Four Tips for Flying with Your Pet


Summer travel season is heating up and shares some tips on how to make flying with your pet safer and easier for everyone.

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2015 — As the summer travel season heats up, you might be planning a trip with your family—including Fluffy. Over two million pets and other live animals are transported by air every year in the United States. If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to meet the animal health requirements of the country you’re visiting. Before getting on the plane, these tips from will help make traveling with your pet safe and enjoyable.

  • Ask your airline about requirements for and restrictions on traveling with a pet. Check with your airline to find out if they allow pets in the passenger cabin. If you can’t bring your furry friend on your flight as checked or carry-on baggage, you might be able to ship your pet as cargo. Also, you’ll likely have to provide a certificate from a veterinarian stating that your pet is in good health. However, airlines may not require health certificates for service animals used by people with disabilities.
  • Make sure you bring an approved kennel. The kennel for a carry-on pet must fit under the seat in front of you, and your airline will likely require your pet to stay in the kennel during the flight and in the airport. You’ll want to de-clutter your pet’s kennel before you get to the airport, in case TSA agents need to do a physical inspection of your pet’s carrier.
  • Carry a leash. Whether you need to walk Fido through a metal detector, or carry him through, bringing a leash can help keep your animal under control in the busy airport environment.
  • Consider your pet’s comfort. Traveling, particularly loading and unloading, can be stressful for an animal, so you should consider your pet’s comfort. Try feeding your pet a light meal two hours before getting to the airport. Walk your pet before leaving for the airport, and again before checking in. While you should leave the sedatives at home, if you’re thinking about giving your pet something to help it sleep easier on the trip, always check with your veterinarian first.

To learn more about travel, see and, the U.S. Government’s official websites in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).


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