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Last Updated On: 5/7/2011

If you’re one of those people who absolutely cannot part with their furry companions when on vacation and, in some extreme cases, even business trips, or if you’re shifting your base and absolutely have to transport all your family to your new home, then you must really acquaint yourself with at least the basics of travelling with pets. Although pet travel has become less inconvenient over the tears, it is still a tiring and daunting process for those who are dealing with it for the first time.

The first thing to keep in mind is that bringing a pet on a flight is expensive. Northwest, for instance, charges $160 (round trip) for pets that can travel in-cabin, and $718 for larger animals that can only fit in cargo. JetBlue, which earlier charged $75 for a one way cabin space, now charges $100. Moreover, not all airlines (such as Sothwest) allow pets. And while some will allow you to bring them along with you in the cabin, others will only permit you to ship them as cargo. Of course, as with every “luggage”, weight and size restrictions also come into play. And there is a limit as to the number of pets you can bring on-board. Airlines also have temperature restrictions and refuse to carry animals to destinations with extreme climatic conditions. Some breeds, especially those with short snouts, are simply not allowed on flights since they can’t withstand the atmospheric changes, however insignificant for a human, that go on inside a plane. It is, therefore, always advisable that you check your airline’s policies beforehand to determine if your pet’s “specifications” and the airline’s rules match. 

Pets have a variety of behaviours and, since they are living creatures, a variety of problems. So it is also recommended to determine with a vet if your pet can even travel in a cramped space in an airline for hours on end. Also, if your pet is extremely active or “vocal”, it will be a problem for the passengers and your airline won’t allow it. Good behaviour is a must. So be prepared to discipline your pet if it seems to go out of control while flying. Furthermore, the animal must be in good health and you must carry all the necessary documents to prove it to the airlines.

All in all, while the whole idea of flying with your darling fur-ball might seem daunting at first, it is obviously not impossibly difficult. Just prepare yourself and your pet a little in advance for D-day and everything will hopefully come out fine.

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