It’s holiday time! Many of us choose to enjoy our leisure and holiday time with our pets rather than kennel them or hire a pet sitter. Of course, we know they enjoy this too! It is essential to plan ahead, for both car as well as airline travel, to avoid any issues. Here are some useful tips to consider when flying your pet.
Book your pets flight well in advance, as limited space is allocated for livestock on both local as well as international flights.
Flight costs are based on the size of the crate as well as the weight; the price is determined either by actual weight or volumetric weight, whichever is the highest.
Some airline travel companies rent crates to customers, for an additional fee. Alternatively you will need to purchase an IATA approved crate for the flight. This should be lined with paper and a “pee pad” and perhaps a lightweight blanket, to ensure a comfortable trip for your pet. Read more here: https://www.iata.org/en/programs/cargo/live-animals/pets
Do not include any treats, chewies or toys that might cause choking during the flight.
No airline will accept an animal if the vaccination record is not up to date; do ensure that this is done well in advance of the trip.
You will need to produce positive identification for both the check in as well as the collection process.
Try not to feed your pet just prior to a flight. Fresh water should be made available at all times, and the airline should top the water up, prior to the pet being collected for boarding.
Check in times for pets travelling locally is a minimum of 2 hours prior to the flight departure time; this is generally a non- negotiable with the airline.
Sedation of animals except under certain conditions and carried out under veterinary guidance is not recommended. The combination of altitude and drugs is potentially fatal in old, chronically sick or stressed animals.
Once you have received your pet, ensure that fresh water is offered and perhaps a quick walk on a leash, and you are then all set to enjoy your holiday with your best friend!