When you fly your Dog or Cat as Baggage or Cargo, you can take some steps to help prevent accidents and stress:
1. Try to book a nonstop flight on an airline and route with a good on-time record.
2.Try to avoid traveling with Pets at times when it will be too hot or cold. Almost ALL airlines have safety regulation that prohibit flying Pets at certain temperatures that are too hot or too cold. See all about Flying with Pets: Too Hot to Fly?
3. Ask a flight attendant for confirmation from the baggage handlers that the Dog or Cat is onboard—or talk to the baggage handlers. If there’s an extended delay, ask that the dog be taken off the plane. Be polite, but be persistent. See details How to Prepare a Pet Crate for Air Travel.
4. Well in advance, get an approved crate that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements for size and construction, and give your pet time to get used to being inside. (Airline websites provide details on crate specifications.) More Info on Cargo Crates can be found here: Pet Cargo Crate Requirements for Airlines-A COMPLETE Guide
5. Your Dog or Cat should wear Identification at all times—This includes their Pet Carrier or Crate. Pet ID should have your contact information, destination, medication, allergies, temperament and feeding schedule for layovers. You should also attach a tag on the carrier with your name, contact info, and any special instructions. See Layovers with Pets for everything to do to make that 2-4 hours more comfortable.
6. Do not feed your Pet for four hours before the flight, but give him or her water right up to the travel time. Leave food and dishes in the crate.
A water bottle is best. along with instructions so that airline employees can feed and water your pet if there’s a layover or after they reach their destination—the wait can be 1 to 2 hours before they are reunited with you.
Training your Dog or Cat to be comfortable in Baggage or Cargo begins early. There are many things you can and should do such as, alter their feeding schedule to align with the 4 hours before the flight, training them to take water from a bottle–it prevents a messy crate. Here’s how How To Crate Train Your Pet for Air Travel.