Airline pet policies vary from airline to airline. While some airlines let you keep your pet close to you onboard, other airlines will insist on keeping your pets In the cargo hold. You may be made to check your pet in as a luggage in some situations. The size of your pet also determines where it will be kept when flying on an airplane. No matter where your pet is kept while on board, keeping your pet safe, happy and comfortable is non-negotiable throughout the trip. If you plan to travel with your pet on an airplane anytime soon, there are a few things you must note about pet carriers for airlines.
Things to Note When Planning to Travel With Your Pet in an Airplane
Let the Airline Know About Your Pet Beforehand
Airlines may have a cap on how many animals can travel in the cabin, making it a “first-come, first-serve” scenario. Sign your pet early on with your airline.
Visit the Vet Before Traveling
Depending on where you’re going, most airlines will require that you provide a health certificate issued and signed by a licensed vet within ten days of your trip to ensure that your pet is healthy and safe to travel.
Prepare Your Pet for the Travel Stress
You must note that pets also get stressed out after a long trip like humans do. You should do all that is in your power to ensure that your pet is comfortable throughout the trip. If your pet is to travel in the cargo hold, make sure the pet is crate trained beforehand.
Get an Airline Approved Pet Carrier
You simply can’t travel with your pet on an airplane without having a pet carrier. Not just any pet carrier, but an airline approved pet carrier since no airline will accept a pet carrier that is not airline approved. If you are traveling with your cat, for example, you should buy an airline approved cat carrier for the safety and comfort of your cat throughout the journey.
What to Know Before Buying an Airline Pet Carrier
You must be careful when choosing an airline pet carrier to buy. An acceptable airline pet carrier will let your pet have a safe and comfortable place to be when traveling on an airplane. Ensuring your pet’s safety throughout the trip cannot be overemphasized, and a quality and acceptable pet carrier will provide that. You should, however, note these tips before buying pet carriers for airlines.
Verify the Particular Airlines’ Pet Policy
Before buying a pet carrier for airlines, make sure to check the pet policy for the airline you intend to follow. If you have more than one pet, check with the airline to know if you’re allowed to carry more than one pet since most airlines only permit one pet carrier per passenger or two to three pets in the case of puppies and kittens.
Measure Your Pet Before Buying a Pet Carrier
Buy a pet carrier that has enough room for your pet to comfortably stand up and turn around. To know the pet carrier’s perfect size to buy, you will have to measure the pet beforehand. The right pet measurement is to start from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, from the top of head to the ground. Once you have the pet’s measurement, compare it to the interior measurements of the pet carrier you want to buy. Select a pet carrier whose inner measurement is a bit bigger than your pet’s measurement, to enable the pet to have enough allowances.
General Requirements of an Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Below are the common requirements for an airline approved pet carrier.
- The size must be adequate for the pet to comfortably turn around.
- The flooring of the pet carrier must be leak-proof.
- The carrier must be bite-proof so that the pet cannot bite through it.
- The pet must be able to breathe freely through the carrier.
What to Look for in an Airline Approved Cat Carrier
If you are traveling on an airplane with your cat, ensure that you get the best carrier available for the cat. While there are so many airline approved cat carriers in the market, some are more superior than the others. Here are some vital properties of a good airline approved cat carrier.
Must Have a Lockable Zipper
Getting a cat carrier with lockable zippers keeps your cats from trying to jump out of or escape from the pet carrier while in transit. If you have a very playful cat, do not buy a cat carrier with only clips or clamps.
Must Have a Durable Mesh
Most pets, especially cats and dogs, like to claw their way through things, pet carriers inclusive. Make sure that the pet carrier has a durable mesh, which will allow the carrier to stand the test of time.
Must Have a Sturdy and Washable Floorboard
A weak cat carrier is neither comfortable for you nor the cat. Avoid them when traveling. The floorboard of your cat carrier must be sturdy and washable.
Must Have Expandable Sections
Expandable sections in cat carriers can enable you to unzip to create more space. This setup is handy when you’re keeping the cat in the cabin. You should, however, make sure the expandable sections are light and comfortable for your cat.
Must Have a Flexible Carrying Option
Buy an airline approved cat carrier with a carrying option you find flexible and easy to carry around. Buy an airline approved cat carrier portable enough to keep under seat.
Buying an airline-approved cat carrier that has pockets is a bonus for you. You can put some essential items like pet food, wipes, medication, or snacks in the pockets.
There you have it! Are you ready to buy the best pet carriers for airlines? Here are some top-rated pet carriers for airlines we highly recommend. These pet carriers are stylish, of excellent quality, comfortable and safe, and of course, stress-free.