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Tips for a Safe Flight with Your Pet

Tips for a Safe Flight with Your Pet

Andrew McMennamy

Flying with your pet can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Whether you're a pet owner planning to travel by air with your pet for the first time or looking for ways to improve the travel experience for your furry companion, this guide is for you. Travelling with pets requires extra preparation and care, but with the right tips, you can make the journey safe and comfortable for both you and your beloved pet.

Flying with your pet can be stressful, but remember that millions of pets travel safely each year in the United States. While accidents do happen, most pets arrive safely at their destinations. Your pet's safety depends on the precautions you take. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a smooth journey with your furry friend.

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-Flight Preparations: Visit the vet, ensure vaccinations, and update microchipping and ID tags.
  • Booking the Flight: Research airline policies, choose non-stop flights, and decide between cabin and cargo travel.
  • Packing Essentials: Pack a comfortable carrier, food, water, comfort items, and health documents.
  • Day of Travel: Exercise and feed your pet properly, arrive early, understand security screening, and help your pet settle in.
  • During the Flight: Stay calm, check on your pet, and know how to handle emergencies.
  • Post-Flight Tips: Reunite calmly, monitor pet health, and help your pet settle into the new environment.
  • GPS Tracker: Tracki GPS Tracker provides real-time location updates, global coverage, and geofencing alerts for added security.

1. Pre-Flight Preparations

You need to know the Pre-Flight Preparations if you think to travel with your lovely pet. Consider these points:

You need to know Pre-Flight Preparations if you think of travelling with your lovely pet.

Visit the Vet
Before flying with your pet, a visit to the vet is crucial. The vet will check your pet's overall health and make sure they are fit to travel. This helps to prevent any health issues that could arise during the flight.

Vaccinations and Health Certificates
Your pet needs to be up to date with all their vaccinations. Some airlines and destinations require proof of vaccination, so it’s important to get a health certificate from your vet. This certificate confirms that your pet is healthy and vaccinated, which is necessary for travelling.

Microchipping and ID Tags
Microchipping and ID tags are essential for your pet's safety when travelling. A microchip, inserted by a vet under your pet's skin, contains a unique ID number that can be scanned to access your contact information, greatly increasing the chances of being reunited if your pet gets lost.

Additionally, make sure your pet wears a collar with ID tags that include your pet’s name, your name, and your current phone number. This visible form of identification allows anyone who finds your pet to contact you quickly. Keeping your contact information updated on both the microchip and ID tags provides the best protection for your pet while travelling.

Familiarization with the Carrier
Getting your pet comfortable with their travel carrier is essential. Start by placing the carrier in your home and encouraging your pet to explore it. Put their favourite blanket or toy inside to make it more inviting. Gradually, have your pet spend more time in the carrier so they feel safe and secure during the flight.

Avoid Giving Your Pet a Tranquillizer or Sedative
Don’t give your pet a tranquillizer or sedative before a flight. These medications can interfere with your pet’s ability to control their body temperature, especially at high altitudes. If you’re worried your pet might feel anxious during the trip, consider using natural treatments instead. Treats, CBD oil, calming oils, and other natural remedies can help calm your pet and make them feel more relaxed.

2. Booking the Flight

Airline Policies
Before booking your flight, it’s important to research and understand the airline’s pet travel policies and restrictions. Each airline has different rules about the size and type of pets allowed, the kind of carriers permitted, and any additional fees. Make sure you check these policies thoroughly to ensure your pet meets all the requirements.

Choosing the Right Flight
When booking your flight, opt for non-stop flights whenever possible. Non-stop flights reduce the total travel time and minimize stress for your pet. Layovers can be particularly stressful and confusing for pets, so a direct flight is the best choice to ensure a smoother journey.

Cabin vs. Cargo
Deciding whether your pet will travel in the cabin or as cargo is an important step.
  • Cabin: If your pet is small enough, most airlines allow them to travel in the cabin with you. This can be less stressful for both you and your pet since you'll be together during the flight. However, there are size and weight limits for pets travelling in the cabin.
  • Cargo: Larger pets usually have to travel in the cargo hold. While this can be more stressful, airlines take special care of pets in cargo, and they travel in a climate-controlled area. Be sure to check the specific conditions and procedures for pets travelling as cargo to ensure their safety.

3. The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines

Travelling with pets can be stressful, but booking with a pet-friendly airline can make the experience much smoother. Here are some of the most pet-friendly airlines:

American Airlines
American Airlines, the biggest airline in the world, is also very pet friendly. On shorter flights, pets can fly in the cabin if they are in a small carrier. For longer flights, pets must travel as cargo for their safety and comfort.

JetBlue offers the JetPaws program, which includes 300 TrueBlue points, a pet carrier bag, and tips for travelling with pets. This program provides great perks for pet owners, making JetBlue a popular choice.

Air Canada
Air Canada allows pets to travel in the cabin if they are in a secure carrier and you arrive 30 minutes before departure. Larger dogs must travel as cargo to ensure their safety.

Delta Airlines
Delta allows small pets in the cabin and larger pets in the cargo. Unique to Delta, they also allow household birds to travel with their owners.

Air India
Air India requires pets to be in a proper crate with the necessary documents and vaccinations. Pets cannot fly in the cabin, and additional fees apply. Despite these restrictions, Air India is known for accommodating the needs of pets and ensuring their comfort and safety.

4. Packing Essentials for Pet

Travel Carrier
Choose an airline-approved travel carrier that is comfortable and secure for your pet. Make sure it has enough space for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down.

Food and Water
Pack enough food and water for the entire journey. Bring collapsible bowls for easy feeding and watering during travel.

Comfort Items
Bring your pet’s favourite toys or a blanket to help reduce anxiety. Familiar items can make the journey more comfortable for your furry friend.

Health and Safety Items
Pack a first-aid kit and any necessary medications for your pet. Also, bring copies of health documents, including vaccination records and the health certificate from your vet.

5. Day of Travel

Exercise and Feeding
Ensure your pet gets enough exercise before the flight to help them relax. Feed them a light meal a few hours before departure to avoid discomfort during the flight.

Arrival at the Airport
Arrive early to allow plenty of time for security checks. This also helps your pet get used to the new environment and reduces stress.

Security Screening
Know the pet security screening process. Typically, you'll carry your pet through the metal detector while the carrier goes through the X-ray machine. Keep a leash handy and stay calm to make the process smoother.

Boarding and Settling In
When boarding, help your pet settle into their carrier. Speak to them in a calm voice and ensure they are comfortable. This will help keep them relaxed during the flight.

6. During the Flight: What to Do

Staying Calm
Stay calm to help your pet feel relaxed. Your demeanour can greatly influence their stress levels.

In-Cabin Care
If your pet is in the cabin, check on them periodically to ensure they are comfortable. Speak softly to reassure them.

Handling Emergencies
If your pet shows signs of distress, inform the flight attendants immediately. Follow their instructions and try to comfort your pet as best as you can.

7. Post-Flight Tips: After Arrival

Reuniting with Your Pet
When reuniting with your pet after the flight, greet them calmly and check their condition. Ensure they are safe and comfortable.

Monitoring Health
Keep an eye on your pet’s health and behaviour. Watch for any signs of travel-related stress or illness and consult a vet if needed.

Settling in New Environment
Help your pet adjust to the new environment. Provide familiar items like their favourite toys or blankets and give them time to relax and explore their new surroundings.

8. Why a GPS Tracker is Essential for Pet Air Travel

Travelling by flight with your pet can be stressful, but setting up a GPS tracker can provide peace of mind and added security. One reliable option is the Tracki Pet GPS Tracker. Here's how it can protect your pet during a flight and how to set it up.

Why Use a GPS Tracker?
A GPS tracker helps you keep track of your pet’s location in real time. This is especially useful during air travel, where pets can sometimes be misplaced or experience unexpected detours. Knowing exactly where your pet is can help you react quickly in case of any issues.

Tracki Pet GPS TRacker

Benefits of Tracki GPS Tracker During Flight with Your Lovely Pets

  • Real-Time Tracking: Tracki offers real-time location updates, so you always know where your pet is in the cabin or cargo hold, even targeted by pet thieves.
  • Global Coverage: Tracki works in over 190 countries, making it ideal for international travel.
  • Small and Lightweight: The compact design ensures that the tracker is comfortable for your pet to wear without adding extra weight.
  • Geofencing Alerts: Set up safe zones and receive instant alerts if your pet leaves these areas.
  • Long Battery Life: Tracki’s battery can last several days on a single charge, ensuring continuous monitoring throughout your journey.


Flying with your pet can be a positive experience with the right preparation and care. By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for your furry friend. Remember to visit the vet for a health check, update vaccinations, and secure identification through microchipping and ID tags. Familiarize your pet with the carrier and avoid sedatives. Choose pet-friendly airlines, pack essentials like food, water, and comfort items, and stay calm during the flight.

Also using Tracki GPS Tracker offers peace of mind by providing real-time location updates and geofencing alerts, helping you keep your pet safe throughout the flight. With careful planning, you and your pet can have a safe and enjoyable trip. Safe travels!

Author information:
Andrew McMennamy

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