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Pet Air Travel Checklist: How Should You Prepare For The Trip?

Each year, an estimate of 2 million pets travel on commercial flights. That said, it’s becoming more and more popular for pet owners to bring their pets with them wherever they go.If you are planning for pet air travel for the first time, you will want to take a look at this checklist so you don´t forget anything.

According to PurringPal, flying with pets can be scary, knowing about all the airline controversies concerning passengers’ pets. However, those are just isolated cases and shouldn’t keep you from traveling with your pets.

If you’re planning on a trip or you’re relocating with your pet, then keep on reading as we will tell you what you should prepare to make sure that your trip will be hassle-free!

backpack pet carrier

  1. Pet Documents

Just like you, your pet will also need its pet documents ready to be allowed to get on the plane. If you have no idea what documents we’re talking about, here are the most common ones that airlines require.

  • Health Certification – You’ll need to ask for help from your vet to secure this document. It is to certify that your dog is in good condition and is healthy enough to travel.
  • Pet Passport – This comes second because usually, a certification that your pet is healthy enough to travel is needed to secure your pet a passport. What’s important about this is that you get the USDA to certify the passport.

Note that requirements will really depend on the airline of your choice and the place that you will travel to. Always make sure you do your research about this before you prepare for anything.

  1. Look for Pet-Friendly Airlines & Hotels

You need to keep in mind that even if traveling with pets isn’t a new thing, there are still airlines that won’t allow your pets on planes.

Some US airlines that are pet-friendly are American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and JetBlue. These are just a few of them, but what’s certain here is that you’ll need to prepare a budget for your traveling pet as there are always fees that you need to pay.

For hotels, they would disclose if they have any restrictions when it comes to checking in with a pet. It’s also a good idea to check customer reviews about this matter to make sure that you avoid any disappointment once you check in with your pet.

  1. Research the Airline’s Policy About Traveling Pets

This is surely important as each airline has different policies implemented for passengers with pets. There are airlines that won’t allow pets in the cabin, while some only allow a specific weight or size, so be sure to know more about this.

Also, if you aren’t aware just yet, there are specific pet breeds that are on the no-fly list because of their physical attribute. Short-nosed or flat faced dog, cat, and rabbit breeds are prohibited to fly as they have a respiratory system that can’t handle the atmospheric pressure during a flight.

If you are wondering what pet breeds are on the no-fly list, here are a few of them:


  • American Bully
  • Pit Bull
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chow Chow
  • Shih Tzu


  • Burmese
  • Himalayan
  • Persian


  • Lionhead
  • Netherlands Dwarf
  1. Buy a Crate or Carrier

Usually, pet owners prefer bringing a shipping crate for their pet when traveling, especially if they will be checked in as baggage. If you do not have this yet, make sure that you get one that is IATA approved.

What’s important about getting either a crate or a carrier for your pet is that it will have enough space to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably. You also should make sure that it has safety features to avoid any untoward incidents.

  1. Prepare Your Pet’s Supplies

You most likely already have a favorite when it comes to the supplies that you let your pet consume. It’s safe to assume that some pet supplies that you trust and your pet prefers may not be available in the city or country you’ll be traveling to.

Check our list of what you need to bring to make sure that you’ll have enough supply when traveling with your pet.

  • Food
  • Shampoo
  • Brush
  • Leash and collar
  • Waste Bags
  • Supplements
  • Medication
  • Toys
  • Treats

Other Things to Bring with You and Things to Consider

There still are other things we’d like to suggest like learning the different policies and laws that concern

pets in the places that you’ll visit.

Another thing that we highly suggest is to schedule a grooming service ahead of time in the area where you’ll be staying. This is if in case you’ll be staying there for a long time, like a month or so.

It’s best to make sure that your dog is still doing well and haven’t acquired anything during your travel, especially if it’s mostly outdoors.

Consider getting a pet microchip if you want to reduce the risk of losing your pet. This is still optional, but do know that there are some places or countries that may require this to allow your pet to get in.

Lastly, don’t dread about having to travel with your pet as this doesn’t really have to be inconvenient or scary. If you find yourself ready with all the tips we shared with you, then there’s really not much to worry about. Hope you enjoy your flight with your fur baby!

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