If your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold, get them used to their shipping crate beforehand. Also, purchase flights with fewer connections and layovers for a smoother arrival. Introduce your pet to airport noises and crowds before your trip to make them comfortable.

Crate Training

When arranging transportation for your pet, make sure you’re prepared to arrive early at the airport for check-in. This will reduce your pet’s stress during the journey. You should also bring plenty of water and check with a veterinarian about calming chews or sprays. To minimize the risk of your pet becoming dehydrated, freeze a bowl of water for them to drink during layovers. Knowing how to prepare for international pet transport is essential if you plan to fly with your dog for a holiday or a move. Crate training and ensuring your dog meets the airline’s cabin or cargo travel requirements will help make the process smooth and stress-free for everyone involved. Begin by encouraging your dog to enter its crate voluntarily. Doing so will build their confidence in the crate as a safe space. Next, gradually increase their time in the crate to make them comfortable being confined for an extended period. Only feed your pet solid food once you intend to check in at the airport. This may upset their stomach, making them more anxious during the flight.

Check with the Airline

Many airlines have different rules for flying pets, even on the same route. Always check directly with the airline to find out their specific requirements. If your pet will be in the cabin, make sure their kennel is large enough and that they will fit comfortably inside. Ensure that their nails have been clipped and that the crate is well-ventilated. If a pet is lost during a flight, having a clear photograph of them will help authorities find them quickly. Always report any mishandling, including rough handling and the death of a pet, to the airline and your local public health officials.

Check with Your Veterinarian

Almost every airline in the world requires that pets travel with a clean bill of health. Have your veterinarian perform a general physical examination on your pet and ensure that rabies and other vaccinations are current. You should also contact your destination country’s consulate, government official, or embassy to see their pet entry requirements. They may require special permits or additional vaccinations beyond those the United States requires. Be sure that your pet’s microchip registration is up to date and that the microchip is compatible with international travel. Also, allow your pet to spend time in its travel carrier at home to become familiar with it. This will help minimize stress during air travel. The travel container should be large enough for the animal to move around and sit erect.

Health Certificates

A health certificate will most likely be required whether your pet is traveling domestically or internationally. These documents verify that your pet is healthy enough for travel and has up-to-date rabies vaccinations. Some airlines and destinations require that these exams be completed within a specific time frame before travel. If your dog or cat is leaving the United States, a USDA-endorsed international health certificate (Form 7001) will likely be required. USDA-accredited veterinarians issue these and must be endorsed by the state or regional USDA Veterinary Services office. Your veterinarian can help you determine the exact requirements for your destination country. You can also check with your airline to see if they have any specific restrictions or requirements.

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