had a safe travel.

If your pet is small enough to fly in the cabin with you, some airlines such as JetBlue have extra rewards for pets that fly. Recently, JetBlue launched its JetPaws in-cabin pet program. Pet owners who fly with them will receive two bonus award points for each flight they travel with their pet. The airline also offers a pet carrier and travel kit that pet owners can purchase. The travel kit includes a pet blanket, rubber bone and dish.

Traveling on an airplane with your pet is risky, especially if they have to ride with the cargo. You can never be sure if they have enough oxygen or if they are too hot or too cold. However, when you have to fly with your pet, you should take all of the precautions to protect your animal and make the flight as safe as possible.

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