This is one of the most important questions with regard to pet travel. The proper type of kennel for airline travel should be made of hard plastic, ventilated on all three sides, it should have a metal door, be held together with metal screws, it must be airline approved and must meet the IATA requirements for the transport of live animals.
Your pet must be able to stand up and turn around freely in the kennel. They must have a minimum of a three inch clearance or 8 cm from the top of their head or the tip of their ears, (whichever is the highest point), to the top of the inside of the kennel.
How to measure your Pet
There is a special place on each plane designed for live animals. It is pressurized and temperature controlled and normally situated below the passenger cabin.
You can put a blanket with a familiar scent which will help your pet relax whilst in transport, or you can use shredded paper. It is best to refrain from putting toys in the travel kennel or your pet wearing a collar while traveling by air as toys can be swallowed during travel and collars may get caught on the kennel. Collars and leashes can easily be attached to the outside of the travel kennel. We also offer vet approved moisture proof bedding for your special friend which keeps them dry during transportation.
Pets should not normally be fed immediately prior to travel to avoid sickness, however for a long journey, a small meal can be given a few hours prior to departure. Travel kennels should have two containers attached to the door of the kennel, one for food and one for water. The water dish can be frozen prior to departure and the food can be taped to the top of the kennel and both can be refilled during stopovers.
It is NOT recommended to sedate your pet during travel in the pressurized conditions of an aircraft. Adverse drug reactions and breathing difficulties may occur due to the change in air pressure. Airlines may refuse to carry sedated animals as they cannot detect their state of health. After the initial loading into the aircraft, pets soon settle down and fall asleep for the duration of the journey.
More than a million pets fly safely worldwide every year and are well cared for by the airlines. It is the Captain’s responsibility to know whether or not animals are on board and that certain procedures are adhered to. All animals are checked and watered on stopovers. We have flown pets all over the world, we collect pets arriving from other countries and can safely say that in our experience the pets have all been happy and pleased to see a friendly face and have suffered no undue stress due to the journey.
YES, restrictions are sometimes imposed for the welfare of your pets when seasonal temperatures reach a maximum high or a minim low.
This will depend on the destination, however a good rule to follow is that if you are planning to leave Canada with your pet you will require to have a microchip implanted and valid rabies vaccination which should be given a minimum of between 21 and 30 days before travel depending on your destination.
Animals have no perception of time and do not know the difference between four days, four weeks, or four months. In our experience the quarantine or boarding period is often worse for the owners than for the pets.
In the case of elderly pets, we recommend that you have them examined by your veterinarian prior to making a decision regarding travel which involves quarantine or boarding. Provided they are given a clean bill of health, there is no reason why they cannot travel safely or handle a short stay in a quarantine or boarding facility.
Can we safely transport your short nose breed? Yes we can, however, there are many regulations regarding the safety of transporting short nose breeds, more and more airlines are refusing to carry them, but there are still some airlines who feel comfortable with the transportation of short nose breeds. You will normally require a one size larger travel kennel than normal for your pet and if you have an older short nose breed cat or dog, you will need a kennel two sizes larger than normal before the airlines will accept them for travel. Please note it can take longer making arrangements for travel for these breeds, so make your plans well in advance to avoid disappointment and the regulations change frequently for these breeds.
**In July 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation released statistics that showed short-nosed breeds of dogs, such as pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Mastiffs, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzus and Bulldogs are more likely to die on airplanes than dogs with normal length muzzles. 25 of the 122 dogs that died over the 5 year period were English Bulldogs, followed by 11 Pugs, the only other breed in double digits. Although these numbers seem a bit scary, keep in mind that this is a very small number when compared to the hundreds of thousands of animals that fly every year.
** (This information was prepared by the American Veterinary Medical Association)
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