Millions of people from all countries around the world are pet owners in today’s society. Understanding the vast number of pet owners in addition to the millions who don’t want to leave their pet at home, many destinations now cater to both you and your furry friend.
Traveling in the United States with your pet requires some preparation especially if you plan on flying, however, as pet friendly as the U.S. has become in recent years, it is still not easy to travel with pets abroad. In fact, many countries have very strict regulations relating to pets coming into their country. For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on traveling in the U.S. with your pet. If you would like more information on traveling abroad with your pet, you need to check with the consulate at your destination to learn whether or not it is even allowed.
Booking Your Pets’ Ticket
So you have decided to bring your pet with you on your journey. You have already found pet friendly accommodations and are visiting areas which allow you to bring your pet with you when you are vacationing, leaving only one thing left to do, book your pets’ flight. This begins when you actually call the airline or book your pet online. You are not assured a spot even if your pet meets the restrictions associated with breed, shots and size. Most airplanes only allow a certain number of pets on the flight if traveling in the cabin with you. Usually around 3 to 7 per flight, depending on the size of your plane. If you are checking your pet, the fee is usually higher and you must ensure you pet has the proper paperwork however, the number of pets is not restricted this way.
Once you have booked your pet flight, you will most likely not be required to pay until you arrive with your pet, however, since numbers are limited if you are carrying on your pet, be sure to do so early. If you are checking your pet, you will not need reservations, however, you will need to make sure that you have all the correct paperwork and that your pet is acceptable for travel.
- Some dog breeds are not accepted on a plane no matter if they are checked or carryon, check with your airline.
- As a carryon, your pet must weigh no more than around 20 pounds and must also fit correctly in a carrier of the correct dimensions. This is also something that varies from carrier to carrier.
- The cost for bringing your pet varies by airline not by type, again check with your carrier.
- You may not remove your pet from the carrier at all during the flight.
- You are NEVER assured a flight for your pet if you carry on. If the airline does not believe that your pet fits well in the carrier or if the carrier is not right or even if you arrive to late, your pet may be required to be checked or not allowed at all.
Other important things to note include:
- Flights are usually restricted to the contiguous 48 when dealing with pets. There are more specific rules relating to Hawaii and Alaska
- You may be required to have a health certificate if checked baggage.
- High temperatures may make you unable to check your pet as there are daytime temperature restrictions.
- You must check in at the ticket counter.
- Make sure you allow for extra time.
- You must have food and water dishes, and paperwork as to the pets health.
Have you ever had to travel by plane with your pet? We welcome your comments on this subject. Share your experiences with others and help them make their next trip easier.
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