Fido’s a sweet, loyal pup. You’ve adopted him and he’s adopted you. It’s a match made in heaven. Of course he’s taking the final PCS journey with you. But there might be a few things you should know about air travel with your pet before you take off.
If your pet will be flying in cargo, the time of year matters a great deal, not only to you but also to many airlines. Since your pet will experience normal cargo loading/unloading procedures, they will experience some exposure to the elements. Many airlines have restrictions on when they will accept pets in cargo based on extreme temperatures. Some airlines block out certain months, others focus on the expected temperatures at both the initial and final destination.
Airline travel is stressful for anyone, but it also takes its toll on pets. Many airlines require a health certificate for your pet to travel at all. This will require a visit to the veterinarian, who can provide you with the proper paperwork. It’s a good idea to have Fido looked over by a veterinarian just the same to make sure he doesn’t have any underlying issues that might be exacerbated by flight. Also, keep your pet’s temperament in mind. As their owner, you know them the best. There are situations where you may want to look into alternate forms of travel for Fido. Some breeds, usually dogs and cats that are snub-nosed, are not permitted to fly in cargo.
Don’t skimp out on the kennel, especially for the long flights. Get your pet a kennel size that allows them ample room to stand and lay comfortably. Look for kennels that are approved for air travel; use of wire kennels are often restricted since it exposes your furry traveler a bit too much. Remember, if your pet is flying in cargo they will be stacked with suitcases and other cargo items. If anything shifts during flight you want them to have protection from a jostle. Invest in spill-proof food and water containers for the kennel and add something of comfort such as a blanket or a towel. However, be ready for a mess at pick-up since nervous animals often lose control of their waste.
4. Country and State Requirements
If your travel will take you between different countries, you will most certainly face many requirements concerning pet travel. Even though you are a military member, these will apply to you as well. Do some research on the countries you will be traveling from and/or to. Their websites often provide information on their requirements. If you are traveling to/from Hawaii, be aware there are special requirements regardless if you are only traveling within the U.S. This is the case especially for animals coming to Hawaii who may be subject to an extensive quarantine period if you don’t plan accordingly.
If you aren’t clear about the requirements at any point of your research, be sure to contact the organization in question. Airlines are especially ready to clarify their policies if needed.
Here are just a few resources to assist you with the process: