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Where do pets travel in the plane and other pet travel questions answered

International pet transport is extremely complicated because of the myriad rules to follow and the veterinary regulations to satisfy. Even the most organised person can get overwhelmed with the minute details that international pet travel entails.

Your pet is family and when you hand him or her over to the pet transport agency, you will have many questions about the process. If you are wondering where your pet will be lodged during travel and how safe the process is, read on for answers to all pet travel questions.

Is flying safe for pets?

Pet parents are understandably anxious about flying with their pets. Sending your beloved pet on a long journey all by themselves can be overwhelming for the pet and the pet parent. However, pet travel has become increasingly safe over the years and thousands of pets are shipped around the world every year with relatively few incidents.

Your pet’s comfort and safety are the main drivers behind most of the international pet transport regulations. Several airlines have several safety procedures in place such as temperature embargoes, temperature-controlled holding areas, priority boarding and deplaning, etc. to keep your pet safe and secure during the journey.

If you are moving to an international destination with your pet, remember to follow all pet travel regulations faithfully. An accredited pet transport agency can help you manoeuver the minutiae of the relocation and bring your pet unharmed to their new home. Petraveller has a zero-harm rating and a 100 per cent country entry rate.

Should I sedate my pet before travel?

Sedating pets before travelling by air is not recommended by experts. There are several risks involved when you sedate your pet, especially before air travel. Sedatives are known to hamper with your pet’s natural ability to process the change in pressure, temperature and altitude when they are in the aircraft. Sedated pets are at higher risk of injury and health issues while flying. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed breeds must never be sedated during air travel because their shorter airways make them especially vulnerable.

Do I need to be on the same flight as my pet?

When your pet flies from one country to another, they will travel as manifest air cargo in the cargo section of the aeroplane. You don’t need to be on the same flight as your pet if he or she is checked in as manifest cargo.

Some airlines let your pet fly as accompanied excess baggage, usually on domestic flights. In such cases, an adult passenger must be on the same plane as the pet.

What happens to my pet on the plane?

Your pet dog or cat is secured inside their IATA-compliant crate before boarding the flight. Most airlines ensure your pet boards and disembarks the aircraft on priority. The cargo hold has a special area for pets, and your pet’s crate is secured in the plane in its designated space.

During the flight, the lights are dimmed, and even the most anxious of pets tend to calm down after the plane takes off. Airline staff do not have access to the cargo hold during the flight, but your pet will be well-cared for before and after the flight.

Where will my pet travel in the aeroplane?

Pet dogs and cats travelling to an international destination are placed in a pressurised and temperature-controlled area of the cargo hold of the aeroplane. Even though it is part of the cargo hold, your per will not travel stacked on top of the baggage. They will occupy a special section, and their crates will be secured to the aircraft to prevent tumbling or movement.

The pressure in the cargo hold will be the same as in the cabin above. When you are travelling with your pet, it is always important to choose pet-friendly airlines, so your pet receives the best care.

Will it be very cold in the cargo hold?

The cargo hold is climate-controlled and will not be colder or hotter than cabin temperature. A pet-friendly airline will make sure your pet is comfortable at all times. Many airlines have temperature embargoes to deal with extreme temperatures. The airline will not board a pet if the temperature at the origin or destination is too hot or too cold. These embargoes are in place for the safety of your pet.

Will my pet have food and water on the flight?

Your pet must be fed no later than six hours before the flight. Flying on a full stomach is not comfortable for a pet; make sure your pet has eaten but is not full. During the trip, your pet will not have access to food because it could be a choking hazard. You can, however, provide a small packet of dog food with your pet to be fed during layovers.

Petraveller crates will have a water bowl securely attached to the door so your pet dog or cat can access drinking water during the flight and layovers.

Can both my pets travel in the same crate?

If you have two pets flying, travelling in the same crate may seem like a good idea to keep each other company, especially if one pet is anxious about the travel. However, it is not recommended by the IATA for safety reasons unless the pets are small puppies or kittens.

IATA regulations allow a maximum of two puppies or kittens that weigh less than 9kg each to be transported in the same crate. Again, this is not recommended because the stress of the journey might make your pets aggressive and unpredictable.

It is safest for pets to travel in their own designated crates and airlines will place pets from the same family together in the cargo hold. Airlines have their own rules, and it is a good idea to check with your airline before flying your pups or kittens together in the same crate.

Do airlines provide crates for travel?

Airlines do not provide pet crates; you will have to invest in an IATA-compliant pet crate for your pet dog or cat before their travel. Choosing the right sized crate is necessary as your pet’s safety and comfort during the flight depends on the crate. The crate must be tall enough for your pet to stand up and turn around and long enough for your pet to lay down comfortably. It must be well-ventilated on all sides and labelled correctly, and many pet shop standard crates do not meet these regulations

Petraveller will courier your pet’s crate to your nominated address ahead of your journey, and provide advice on how to crate train your pet to make him or her feel comfortable in the crate.

What happens if my pet soils the bedding?

Keep in mind that your pet is travelling on an international flight with no access to bathroom breaks to relieve themselves. Make sure you take your dog on a long walk before the trip, so he or she does not board the flight with a full bladder.

It is natural and normal for your pet to relieve themselves in the crate during the flight. Make sure you line the crate with an absorbent mat or puppy pads to soak up the urine. All Petraveller crates are lined with super absorbent and washable Petraveller Sky Beds to ensure your pet’s flight is comfortable.

When you receive your pet at the airport, we recommend you bring along a towel and wet wipes to dry off your pet. Our partner company will provide a refreshment service if you opt for your pet to be cleared and delivered on your behalf.

Will a Petraveller staff member accompany my pet on the flight?

A Petraveller staff member will not accompany your pet on the flight. When you leave your pet with a member of our staff, you can be assured of the best care. Our team will ensure your pet is well-rested and prepared for the flight, and your pet will receive the utmost care and attention until the airline checks in your pet for their flight. Our partner company in the departure country will assist with arrival formalities in the destination country if you opt not to complete your pet’s customs clearance.

What happens to my pet on arrival?

When your pet arrives in the destination country, officials will examine your pet and check if all the documentation is in order. If your pet is flying to a country with mandatory quarantine such as Australia, they will be transferred to the quarantine centre post examination. You or an authorised pet relocation agent can pick up your pet from the quarantine centre after all formalities are complete.

In most countries without mandatory quarantine, an official will inspect your pet on arrival and check if all pet import regulations are satisfied. These checks take about two to four hours, depending on the country. You can pick your pet at the designated area and take them home after they are cleared to enter. If you are not flying with your pet or prefer not to wait, a pet transport agent can pick your pet on your behalf and deliver them to your door.

Remember to ensure all pet import requirements are satisfied before flying with your pet. If your pet flies with incomplete documentation or if your pet hasn’t fulfilled all veterinary obligations as prescribed by the country you are travelling to, your pet will face extended quarantine time, or worse, be sent back to the country of origin.

Will my pet remain in the crate till they are picked up?

Your pet will leave the crate briefly for examination by the health officials and returned to their crate thereafter. They will remain in the crate till they are picked up the owner or our authorised partner company.

Who will take care of my pet during the layover?

If your pet is flying long haul, he or she will have a layover or a break in the journey before reaching their ultimate destination. During the layover, your pet will be dismebarked, and airline officials will ensure your pet has access to water and food.

If the layover is for a longer duration, your pet will be taken to a pet lounge for a comfort stop where he or she can relieve themselves and stretch their legs. Airline officials will ensure your pet always remains in a climate-controlled area till they board their next flight.

Why does it cost so much to transport my pet?

When you travel with your pet, there is much more to it than just buying a ticket. International pet transport is a complex process with several time-bound steps. When you travel to an international destination with your pet, you will have to make sure your pet is healthy, apply for an import permit, make sure your pet satisfies all import regulations of the destination country, and more.

Your pet’s airline ticket is calculated based on his or her weight and also the volume of their travel crate, and the bigger your dog is, the pricier the ticket. Import fees differ from country to country, and you will have to pay import fees and quarantine fees, if applicable to be able to bring your pet into the country.

Petraveller travel quotations are clear and transparent and outline all the costs required for your pet to travel to their destination, without hidden fees or surprise charges on arrival.

An experienced and accredited pet travel agency can help you wade through the myriad requirements of international pet transport successfully. If you are planning to travel internationally with your pet, reach out to the team at Petraveller for a comprehensive pet travel itinerary and expert advice from our caring team. Safe travels!

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