Airline Approved Pet Carriers for a Hassle-Free Vacation

Posted on 06 February 2015

Your annual vacation is probably the most anticipated part of the year. However, leaving your dog behind as you travel the world or visit home can take a toll on your emotions. Stringent regulations across all modes of transportation on carrying your canine friend along with you when you travel, are cumbersome and often not worth the hassle.

Up until recently, pets were not allowed on most modes of long distance transportation due to inefficient carriers and a lack of universally applicable guidelines. Nonetheless, a few modifications in pet carrier designs have led to more relaxed conditions on carrying your pets along with you while you travel. The rule of thumb is that if your pet carrier is compatible with the specifications set by aviation authorities, you can use it across all other modes of transportation as well. Before you embark on planning a train or bus journey with your dog, it is a great idea to have a chat with the required transport authorities for a stress-free journey. With a little bit of research and our list of tips and tricks, taking your dog along with you on your vacation will be a breeze.

  1. If you intend to take your dog with you on a flight, then you must carry it in an airline approved pet carrier. These special carriers have a waterproof bottom, and close with a zipper. Do not use a carrier with a snap lock as closing the carrier will reduce air circulation inside, making it difficult for your pet to breathe. The carrier must also be leak proof and escape proof and must have separate bowls for food and water, attached securely inside so that your dog can be fed and watered without opening the carrier.
  2. Size matters! Measure your dog’s height, length and width to buy a carrier in the right size. The carrier must be spacious enough for your dog to walk and turn in.
  3. Pets weighing less than 15 pounds and shorter than 19 inches can travel with you in the flight cabin, albeit in their carriers and you may have to purchase an extra ticket, for the seat next to you. Larger pets must be checked in at the airport and will travel in the airplane’s cargo compartment. This can sometimes be a traumatic experience for a young dog, so take care and discuss the situation with flight authorities before travelling, to ensure a smoother journey for your beloved pet.

It is worth mentioning that not all dog breeds are allowed to be checked in, especially snub-nosed dogs. Consequently, keep in mind that while most airlines have standardized guidelines on pet carriers, they may choose to have different rules on travelling with pets. These may include fares, surcharges and breed restrictions among other things. Do take the time and effort to check the guidelines stipulated by the airline with which you wish to travel. The other point worth noting is that these rules are only applicable to travel within the U.S.A. and international travel rules may differ. This list is by no means a comprehensive guide, but consider it the starting point of your research. Visit airline websites and contact the respective authorities for further details that will apply specifically to your situation, and you can look forward to taking your pet with you on your vacation.

Have a look at our wide range of airline compliant pet carriers right here at www.essentialpaw.com.

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