Airline Pet Requirements

Airline Pet Requirements

Pets on and off planes have been in the news a lot lately. Whether or not you have a pet for medical reasons, most airlines will allow your friend to travel with you. You just need to follow the specific airline pet requirements set by the airline you’re flying on.

Each airline varies in its restrictions, but those set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are generally followed by all international airlines. Depending on the size, breed and type of animal, your pet is allowed to travel in-cabin, or with checked baggage and cargo.

Airline Pet Requirements – Checking your pet in

Depending on the airline, you can check your pet in the cabin, with your baggage or in the cargo hold. If you want to take your pet with you inside the cabin, you will be asked to carry your pet in an airline compliant carrier which can fit under the seat. You can find the carriers in all shapes and sizes at your local pet store.

There are airlines that don’t allow pets inside the cabin, but instead have a special area to hold pets with the cargo. Availability in cargo is limited, so you need to contact the airline’s customer support at least 48 hours before travel to reserve a spot. Airlines may also tell you of specific requirements like cargo crate guidelines and health certificates that they may require before you bring your pet aboard.

Airline Pet Requirements – International regulations

Each country has their own set of restrictions and rules that apply in regards to pets flying with you. Here in the Continental U.S., dogs must be up fully vaccinated and older than 4 months before entering. You must show proof of a rabies vaccination if you are traveling from a country where rabies exists. Dogs which haven’t been vaccinated before must do so at least 30 days before travel. In case your dog has been vaccinated in the past and it has expired, simply get them a booster vaccination so that you don’t have to wait the 30 days.