Hey there! Enjoying this weather? I spent the last week in Phoenix and then a couple days in Los Angeles so I’d much rather be back in the 70F and sunny weather…
Please remember that if it is too cold for you outside, it is too cold for your pets! Make sure they have somewhere nice and warm they can retreat to or bring them inside. Animals get frostbite too.
Anyways, like I said, I’ve spent majority of the last 2 weeks traveling. It was a nice vacation though I was very busy while I was gone. I was very lucky to have my sister at my house to let my animals out and feed them. A lot of people don’t have that person though so they either board them or just bring them with them!
Never thought of traveling with your pet? Well, I did the thinking for you! Read all about the different modes of transportation and the requirements.
Traveling by plane is one of the most popular ways to get around with your pets. Unfortunately, traveling by plane can be really complicated, especially if you are going to another country.
When traveling between states, you will need an interstate health certificate. The most important information that these health certificates provide is your information, where/to who the pet is going, ID for the patient (name and microchip number) and updated vaccine information. During the winter and summer months, it is very important that these health certificates include an acclimation statements which states that your pet will be safe in the cargo hold or on the tarmac as long as it is above 20F and under 80F. This certificate will need to be filled out within 10 days before traveling and your dog must be healthy when the certificate is issued.
To return the state of origin, you will need a health certificate and your pet must still be up to date on the Rabies vaccine.
International travel is often more complicated. You will sometimes still need one of the above health certificates. You will also need whatever certification is required by the country you are flying into. You can find that information at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel . Most commonly, your pet will need to be updated on ALL vaccines, have had a heartworm, flea, and tick preventative within the last 30 days, and be overall healthy. Your veterinarian will confirm that all of that information is correct, then will sign any necessary forms. Most times, when you are flying out of the country, you may also need to visit the local consulate and have your application approved for travel.
When flying back into the country, you will need an updated Rabies certificate proving that your pet is still up to date.
Now your pet is ready to go on the plane but how are they traveling?
The most common way of travel is as a checked item in cargo. This means your pet will be under the plane in the cargo hold with luggage. They will not have someone in the hold watching them constantly but with short flights, this is typically not an issue. Make sure when checking your pet in that you provide them with a soft space to lay and water inside their kennel.
The next option is in the cabin with you. If your pet is a small dog in an airline approved carrier, they can ride in the cabin with you. They MUST stay in that carrier the entire flight. For information on airline approved carriers see below:
Delta Air Lines: Delta Pet Policy and Other Information
American Airlines: American Airlines Pet Travel Information and Policies
United Airlines: United Airlines Travel for Pets Information
JetBlue Airways: JetPaws Program
Southwest Airlines: Southwest Pet Policy and Pet Reservations
Spirit Airlines: Spirit Rules for Pets Onboard
Note that some airlines have restricted travel for brachycephalic breeds (French bulldogs, English bulldogs, Pugs, etc.)
Also, please remember that your dog should NEVER be placed in an overhead compartment. If the airline demands it, please do not use that airline.
If your pet is a service animal, they are typically allowed to travel with you. Every airline has different rules though. Some require the pet sit on the floor at your feet, others require that they be in a carrier, some require that they sit on your lap, obeying rules and commands. Make sure to check with your airline BEFORE flying on what type of proof you will need that your pet is a service animal. Most airlines will take verbal confirmation but that doesn’t mean that TSA will. For more information visit: https://www.servicedogregistration.org/benefits/flying-service-dog/\
Please note that the above rules are not necessarily the same if your pet is being sold or shipped for breeding!
Driving to another state is much easier then by plane. To be safe, we would recommend carrying with you a copy of your pets health records and an interstate health certificate, showing that they are up to date on vaccines. You may have no issues getting across state lines but if for some reason you are pulled over, they may ask for your pets information. Please remember that it is not safe to drive with your pet in your lap and in many states it is illegal.
Driving to another country can typically be simple as well. You will need an international health certificate to cross any borders. You will also need a rabies certificate to get back into the country.
To make sure that your pet is safe at all times when driving, we recommend a seatbelt harness or keeping your pet in a kennel. Make sure you bring water, food, treats, litter and litter boxes for cats, and a nice soft bed while you are traveling. Also, consider giving them a shirt of yours with your scent to help calm them.
Most bus lines do not accept animals. If your pet is a service animal, they may allow an exception.
Now that you have a little more information on how to travel with your pet, where are you and your fur child off to adventure to next?