Ask your vet
for a reference for a practitioner in the new city. Have
all of their health documents in one convenient place. You'll need to pack
"suitcase" for your pet.
Usually, the certificate must be issued within ten days of the plane
appointment & have your pet examined by your veterinarian;
collect pet records.
should be booked four weeks ahead of departure for domestic moves
and six to eight weeks prior to international flights. Check the
airline regulations. Some airlines have additional and more stringent
requirements for international travel. These rules may require additional
ventilation and labeling, and a shipper's certification.
In the summer, choose early
morning or evening flights to avoid extremely hot temperatures. In the
winter, choose daytime flights to avoid extremely cold temperatures. Try
to book a nonstop flight for your pet to avoid accidental transfers or
delays. Don't travel during heavy traffic times such as weekends or
Get your pet
acquainted with the kennel by keeping the kennel in the house with the
kennel door open. Try to get your pet to sleep in the kennel or eat
there prior to the trip.
In order to travel in the plane's cargo hold, your pet must travel in a
kennel that meets the following requirements (most pet stores and
airlines sell kennels that meet these requirements):
Kennel Size and Strength. The kennel
must be big enough for your pet to stand, sit and lie in a natural
position. The kennel must be easy for airline personnel to open (latch the
kennel door, but do not lock it!) in case of an emergency, and it must be
strong enough to withstand the rigors of transportation. Make sure that
the kennel is free of any objects that might injure your pet during the
loading process or in flight.
Kennel Floor. Your pet's kennel must
have a solid leakproof floor. Although the regulations allow for wire or
other types of ventilated subfloors, they prohibit pegboard floors. Be
sure to cover the kennel's floor with litter or some other absorbent
Kennel Ventilation. Obviously, your
animal must be able to breathe freely and comfortably during the flight.
Therefore, the regulations are quite specific as to how much ventilation
your pet's kennel must provide. The ventilation openings must take up at
least 14% of the total wall space of the kennel. At least one-third of the
openings much be located in the top half of the kennel. The kennel must
have rims -- usually on the sides -- to prevent the ventilation openings
from being blocked by other cargo. These rims must provide for at least
three-quarters of an inch clearance.
Grips. There must be grips or
handles on the kennel so that airline personnel can lift the kennel
without having to place their fingers inside the kennel, where they might
get bitten by an anxious and frightened pet.
Markings. Your pet's kennel must be
marked so that airline personnel know that it contains a live animal.
Writing the words "live animals" or "wild animals" on
the top and one side of the kennel will do the trick. The lettering must
be at least one inch high. Also, draw directional arrows on the kennel to
show which side is up. Although the law does not require you to put your
name, address and phone number on the kennel, it is a good idea to do so.
You should also put the address of your travel destination if it is
different from your home address.
Make sure your pet's toenails are
clipped. You don't want them to get hooked on the carrier door or
Take a photograph of your pet. You
will want to have a current photograph with you in case airline personnel
lose your pet.
Purchase a sturdy collar for your pet
with two identification tags. On one tag, write your pet's name, your
name, home address and home phone number. On the other tag, write your
destination address and phone number. Make sure the collar and tags cannot
get hooked on metal grates or other parts of the kennel during flight.
Veterinarians recommend breakaway collars for cats.
Food and Water
Feed and offer water to your pet four
hours before the flight. Federal law requires you to do this. Don't
allow your pet to overeat, however. Veterinarians recommend against having
pets travel on a full stomach.
Regardless of how long or short the flight
is scheduled to be, you must provide airline personnel with written
instructions for feeding and watering your pet over a 24-hour period.
This is because the flight may be delayed or your animal may be diverted
from its original destination. You must attach these instructions to the
kennel. Also, you must securely attach food and water dishes to the
kennel in such a way that caretakers can access the dishes without
opening the kennel door. Attach a bag containing food to the outside of
Federal regulations require airline
personnel to provide food and water to puppies and kittens that are
between 8 and 16 weeks of age every 12 hours. Airline personnel must
give food to older animals every 24 hours, and they must give water to
older animals every 12 hours.
you're planning to stop at a hotel/motel along the way, call ahead to find
out which ones permit pets. Make reservations as opposed to stumbling upon
one on the road. Have leashes on hand to move your pet from the car.
state has laws regarding animal entry. Your pets must comply with the
health regulations. Before making moving arrangements, take your pet to
its regular veterinarian for a health checkup, vaccinations, and to
inquire about entry permits and sedation. Ask for a referral in your new
area and obtain important documents, such as your pets' health records and
laws may be doubly strict internationally. Depending on the country, your
pet may be quarantined for up to six months for health inspection. In
these cases, you may have to consider leaving your pet with a relative or