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It is always a more exciting vacation when travelers can bring their beloved pets along with them. However, flying with pets can be challenging. There are lots of hoops to jump through and the experience will be much more pleasant for pet owners who know what to expect. Follow this guide to make the experience of flying with pets go as smoothly as possible.

Check the Airline’s Policies

Every airline’s policy is a little different when it comes to transporting pets. A few won’t allow pets in the cabin at all. Most will allow cats and dogs in the cabin that are small enough to fit in a crate that can slide under the seat. This means that the vast majority of pets will have to fly underneath their owners’ feet in the baggage compartment. This is not the greatest place for pets to be, and owners need to do everything possible to ensure their pets comfort during this stressful time.

Each airline will have different fees for bringing a pet along. At this time, none of them let passengers do it for free. It is usually a fee ranging somewhere in the neighborhood of $75-$150. The fees are higher for checked pets as well as larger pets.

Prepare Your Pet

When flying with your pet, you may want to consider giving them a tranquilizer to keep them calm throughout the experience. Benadryl is a very good way to safely sedate dogs without buying a prescription medication. Always check with a vet to ask their advice before giving a dog any medication.

It is also important to keep the dog’s stomach empty of food for several hours before the flight. This will keep them from making a mess if they throw up. However, be sure to give them a dish with plenty of water in their carrier. Flying dehydrates pets just as much as it does people.

Make sure that the pet has proper identification. A radio microchip implanted in a pet is the best identification possible. A collar with a nametag and contact information is also very important. It is a good idea to put a picture, name and contact information for the pet on the outside of the carrier. This will help airline staff identify the animal if it gets loose.

Finally, don’t forget to get travel insurance when flying with pets. Good trip insurance will help to cover the costs of cancelling a vacation, including the charges from the airlines for pet fees.

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