Airline Travel Tips for Pets

If you're planning an airplane trip with your pet, keep in mind that some airlines don't allow animals at all, while some only allow pets to travel during certain months, especially if your pet must travel in the cargo container of the plane. These rules are in place for your pet's safety. In the hottest or coldest months of the year, the cargo hold could be a deadly place for living things.

If you have a very small dog or a cat, some airlines will allow you to bring him or her onboard with you to be stowed under your seat in a special soft-sided carrier. Most airlines only allow a few pets onboard at a time, though, so reserve well in advance.

Although air travel for pets is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the International Air Transport Association, each airline also has its own rules and regulations to follow. Most will not allow pets that are under eight weeks of age to travel, vicious pets or sick pets. Check with your airline to learn its pet travel policies.

Remember, airline travel for pets is never 100 percent safe, especially for those that are checked as baggage. Many animal welfare organizations, including the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States recommend you don't fly with your pet on a commercial airline flight unless he or she is small enough to accompany you onboard.

If you must fly and place your pet in the cargo hold, consider the following 10 tips to make your pet's trip is as safe as possible


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