What to Look For In Airline Pet Carriers
Not every pet carrier is approved for airline travel. If you are traveling with your pet you should must make sure that your carrier is approved for travel. Not only will it keep your pet safer on the flight but you may not be allowed to travel with your pet if it is not approved by the airline. Even with our recommendations, it is always a good idea to check with your specific airline to make sure they approve your carrier.
A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times. The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The recommended maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm). Soft-sided pet carriers may exceed these dimensions slightly, as they are collapsible and able to conform to under-seat space without blocking the aisle. On Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, soft-sided kennels must be no higher than 10 inches. With the exception of birds, there may only be one pet per kennel, and the animal must be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Two birds may travel in the same kennel.
There are many good brands out there, but what you really need to look for are the features that will make your travel easier.
- Do you prefer to have wheels so you can pull your carrier, or would a backpack work better for you? Does your carrier have handles or shoulder straps?
- If you have a excitable animal we suggest opting with a zipper closing verses a velcro.
- You need to make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Remember you dog can get hot easily when they are in their carrier. This also means you may not want to put a blanket in with them during travel. If you see your dog panting a lot, this is a good sign that you should remove their blanket or any plush toys.
- You will want to have pockets if you are using a soft carrier. You can hold your water bowl, treats, and other pet supplies in them as you travel.
Here is a great article that gives reviews on specific brands of under the seat pet carriers for airline travel.
No matter what, when you travel with your pet they have to be up to date on all their vaccines. Depending on where you are going you may need some special vaccinations. Make sure you give your self plenty of time to get the shots as some of them have to be spaced apart. Additionally, most airlines require that shots are given at least 30 days prior to travel. Come to our walk-in daily shot clinic to get your pet’s vaccinations.
You will also need to get a certificate from your vet to show the airlines that shows they are current on their shots. Make sure you check with your airlines about the required health information you will need to provide.