Follow these steps to keep your pet safe while you're on a plane.
Step 1: Contact the airline Contact the airline directly to make arrangements for your pet. Airlines often restrict the number of pets that can be on a single flight.
TIP: Book a flight in the morning or evening when the weather is cooler, and avoid travel during busy times like holidays and weekends to avoid long delays.
Step 2: Learn the airline's procedure Learn about any specific rules or regulations from the airline. Check to see if they allow small pets in the cabin.
Step 3: Get current health certificates and vaccination records Get copies of current health certificates and vaccination records from your veterinarian. Keep one copy with you, and one secured to your pet's crate.
TIP: Don't sedate your dog unless your veterinarian tells you to. Pets will be better able to regulate their body temperature if they’re awake.
Step 4: Buy a pet crate Buy a heavy-duty, USDA-approved pet crate. Add large labels indicating the contents and your contact information.
Step 5: Put a cushion in the crate Put a towel, an old shirt, or other cushion in the bottom of the pet's crate to keep them comfortable during the trip.
TIP: Avoid feeding your pet for three to four hours before flying to limit the chance of motion sickness.
Step 6: Follow airline regulations Follow your airline's regulations regarding boarding your pet.
Step 7: Pick up your pet Pick up your pet at the baggage claim area. Take them outside for a bathroom break, and give them a little treat for being a good traveler.
FACT: The smallest dog ever was a Yorkshire Terrier. He weighed only 4 ounces and measured 3½ inches from the tip of his nose to his tail.