Travelling with Pets: How to Prepare your Pets for a Flight


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Cat looking out the window

You’re planning on taking a trip to sunnier skies, or perhaps relocating to the other side of the world and are wanting to bring your beloved pet on this adventure. It’s perfectly normal to worry about how your furry friend will deal with the flying experience, however, if you get the preparation right before take-off, you and your pet will enjoy a smooth, stress-free journey.

So firstly, let’s understand why preparation is key before travelling with pets.

Preparing for a flight can reduce the stress for both you and your pet, resulting in a more comforting experience. It’s equally important for you to be prepared on a personal level so that you can plan your holiday ahead of landing. In this blog, we will share our top tips on how to prepare for pet travel.

Animal Health Certificate

A trip to the vet for an animal health certificate is essential before flying. Many airlines require proof of a health certificate from an authorised vet for the pet to be able to board the flight, so make sure you have this documentation with you! Print two copies to be on the safe side. Whilst there, you can also ask your vet if they have any specific advice for helping your pet handle the flight. Particularly with long-haul flights you will want to ensure that your pet is in the most comforting environment possible. This brings us to the next tip.

Purchase an IATA-compliant pet carrier

In order to meet both travelling criteria and comfort for your pet, it’s important to have purchased an airline and IATA-compliant carrier ahead of time. By having a carrier in advance, you can try regular exercises of placing your pets in the carrier to familiarise your furry friend with its surroundings.

Our team here at Tailwings can supply the most appropriate cases and equipment to ensure a smooth and comforting experience for your cat or dog, at all times.

Avoid feeding your pet too close to take-off

Breathing in the sparser air can make your pet feel nauseous. If they’re flying with an empty stomach, then they will be much less likely to bring up their last meal. We’d advise you to avoid giving your pet food for around 4-6 hours before taking off.

Arrive at the airport earlier than usual

Be prepared or prepare to fail as they say. To ease stress levels and ensure everything is planned correctly, arriving at the airport earlier than usual when travelling with pets will give you the necessary time to check in and remind the airline staff that you are boarding with a pet. This also provides enough time to give your pet’s legs a mini stretch into the airport. This will put you and your pet at ease and make the pet travel process much smoother.

At TailWings, our pet relocation & transport services combine experience, knowledge and expertise to guide you through your pet’s journey. If you would like to find out more information and advice on preparing your pets for travelling, get in contact with one of our friendly specialists today.