Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fly A Dog Safely In An Airplane'S Cargo Section

A sturdy travel crate is essential for pets on an airplane.

If your only option is to transport your dog by plane and he is too large to fit under your seat, the only other alternative is the plane's pressurized, temperature-controlled cargo compartment. Although it will likely be stressful for both you and your dog, the following are some important measures to take to help ensure he arrives at his destination as safely and as comfortably as possible.


1. Take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup within 10 days of departure. Make sure that all vaccinations are current and obtain a health certificate to provide the airline.

2. Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around. Also, test to see if the crate is sturdy enough and the door closes securely. These can be purchased at many pet supply stores and airlines.

3. Line the bottom of the crate with a type of bedding that will absorb accidents. Securely fasten at least one food cup and one water cup to the crate (avoid snap-on ones that have a tendency to come off). Make sure to include your dog's favorite toy.

4. Write the words "Live Animal" in large visible letters on top and every side of the crate, and draw easy to read arrows to indicate the upright position of the crate. Also include your name, address, phone number, your dog's name, destination, and whether or not you will be on the flight (if not, specify who will be picking your pet up). Attach a current photo of your dog to the top of the crate as well, and keep one in your wallet in case your dog escapes.

5. The night before the flight, freeze a small bowl of water to put in the crate (so it won't spill during loading and will melt by the time your dog is thirsty). Also, tape a clear bag of dry food outside the crate, so that airline personnel will be able to feed your dog if it's a long-distance flight, layover or in case of a delay.

6. Check with the airline in advance as to where and when your dog can be picked up once the flight arrives.

7. Make sure your pet is wearing a secure collar with an updated ID tag, and also include destination information. Make sure the collar isn't too tight.

8. When you check your dog in, be sure the door of the crate is unlocked so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency.

9. Alert as many airline employees as possible at the terminal and on the plane that your dog is traveling in the cargo hold. Most will appreciate you telling them and be happy to keep an eye out.

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