Taking your pet with you for a vacation can be an exciting experience. But before you reach your destination, it usually involves a long, difficult and stressful process, especially if you have to travel by plane. The thing is that animals get easily stressed especially when they’re at a new environment. Additionally, tragedies such as this have raised questions about whether or not is it safe to travel with pets by air.

Good thing, more and more airlines are allowing pets on board, as long as you comply to a few rules.

If this is the first time that you’re traveling with your furry companion by plane, here are some important tips to make your journey safe, smooth and worry-free.

Make sure your pet is fit enough to travel.

According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there could be specific health requirements for animals, depending on where your travel destination is. Countries have varying requirements so make sure to check them out before you book a flight. Even if you’re only travelling to a different state, your pet may also need to meet additional health requirements. Set an appointment with your vet to find out whether your pet is fit enough to travel. He may need to undergo some tests and get vaccinated.

Choose the most pet-friendly airline.

Take note that some airlines do not allow pets to enter the passenger cabin, only in the cargo hold. Only service animals are allowed on all U.S. airlines to fly with their owners in the cabin. They also don’t need health certificates and need not be put in a cage. Before booking a flight, ask the airline if they allow pets in the cabin. Some airlines allow small dogs and cats to be taken into the cabin as long as they are in special carriers and put under the seat. Contrary to popular belief, it is generally safe for animals to stay in the cargo hold because it is more quiet, darker and calmer in there, and animals are kept in pressurized compartment separate from the luggage.

Prepare him for travel.

If your pet will be staying inside a kennel throughout the flight, let him be familiar with it a few weeks prior your departure. Take note that taking your pet from its natural environment can be very stressful for him. The day before your flight, reduce the amount of food and water that you give him. A light meal two hours before the flight will keep your furry friend feeling calm, and is a legal requirement across United States. You must also consider the best time to travel with your pet. You don’t want your pet to be traveling during extreme weather conditions. Otherwise, it could greatly affect his health.

Ensure your pet’s comfort.

Traveling with your pet is like traveling with a baby. You, as the parent, has the role to make him feel comfortable throughout your journey. Whenever possible, avoid connecting flights. Loading and unloading are very stressful for animals. Walk your pet before and after checking-in so he becomes a little more comfortable in the new environment. Weeks or months in advance, make him more familiar with signs, sights and sounds he has probably never encountered yet. For example, you can take him where there are loud noises and confusion. Unfortunately, you can’t give his favorite toy while he’s on board as loose objects, even a soft toy, can become hazards. Save it upon your arrival.

Don’t forget the paperwork.

Make sure you have all the required documents and paperwork concerning your pet when traveling internationally. Pet immigration laws differ from one country to another, but a great way to lessen the hassle is to create a “pet passport” which is basically a record of all information related to a specific animal. It also includes his health records like certification of rabies vaccination, blood tests, worm tests, etc. The use of pet passports began after the UK introduced the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). This system is now adopted by many countries. Completing all the necessary documents for your pet can be costly (not to mention the staggering plane ticket prices). It is important to include all these to your travel budget. A cash advance online is a good resource when you find yourself falling short on funds.

Instead of leaving him in a pet boarding facility, why not take your most loved furry friend with you on your next trip? After all, traveling with your pet can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s a perfect time to build wonderful memories together!

When you finally get the chance to take a well-deserved holiday with your pet, you need to start planning in advance. His health and safety should always be your priority. Hopefully, with these tips, the whole process will be easier for you.

Author’s Bio:

Lidia D. Staron, is a passionate creative writer and marketing manager at OpenLoans.com. Studying as a financial advisor and certified financial planner she is sure that life is full of major events and crossroads. Be ready to go through the important financial implications and avoid common mistake.

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