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NEWS IN FLYING WITH YOUR FURRY FRIEND in 2021

For some, traveling with a companion animal is essential.  Here’s the latest news and changes all about travel with your pet:


Dogs returning to the US from Banned Countries –Good News

companionpettravels.com

The Best and Worst Airlines for Pets in 2021, According to a New Study

See Also: What Airlines Allow Snub-Nose Pets in Cabin

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/best-pet-friendly-airlines-2021

FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS CONTINUE ON AMERICAN AIRLINES

It is difficult enough to find flights for our furry friends, but with all the cancellations, American is just not a good choice.

https://liveandletsfly.com/flight-cancellations-american-airlines/

The 10 Best Fall Train Rides in the U.S.

Many Amtrak Routes Accept Small Dogs and Cats. It’s a great way travel with your companion when flying is just not an option.

https://www.smartertravel.com/fall-train-rides/

Southwest has canceled 1,018 Sunday flights as of 2 p.m. ET, according to flight tracker FlightAware. 

USATODAY.com

From the Green Book to Black & Abroad

Eric Martin reached back into the Green Book’s tradition by creating Black & Abroad, a cultural collective dedicated to redefining world experiences for the modern Black traveler.

Blackandabroad.com

Why more Travelers are Flying their Pets by Private Jet

There’s a dynamic shift in who’s traveling and why–job relocation and more available time, but the biggest reason: commercial airlines are struggling to keep up with the demand

CNN Travel Section

US State Department makes it (a bit) Easier for Transgender Pet Parents to Travel

Transgender Americans can now more easily change the gender marker on their US passports, the State Department announced Wednesday, promising to unveil more gender-inclusive changes to passport applications in the future.

By Devan Cole, CNN

My home, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico takes the Number 1 Best City in the World by Travel+Leisure

This beautiful, historic city consistently wins awards for all the wonder it shares with Travelers and their furry Pets, and this year, we did it again! See my guide to Pet-Friendly San Miguel de Allende

BY MAYA KACHROO-LEVINE SEPTEMBER 08, 2021

CEO of K9s for Warriors, says for the first time in American history, the VA can pay for service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

Author: First Coast News Staff, Casey Feindt,

LUFTHANSA PREDICTS USA WILL NOT REOPEN TO EUROPEANS UNTIL CHRISTMAS

While Lufthansa has been hit by a lack of westbound leisure demand, its transatlantic flights have been “profitable” this summer due to strong American demand and even stronger demand for cargo transport.

 MATTHEW KLINT  POSTED ON

Alitalia Cancels All Flights And Prepares For Closure In October

It’s official: Alitalia is shutting down. While the end of the airline has been clear for months now, the carrier has officially announced that it will stop flying from 14th October. All flights beyond this date are canceled, and passengers may request a refund or travel before the 14th. From the 15th of October, ITA will become the new Italian flag carrier, kicking off a new era for Italian aviation.

byPranjal Pande
August 25, 2021

WARNING: RENTAL CAR PRICING IS OBSCENE IN EUROPE TOO

If you thought the problem of depleted inventory and high pricing was constrained to the U.S. car rental market, think again. Europe isn’t much better. Be prepared for extreme sticker shock.

Matthew klint september 3, 2001 at live and let’s fly

American Airlines offers customers front-door pet delivery service provided by My Pet Cab

American Airlines offers customers front-door pet delivery service provided by My Pet Cab American Airlines has made pet travel easier through a new add-on service provided by the animal transportation experts at My Pet Cab, who offer pet owners a safe and seamless home delivery service for their furry friends, says release.

CargoConnect.com august 25, 2021

U.S. Passport Renewals Are Taking Months—Here’s What to Know

If your passport expires within the next year, you need to get moving.

BY KELSEY OGLETREE
July 29, 2021

Delta Airlines announces their new program for at-home personal COVID-19 tests for Delta customers to meet test requirements introduced by the CDC and many international governments during the pandemic. Convenient and accurate in-home rapid antigen tests that can be shipped directly to a home address or picked up locally are now available for purchase on delta.com.

delta.com

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES DELAYS OVER 1,300 FLIGHTS AS SUMMER OF MISERY CONTINUES

On Tuesday, August 17th Southwest Airlines cancelled 159 flights (roughly 4% of its schedule) and delayed 1,034 flights (29% of its schedule)

On Wednesday, August 18th Southwest Airlines cancelled 134 flights (3% of its schedule) and delayed 1,358 flights (38% of its schedule)

 MATTHEW KLINT  POSTED ONAUGUST 19, 2021

MELTDOWN: AMERICAN AIRLINES CANCELS OR DELAYS OVER 1,000 FLIGHTS

 MATTHEW KLINT  POSTED ON

Beginning July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs imported from high-risk countries for dog rabies. CDC has the authority to issue a CDC Dog Import Permit for US citizens and lawful residents relocating from high-risk countries to bring their dogs into the United States. Such permits will be issued on an extremely limited basis.

First 90-Day Transition Process
From July 14 through October 14, 2021, dogs coming from high-risk countries  with CDC Dog Import Permits can enter the United States at one of these 18 airports: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit, Honolulu, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, and Washington, DC (Dulles).

After October 14, 2021, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits must enter only at approved ports of entry.

All dogs imported into the United States must be healthy on arrival.

Dogs that have not been in a high-risk country in the previous 6 months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or other paperwork, but vaccination against rabies is recommended.

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EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS NO LONGER GIVEN PRIORITY TO FLY IN CABIN

Following years of abuse by too many travelers, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) revised their regulation to exclude Emotional Support Animals as Service Animals.

You can still fly with your pet, but for most airlines, the animal must be a DOMESTIC DOG, CAT OR BIRD. 

DOMESTIC DOG, CATS and BIRDS are allowed in Cabin and Cargo or Checked Baggage.

  • These pets must meet the individual airlines’ size, weight, breed, and behavior restrictions.
  • Most airlines have temperature restrictions and do not allow pets if the plane is traveling to a destination that is either too hot or too cold.  These restrictions are in place so the animals are not exposed to extreme temperatures when in Cargo or Checked Baggage.  So, what time of year you fly, your departure location and destination choice is important. 
  • There are restrictions on long-haul flights.  Many airlines restrict carrying pets in cargo or as checked baggage on flights longer than 12 hours. 

SERVICE ANIMALS are EXCEPTIONS TO FLYING IN CABIN

For nearly all airlines, traveling with SERVICE DOGS allow the dog to travel in the cabin as long as each airline specific requirement is met including that:

  • The dog can sit at your feet, under the seat, or on your lap.  It must fit within the “footprint” of your seat.  It cannot encroach on the seat next to yours.  Also, you cannot buy your dog its own seat.   
  • The dog must be clean, healthy, and well-behaved.

EXCEPTIONS FOR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND US MILITARY PERSONNEL Flying with a Pet.

If you are a Foreign Service Office or US Military flying with a pet, you may be able to fly with your pet but, you must have a prior approval from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as discussed above. 

We will continue to update changing rules and regulations for air travel with pets.

Featured

Pet Cargo Crate Requirements for Airlines-A COMPLETE Guide

Step by Step Guide for Finding the Right Airline Approved Crate for Airline Cargo How to know what fits your pet.


To find the right cargo crate for your pet: measure your pet nose to base of tail, width, and height, add 3”-5” for room on each side (top, sides, front, back). Choose plastic, fiberglass or metal material with metal fasteners.  Next, the outside must include space bars/handles, and ventilation on 2 side (domestic), 3 sides (international).

1. START WITH FINDING THE RIGHT SIZE OF CARGO CRATE FOR YOUR PET.


MEASURE YOUR PET first

SOURCE: IATA Crate Requirements Chart


  • Measure tip of nose to base of tail (do not include the length of the tail).
  • Measure shoulder width. This should be the widest part of your pet. Then double (x2) for the minimum width of crate.
  • Measure from Top of Head (or Ears if they stay erect) to the Ground.
  • The kennel must be large enough that the animal can easily stand up, turn around, sit erect, and lie down in a natural position.

Snub Nose/Brachycephalic Breeds require 1 size larger crate if using the Standard Sizes from Manufactures or an additional 10%.

See: What Airlines Allow Snub Nose Breed Dogs and Cats.

  • Add measurements of your pet + 3-6 inches and you have your ideal crate size.

Crate SizeLengthWeight of CrateCommon Breeds
Xs 19”<20 lbs. Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian
S24″20-30lbsJack Russel, Miniature Poodle
M30″30-40lbsCocker Spaniel, French Bulldog
LG36″40-70lbsBeagle, Bulldog, English Setter
XL42″70-90lbsLabrador, Retriever, Boxer
2XL48″90+lbsGreat Dane, Rottweiler, Burmese
standard manufacturer sizes for most brands IATA Compliant

TIP: It may seem like you’re giving your pet a bit more comfort by buying an oversized crate; however, they are not necessarily better or more comfortable if there is jostling around during transport.

CARGO CRATES must have:

Material

Hard Plastic, Metal, Fiberglass. Some carriers will accept wood crates. (KLM and Air France do not accept wood crates).

Metal Fasteners/Bolts

Most crates are plastic, fiberglass.  Most plastic and fiberglass crates are fastened by plastic fasteners.  Fasteners join the top and bottom halves together.

IATA does not require metal fasteners but, most airlines do not allow plastic fasteners. (United Airlines allow plastic or nylon fasteners).

If the crate is not a one piece construction, the pieces (usually 2: top and bottom) must secured with nut-and-bolt type fasteners. This is an inexpensive replacement so, even if the airline allows plastic fasteners, exchanging to metal will allow use with other airlines.

Many companies sell replacements kits (as pictured below).  Any hardware will have replacement bolts.  Just take the plastic bolts with you for comparison.


Source:  Universal Kennel Hardware HERE


Flooring

The floor must be solid and sturdy and leakproof.

Handholds

Handles can be on top for smaller crates or bars on the long sides for larger crates.  The handlers need to have handholds on both side of the crate to lift without tipping.

ForkLift Spacers

Pets over 132 lbs/60kg must have forklift spacers.

Ventilation

Two sides are recommended for domestic flights and 3 side for international fight. Ventilation on sides and the door.  Most airlines require there be no ventilation on the roof.  Look for ventilation slots that are paw and gnaw proof. Your pet should not be able to put their paw or jaw into the ventilation slots.

Most airlines require there be no ventilation on the roof. Airlines do stack smaller crates on top of larger crates. This is another reason airlines do not accept collapsible crates.

Door

The door must be escape-proof with one metal grated door fastened securely to prevent accidental opening. Attach releasable zip ties securing the closed door to the frame, using all the original drill holes.

Metal door locks

Your crate door must be a spring loaded with a locking system including pins extending at least 5/8”/1.6 cm above and below the door. Doors must be constructed of heavy plastic, welded or cast metal so that it is paw and gnaw proof.


CARGO CRATE MUST NOT:

Wheels

Your crate must not have permanently attached wheels.  If your crate has wheels, they should be removeable or must be foldable and unusable when the crate is in the cargo hold.

Collapsible Material

No snap-top, soft-sided material, not composed of wire, mesh, carboard or particle board or wicker.

Here is an example of an unacceptable crate.

No Twist, Slide or Snap Fasteners

Do not use twist, slide or snap fasteners.  Zip ties, duct tape or rubber bands to construct the frame. (Zip ties are used for attaching your Document pouch, food and water and funnel. 

Here is an example of improperly fastened crates:

No Plastic Doors

The crate door must have a secure, spring loaded, all around locking system
with the pins extending at least 5/8” 1.6 cm above and below the door. Doors must be constructed of heavy plastic, welded or cast metal strong enough so it is paw and gnaw proof.

No Plastic of Fabric Covering

No tarp or fabric crate/kennel cover.


CHECK THE AIRLINE YOU MIGHT BOOK WITH FOR THEIR SPECIFIC CARGO CRATE REQUIREMENTS. Specifically, Check Total Weight of Pet and Crate requirements from your airlines.

Now that you know how to choose the right crate for your pet, the next step is:

The best Pet cargo crate is IATA compliant, made of rigid plastic or fiberglass material, metal fasteners and door locks that are paw and gnaw proof, without wheels and has ventilation on 3 sides for international flights and 2 sides for domestic flights.  

Source Authority: International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Pet Shipping Crate/Container Requirements. IATA and APHIS.

You may like: Best Cargo Crate for Flying with Large Dogs in 2021

See also: How to Prepare a Pet Crate for Air Travel Inside and Outside

Dogs Returning from High-Risk Rabies Countries Banned No More!

Effective December 1, 2021, Dogs may return to the U.S. from banned High-Risk Rabies countries without a Permit, IF the Dog:

  • 1. Has a Current U.S.-issued Rabies Vaccination Certificate,
  • 2. Was vaccinated by a U.S.-licensed veterinarian,
  • 3. The vaccinations are current,
  • 4. Is microchipped,
  • 5. Is at least 6 months old and,
  • 6. Is Healthy
  • 7. The Dog enters one of the 18 approved Ports.
  • 8.  The Dog is RETURNING to the US, not entering for the 1st time.

The Ports of entry allowed by the CDC for returning Dogs:

  • Anchorage (ANC)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Honolulu (HNL)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Minneapolis (MSP)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • San Juan (SJU)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • Washington DC (IAD)

There is no limit to the number of Dogs with a valid US-issued Rabies Vaccination Certificate.

Not every Dog is included.

The CDC’s policy change does not provide relief to all people, including citizens and residents:who want to bring dogs to the United States for the first time or if the Rabies Vaccination Certificate is expired.

Effective December 1, 2021, the United States has changed their rule that bans importation of dogs from 113 countries.

Many of these countries included popular vacation destinations in Latin America.

Many of pet parents struggled to reunite with animals they had adopted during duty trips abroad, and they felt that the rule was too restrictive.

Animals adopted abroad without American vaccination papers are still unable to enter the US without special permission.

If you and your Dog are leaving the country, even for vacation, you should ensure your vaccination paperwork is updated before you leave to ensure their vaccinations will still be current when they return.

The CDC will not accept expired rabies vaccination certificates.

Effective Dec. 1, all Dogs that have passed through a country considered by the CDC to be at high risk for rabies within 6 months of their return, must re-enter the United States at one of the 18 approved ports of entry.

So, choosing the best airline and route will include consideration of one of these ports.

The CDC initially also had plans to reduce those 18 approved ports to just three in early 2022 but has now reversed those plans.

Previously, because of concerns over fraudulent rabies vaccination certificates, Dogs traveling from these countries were banned and required a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) Permit to return.

The change comes less than six weeks after the went into full effect. Dog owners complained the ban was overly restrictive and made it timely and expensive to come home.

As of Oct. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had blocked the import of dogs, foreign and those returning to the U.S. after traveling abroad, from 113 countries where the risk of rabies transmission for dogs was considered high due to an alarming number of falsified rabies certificate, many from unscrupulous animal breeders.

Is rabies serologic testing required?

Yes, if the dog’s current rabies vaccination was given outside the United States. Titer testing is required for the CDC Dog Import Permit application.
No, if the dog’s valid rabies vaccination was given in the United States. A CDC Dog Import Permit and titer aren’t required.

Can the dogs enter the United States through any port of entry?

No. Dogs arriving from high-risk countries must enter the United States at one of the 18 approved ports of entry.
These are: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

As always, Companion Pet Travel will keep you posted of any new changes regarding travel for you and your Pet Companion.

If you are traveling out of the US, you may be interested in how to obtain entry for your Pet. See our page on Pet Passports and Health Certificates.

Airlines that Allow Snub-Nose Dogs and Cats In Cabin

Snub Nose Dogs and Cats are very popular breeds; however; when flying, that special little face comes at a price. Here are all the airlines that allow flat-face breeds.

Airlines that allow snub nose breeds of Dogs and Cats In Cabin:

  • United
  • Lufthansa
  • Southwest
  • KLM
  • Alaska Air
  • Copa
  • Korean Air
  • FInnair
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • AeroMexico

IN CABIN

AIRLINEINT’L Max SizeDOMESTIC Max Size
UNITED
$125usd Each Way
Yes
Soft=18”Lx11”Wx11”H
Hard=17.5″Lx12”Wx7.5”H
Yes
Soft=18”Lx11”Wx11″”H
Hard=17.5’Lx12”Wx7.5”H
LUFTHANSA
17.6lbs Max w/ Carrier
Domestic=$57usd
Int’l-$69-$150usd
Yes
Soft Sided Only
22″L x 16″W x 9″H
Yes
Soft Sided Only
22″L x 16″W x 9″H
SOUTH
WEST

$95usd Each Way
No Snub Nose
Pets Allowed
In Cabin

Yes
18.5”Lx8.5”Hx13.5”W
KLM
17.6lbs Max w/ Carrier
$88-$465usd
Each Way
Yes
18″Lx11″Hx9.5″W
Yes
18″Lx11″Hx9.5″W
ALASKA AIR
$105usd Each Way

Yes
17″L x 11″Hx 7.5″W
Yes
17″L x 11″H x 7.5″W
KOREAN AIR
15.5lbs Max w/ Carrier
$150-$300usd
Each Way
Yes
Sum Total (LxHxW=45″
Soft Max Height=10″
Hard Max Height=8″
Yes
Sum Total (LxHxW=45″
Soft Max Height=10″
Hard Max Height=8″
COPA AIR
20lbs Max w/ Carrier
M-F Only for Int’l
Int’l=$125
Domestic=$25
Yes
17″Lx7.5″Hx13″W
Yes
17″Lx7.5″Hx13″W
FINNAIR
17lbs Max
Europe, Russia &
Middle East=$60
Intercontinental=
$100


Yes
Soft=22″Lx9″Hx16″W
Hard=14″Lx12″Wx8″H
Yes
Soft=22″Lx9″Hx16″W
Hard=14″Lx12″Wx8″H
AIR CANADA
Int’l=
$100-$120usd
Canada & US(Excluding
HI=
$50-60
Yes -Except HI
Soft=21.5″Lx15.5″Wx
10.5″H
Hard=21.5″Lx15.5″Wx9″H


Yes
Soft=21.5″Lx15.5″Wx10.5″H
Hard=21.5″Lx15.5″Wx
9″H
AIR FRANCE
8kg/17lbs w/ Carrier
Int’l=
Yes
18″Lx11″Hx9″W
Yes
18″Lx11″Hx9″W
AeroMexico
Dogs Only
7-9kg/15.5-19lbs
w/Carrier
Int’l-$125
Domestic=$50
Yes
Aircraft E-145=
16″Lx12″Hx 7″W
All Other Aircraft=
19″Lx12″Hx 10″W

Yes
Aircraft E-145=
16″Lx12″Hx 7″W
All Other Aircraft=
19″Lx12″Hx 10″W

The factors that determine if your snub nose pet is allowed to fly and if in Cabin, Checked Baggage or Cargo are:

  • If your flight International or Domestic
  • If your Destination and any Layover City
  • The Size and Weight of your Pet with Carrier
  • The Length of Flight restriction are often imposed for flights over 11 hours.

More Info on Flying with Snub Nose Pets

Delta–Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs and cats and their mixes are not permitted on Delta or Delta Connection flights in cabin, checked baggage or cargo.

Southwest AirlinesAllows snub-nose pets in cabin on domestic flights only. Snub-nose pets are not allowed on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight. Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel with you in-cabin under the seat in front of you. All pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier. Pets traveling are subject to a $95 Pet Fare each way per pet carrier.

American Airlines— The airline does not allow the transportation of brachycephalic and snub-nosed cats and dogs because of safety concerns.

United AirlinesAllows snub-nose Dogs and Cats. Pets must be at least 2 months (8 weeks) old. On international flights, Dogs and Cats must be at least 4 months (16 weeks) old due to rabies vaccination requirements. Pets can’t travel with unaccompanied minors. Cost is $125 each way. Your pet must also always remain in the floor space under the seat.

Alaska Air—Alaska Air does allow brachycephalic breeds in cabin. Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old and must have been fully weaned. Up to 2 pets of the same species and similar size may travel in the same carrier, provided no body parts protrude from the carrier and the animals are not in distress. Alaska Airlines does not accept snub-nose breeds in cargo or checked baggage.

KLM—KLM allows snub-nosed pets in cabin. Cost is $65-$200usd per pet in cabin. KLM does not transport most of snub-nose pets in the hold as they may have trouble breathing during the flight due to high temperatures and stress.

LufthansaYour snub nose dog or cat can travel in the passenger compartment/in cabin.   Snub-nosed breeds of dogs or cats can be transported as air freight, not as traditional cargo.

COPA AirlinesAllows snub nose pets in cabin and in cargo.  Cost is $25 for Domestic flights and $125 for International flights.  For International flights, you are allowed to transport pets from Monday through Friday only. Pets are not accepted on flights where the departure itinerary originates on Friday and the arrival is on Saturday morning.  One pet per container. One pet per passenger.  Children under 11 years of age are not allowed to travel with pets.

Korean AirSnub nose Dogs and Cats are accepted in cabin/passenger compartment and as checked baggage.  For In-Cabin, the Total weight of pet + carrier maximum is 7kg or less.  For Checked Baggage, the Total weight of pet + carrier maximum is 45kg or less. The total sum of the carrier’s width, length, and height should be less than 291cm/114in and the maximum height is 84cm/33in. Each passenger may be accompanied by 1 animal on-board or 2 as checked pets. Brachycephalic/ snub-nosed Dogs and Cats cannot be accepted as cargo.

British Airways– accepts some snub nose breeds in a larger kennel. They specifically do not allow Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese or their cross-breeds.

Emirates Airlines– does not accept snub nose breeds as of December 2020.

Aero Mexico-allows snub-nose dogs and cats in cabin and cargo. In cabin up to 20lbs/9kg including carrier In Cargo up to 99lbs/45gk including crate. Flight must be 6 hours or less.

Finnair–Bigger dogs and all ferrets can travel in the hold on the same flight with you, if the combined weight of the pet and its pet carrier is under 50 kg (110 lb). Please note that if your pet and its box weigh together over 50 kg (110 lb), the pet needs to be shipped as cargo.


Even airlines that allow snub-nose pets on flights, each has restrictions on the number of pets per flight and for the length of the flight (usually any over 11 hours).

Snub Nose Dog
Matthias Zomer from Pexels

Snub-nose, also known as brachycephalic, these pets have been bred to have noses/snouts that are shorter than most and this adorable signature feature can cause them to have breathing and heat acclimation issues. These breeds include:

• Affenpinscher
• American Bulldog
• American Staffordshire Terrier
• American Pit Bull Terrier
• Boston Terrier
• Boxer (all breeds)
• Brussels Griffin,
• Bulldog (all breeds)
• Cane Corso
• Chow Chow
• Douge de Bordeaux
• English Toy Spaniel (King Charles)
• Japanese Chin

• Lhasa Apso
• Mastiff (all breeds except Great Danes)
• Pekinese
• Pit Bull
• Pug (all breeds)
• Shar Pei
• Shih Tzu
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• Tibetan Spaniel.
Burmese Cats
• Exotic Cats
• Himalayan Cats
• Persian Cats



Why Do Airlines Not Allow Snub-Nose Breeds on Flights?

Because snub-nose breeds have smaller nostrils, a longer soft palate, and a narrowed trachea/windpipe, brachycephalic breeds don’t breathe as well as animals with average length snouts. They can have difficulty cooling off when playing, exercising, or if they are stressed or overheated.  They have difficulty breathing normally at higher altitudes. Their airway can actually collapse, either partially or completely, and cut off their airflow.

Do I need a different Crate for a Snub-Nose Pet for Air Travel?

Yes. Because of their breathing issues many airlines require a pet crate that is at least 4”/10 cm larger than the dog or cat (this includes 1 size larger is using Standard Crate Sizing or 10% larger). This additional space allows for extra ventilation and air flow.

Airlines that accept brachycephalic breeds require pet owners to have an airline or IPATA approved flight pet crate that is at least one size larger than the size for a pet of equal size. Purchasing a larger pet travel crate will help minimize the risks.

Can I Put My Pet in an Oversized Crate?

The correct size crate for a snub-nose pet is one size larger than the standard for their size. All other pets should use the standard crate for their size. A crate larger than one size larger is not recommended for brachycephalic breeds by airlines for two reasons: 1. Airlines have limited cargo space and each pet is apportioned their space depending on their size and breed, and 2. It can be hazardous for a pet when air turbulence occurs; your pet may be thrown against the wall of the crate instead of leaning against the wall of the crate.

Why Does United Airlines have so many dogs die in flight?

United’s sky-high numbers of recent pet deaths may be more complicated than they appear at first glance.

While United does carry a disproportionate number of the animals who die on planes, the airline says the disparity results from one simple variable: United accepts higher-risk dog breeds that other major U.S. carriers do not allow.

“Snub-nosed” breeds such as French bulldogs are banned from Delta and American Airlines, because their compact airway can lead to in-flight breathing problems. But up until last month, United continued to accept shipments of these dogs

 

How To Crate Train Your Pet for Air Travel

Getting Your Dog or Cat Ready to Fly in a Cargo Crate

Preparing your pet for crate travel requires you to start at least one month in advance by acclimating your pet to a new crate, changing their feeding and watering routine, and beginning to use calming training or supplements.

1. Crate Size Matters!

To find the right cargo crate for your pet: measure your pet nose to the base of their tail, width, and height, add 3”-5” for room on each side (top, sides, front, back).

Choose plastic, fiberglass or metal material with metal fasteners.  Next, the outside must include space bars/handles, and ventilation on 2 side (domestic), 3 sides (international)

Snub Nose Dogs and Cats will need a larger crate. Many airlines require a pet crate that is at least 4”/10 cm larger than the dog or cat. 

This additional space allows for extra ventilation and air flow. Airlines that accept brachycephalic breeds require pet owners to have an airline or IPATA approved flight pet crate that is at least one size larger than the size for a pet of equal size.

2. Start with Just the Bottom of the Crate

Leave the top off at first and let your pet explore the crate and begin to get used to it being a part of their environment.

3. Add Toys and Blankets

Your pet can begin to accept the new crate’s smell and feel when you put their bedding and toys inside.  This is a good way to lure your pup or kitty in if your pet keeps finding their favorite item in or near the crate.

Having just the bottom half of the crate out in a familiar spot and every time you see their favorite toy laying somewhere, pick it up and toss it in the crate.

This way they will always find it and associate with the crate and the toy–therefore, associating the crate with a positive experience. 

4. Add the Top Half of the Crate

Once your pet has accepted the bottom of the crate, add the top and continue the training.

5. Positive Reinforcement is Key

If you are comfortable with the crate, they will be too. Our pets mirror our emotions.

6. Modify their Treat Routine

Place their favorite treats near the crate, then begin to place it just inside the crate. 

At first, they will just retrieve the treat.  Over time, they will associate the treat with the crate.

Try sitting next to the crate with your snack and give them theirs at the same time.  If they step into the crate or lie down, praise them.

7. Then, Attach the Door

Once your furry companion accepts the crate as a safe place, add the door but, leave it open for a while.  Patience is key.  It must be your pet’s decision to accept the crate—no forcing.  Keep up the routine.

8. Add a Water Bottle

Train your Pet to drink from a Water Bottle.

Water bottle training helps ensure your pet’s crate remains as dry and comfortable as possible. 

We secure a funnel on the outside so the airline handlers can pour water into the food and water containers. We found that adding milk (cow, almond, soy) to the water mixture and moist food to the nozzle tip made accepting the bottle as a way to hydrate more attractive.  You can try peanut butter on the tip or broth in the bottle.

If your pet does not accept a bottle, you can freeze water using the bowl from their crate (not cubes) and add them to the water bowl with frozen water just before checking them in at Cargo or Checked Baggage.  

If your dog or cat is traveling in cargo, you will likely get to the airport 4 hours in advance and ice cubes will melt sooner than a block of ice. 

9. Begin to Shut the Door Occasionally

Try adding a treat and shut the door, later, open the door and let them retrieve the treat.

10. Take Short Trips

Then begin to take your pet on short trips they enjoy in the crate.  Parks and to meet friends are great—the groomer and veterinarian may not make a good association.

11. Modify their Feeding Schedule

Seasoned travelers know that many pets will not and do not need to eat during their journey in cargo.  Your pet does not need the additional stress of their kibble is spread over the floor during onboarding and offboarding. 

Feeding right before boarding, during layovers and right after offloading is the best practice.

You will secure a supply of food in a bag attached to the outside of the cage so animal handlers can feed on arrival and during layovers You can feed them just before checking them in to Cargo or as Checked Baggage. See our post on Layovers with Pets.

TIP: Many Pets will refuse to eat during a flight, which is perfectly normal. A treat to chew on provides sustenance and a distraction. And, although they will be very ready to eat or drink once they see you again, it does help to keep them from throwing up.

A stressed pet with a full stomach is much more likely to vomit in its crate, making the journey even more stressful.  It is often better to be dry and comfortable but a little hungry. 

So, alter their meal time. If you have your flight schedule already, begin now to modify their feeding schedule to match as best possible the hours during the day that they will be in the crate.  For example, if the flight will be from 9am to 3pm, begin to provide meals just before 9am and just after 3pm.  If your pet’s flight is overnight, this may be even easier.

Providing their favorite chew treats provides some sustenance, helps distract them from the stressors of the new environment and noise and keeps the crate clean and dry.

12.  Plan to give a Calming Supplement?

These supplements take time to become effective.  If you plan to use calming herbals or supplements, note that these treatments need 4-8 weeks to build up in your pet’s system, for you to monitor their responsiveness and alter dosages. 

So now is a good time to begin.  Follow the recommended dosage, consult your veterinarian and adjust accordingly.

Benefits of Crate Training for Airline Travel. When your dog or cat feels they are in a familiar, safe environment, they are less stressed.  They will actually be safer because they are less likely to try to escape and damage the crate or their paws.

Next, See How to Prepare the Crate Inside and Out following Airline and IATA requirements.

If you are looking for an IATA airline and TSA compliant crate start with our guide Pet Cargo Crate Requirements for Airlines-A COMPLETE GUIDE

Is it Too Hot to Fly my Dog in Cargo Or Checked Baggage?

When is it too hot to fly with Pets in Cargo or Checked Baggage?

Airlines often prohibit or cancel existing bookings for pets flying in cargo or checked baggage hold when temperatures at the airport are, or expected to be, above 29C/85F or below 7C/45F. 

This includes extreme temperatures anywhere on your pet’s route including departure, transfer or destination flights.

Even though airport and airlines work hard to ensure a climate-controlled environment for your pets, sometimes your pet may be exposed to extreme temperatures when flying in Cargo or Checked Baggage.

Pets are most at risk when loading, holding and taxiing—not in the air.

Temperature Restrictions are triggered when your pet is in the animal holding area or on the tarmac. When your pet is in the Cargo or Checked Baggage hold they are in a temperature-controlled and pressurized environment.

If the temperature outside near the animal hold or tarmac is too hot your flight will be cancelled or changed.

What Temperature Is Too Cold Or Too Hot For Pets To Fly?

According to APHIS, if when moving animals to or from the airplane or animal holding areas the animal must not be exposed to temperatures above 29C/85F or below 7C/45F for more than 4 consecutive hours.

Dogs must not be exposed to air temperatures above 85 °F (29.5 °C) or below 45 °F (7.2 °C) for a period of more than 4 hours.

Dogs must not be accepted for transport unless the animal holding areas meet these temperature requirements. Shelter from Extreme Weather

Usda/aphis Care and Handling of Pets During Travel

If your pet is acclimated to lower temperatures (not higher) than is customarily allowed by airlines it may be helpful to use an Acclimation Certificate.

What Is An Acclimation Certificate?

An Acclimation Certificate is used to allow airlines to ship dogs and cats when the airline cannot guarantee compliance with animal welfare regulations, specifically the minimum temperature of 7C/45F allowed by the regulations.  AVAA

Often used for pets flying in Cargo and checked baggage, a veterinarian may assert in an Acclimation Certificate an acceptable range of temperatures your pet tolerates, readiness for travel, general health, and any restrictions or intolerances. (APHIS)

Too Hot to Fly my Dog in Cargo? What Can I Do?


Rotweiller Trying to Keep Cool in Warm Weather.

Choose the Best Season or Month to Travel: when you choose your travel dates, select a  that is not too hot nor too cold. Try flying in the Spring or Autumn. 

Maybe a nearby is less prone to extreme temperatures, and you can use ground transport to another city that has temperatures that do not run to the extreme.

Schedule The Best Flights Time of Day: If you cannot change your destination or the travel date, your next best solution would be to travel during the mildest times of the day.

Book an early morning or late evening flight in the summer.  Book midday flights in winter to avoid harsh weather. Before booking your pet’s flight, compare weather forecasts for days before the trip to get an understanding of the best time to schedule the flight.

Schedule the shortest flight possible, with the least number of stops and layovers. If you are flying to a destination with no direct flights, make sure the airport that your pet is transiting through has temperature-controlled pet transit areas.

Choose that Airline or Airport that Care Best for your Pet:  Not all airport animal handling areas are the same—just like not all amenities in airport are the same for human travelers. 

They vary greatly.   Some airlines have their own special-made animal handling areas at their Hub. For example: Lufthansa in Frankfurt, Qatar Airlines in Doha India and Kennel Club in Los Angeles offer amazing accommodations for pets before and after their flight. 

Get The Right Crate And Crate-Train Your Pet: Flying your pet in the correct size pet cargo crate is key, but takes on special significance during extreme weather conditions, especially during warm weather.

Your pet must be able to stand, turn around and lay down comfortably in the pet travel crate. Begin crate training your pet as early as possible.

Look for Cargo crates that are IATA compliant. Outfitting your Cargo Crate is also important: ventilation, blankets, food and water.

See also, Best Cargo Crate for Flying with Large Dogs in 2021

See our guide to Prepare the Cargo Crate Inside and Out.

What Dogs And Cats Are Most Susceptible To Extreme Temperatures?

Pure Breeds and Snub-nose Dogs and Cats (Brachycephalic) are most at risk of extreme temperatures of above 29C/85F or below 7C/45F


  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bulldog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffin,
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Cane Corso
  • Chow Chow
  • Douge de Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel (King Charles)
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all breeds except Great Danes)
  • Pekinese
  • Pit Bull
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel.
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel.
  • Bermese Cats
  • Exotic Cats
  • Himalayan Cats
  • Persian Cats

So, if your pets are particularly acclimated to lower temperatures and your Veterinarian agrees, they may be granted access to more flights.

16 Best International Travel Tips including Pet Travel

Here are my  tips from years of international travel, sometimes with my furry friends.

Seat Guru

Seat Guru helps me find the best seats on nearly any aircraft, especially for Pets.  Everyone knows first-class seats are larger than Economy, but did you know not every seat in Economy has the same dimensions? 

On some aircraft the window seat has more room under the seat in front of you—sometimes it’s the aisle.

Use a seating app like Seat Guru to guarantee the perfect seat placement for you and your furry companion. Often, a couple extra inches of room under the seat in front of you makes a huge difference. 

Last minute change to your Pet’s flight?

Last minute cancellation? While everyone else is standing in line at the airport to rebook waiting for their turn with the reservationist, contact the airline directly on Facebook, they often respond faster. 

If you’re waiting in line, search for alternative flights so you can get the route you want, not just the one the airline offers.  Maybe you can get an overnight hotel stay instead of a red-eye flight the same day. 

See Flight Rights for more on this.

Best Onward Ticket 

Many countries require you to have proof of onward travel.  This is hard when you aren’t sure when you will leave or where you’re going next. 

Sites such as BestOnwardTicket book the flight ticket for you, forward the booking to you via email and they cancel 24-48 hours later—all for about $15usd. 

You can always book the return or onward flight yourself, but these sites save you the wait time to get a refund or if you forget to cancel the ticket in 24 hours after you land because you’re busy getting settled into your new destination. 

They do it for you for a small fee.  I’ve used this many times with no issue and I always get the booking email confirmation within a couple of hours.

US Embassy STEP

If you’re a US citizen, sign up for the US Embassy Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  They will know where you’re traveling, can expedite a lost passport and send you travel alerts, all directly to your phone.

UNESCO

I travel the world and when I’m researching a new location, I visit the UNESCO website to see the sites worth planning travel around or are close to a pet-friendly hotel I like.

International ATMs

I save money when I get cash. Many ATMs ask you to accept or decline 2 charges.  We are used to just hitting “accept” the fee to get cash. 

But, on many foreign ATMs, they ask you to accept or decline 2 fees.  Many travelers do not notice the second is optional. 

You should Accept the 1st request (bank’s fee for withdrawal) but, REJECT the 2nd request to accept the CONVERSION fee. This 2nd request changes the rate to one even more favorable to the bank. Decline the Conversion and you still get your money but only pay the ATM fee.= you get more cash.

Pay in Local Currency

When traveling internationally and paying for something with your card, a waiter or retailer may casually ask if you want the payment charged in your currency.

Choose to have the payment made in the local currency, you get a better exchange rate for your meal or purchase.

Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Poochie Park Deb Carr

Escorts to Pet Relief Areas

Many airports have escorts who can take you and your pet to a relief area outside of security, which removes the need to go back through long lines at TSA.  

If your airport doesn’t have a post-security relief area available or the ones before TSA are nicer, it may be worth it to ask about this service. Often the best relief areas are located before security controls.

Better Hotels Freebies 

Beyond toiletries, Hotels often offer free use of umbrellas, bicycles, a phone charger or plug adapter, free laundry bags and sewing kits—always handy to carry along with you. Those shower caps are great for packing shoes with grimy soles or covering opened bottles of liquids.

WithinHours

A handy website for road trips.  Just tell them where you are, how far you want to drive, and it tells you interesting places in driving distance of where you are.

Incognito Mode

Airline websites set cookies tracking your searches for flights.  They remember what flights you last searched for. Use incognito mode so it looks like a first search, and you may get a better rate.

Offline Google Maps

Don’t forget to download Google maps before you arrive for off-line use in your destination.  Wifi in airports is spotty at best. For those inevitable times when wifi is weak or you haven’t gotten a local sim card yet.

You can download your city with directions to your hotel or directions for the taxi or bus so you can settle in your first day with less hassle.

Charles Schwab for International Travel

A Charles Schwab account reimburses all international atm fees—all!  I get reimbursement once a month for every fee I pay at ATMs. 

I needed to open a brokerage account, transfer some funds to use for your travel, they send you a debit card and boom—no more dreaded ATM fees or searching for the cheapest ATM in the city.

Working in a foreign country?

You will likely need a Criminal Background Check from your home country.  If you plan to work in your new country, take the time to get a criminal background check completed before you leave. 

You may not need it but, when you do, often you must get it directly from you home country.  It’s easier (time and cost) while you’re in the new country than when long-distance. Particularly relevant for English Teachers abroad.

First Flight of the Day

When flight attendants travel on stand-by, they generally try to get on the first flight of the day, I do too.

It may be early, but these flights are usually cheaper because fewer people voluntarily pay to wake up and travel to an airport before 7 a.m.

These flights also have a higher “no-show” factor from other travelers, which accounts for passengers who overslept or decided the night before they weren’t taking their flight but, failed to cancel that reservation, so they just don’t show up.

This allows a higher likelihood for empty seats that could be given to those waiting on stand-by or gives me and my pet more space in flight.

Also, the first flight of the day is much more likely to be on time than those later in the day.  This is because often that aircraft remained overnight at the airport and is already in position for your morning flight. 

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to take an early morning flight, when weather delays a flight, airlines are not required to pay for a hotel or meals.

Booking the first flight gives the whole day to work with when finding another flight.

See Flight Rights for more info.

Book Your Pet Travel Directly with the Airline 

If there is a problem with getting a reservation for your pet, those who book directly with the airline will likely be given preference for that spot over someone who booked through a third-party (Expedia, Agoda).  

If there is a delay or change in your flight arrangements, you can go directly to the airline.  If you booked through a consolidator, the airline may tell you to go to the company you booked with. 

See: How to Book Your Pet to Fly In Cabin

If you booked directly, you only have to go to the airline.  They favor their customers and while another person is contacting the third-party, you are in direct contact.   

You may also like 18 Tips for Living in Mexico Including Pet Friendly Tips

Best Cargo Crate for Flying with Large Dogs in 2021

We all know Pet Travel takes preparation, especially with a large Dog. Along with Health Certificates and Vaccinations, meeting airline Crate requirements for size and weight are made easier with the right kennel. 

I receive NO commissions from Amazon or Gunner Kennels



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GUNNER G1

BEST for Safety

Crash Test Approved

Best for Anxious, Gnawing or Digging Behaviour

Auto Locking Door

Metal Nuts&Bolts

Back Wheels

Multi-Use, Driving, Home and Flying 

ASPEN PET PORTER 

Metal Nuts&Bolts

Ventilation on 3 Sides

Not Best for Gnawing or Digging

Easy-Open Latch

Easy to Assemble

Tie-Down Holes

Good for Occasional Travel

SPORTPET DESIGNS

Ample Inside Dimensions

Vents are Small than Other Models

Added Tie Down Holes 

Easy to Grab Latch 

Metal Nuts&Bolts

Removable Wheels

Good for Included Extras

PET MATE SKY

Better Quality Plastic than Average

365 Degree Ventilation

Added Extras for Inside the Crate

4-Way Vault Door

Plastic Nuts&Bolts

4 Tie Down Holes

Best for Price 


The GUNNER G1™ Kennel

Gunner.com
Pros
  • Crash-Test Approved
  • Crate
  • Add’l Locking Pins to Secure Door
  • Back Wheels
  • Built for Anxious Pets
  • Key Lock Door
  • Metal Nuts & Bolts
Cons
  • Internal Dimensions Smaller than Most Models
  • Heavier than Most
  • Must Add-On Grate for Ventilation When Flying
GUNNER.com

The GUNNER G1™ kennel is the first dog crate to earn a 5 star Crash Test Rating from the Center for Pet Safety. The G1™ kennel is the only double-wall rotomolded crate on the market, and that is just part of the Gunner safety equation.

Nuts&Bolt are not retrofitted!  They are made for the kennel.  With lesser models, I had to buy additional fasteners that may not fit as well, especially if you accidentally distort the holes when removing the plastic fasteners.

G1™ Intermediate Interior Dimensions

  • 30″ (L) x 18″ (W) x 25″ (H)
  • 33.25″(L) x 21″(W) x 29″(H)

Aspen Pet Porter Travel Crate

Aspen Pet Porter from Amazon.com
Pros
  • Ventilation on 3 sides
  • Metal Nuts & Bolts
Cons
  • No Rear Ventilation
  • Not Best for Pets that Gnaw or Dig
Aspen Pet Porter from Amazon.com

All the Basics are here:  Easy-open Latch for opening the dog travel carrier with one hand. Ventilation openings on 3 Sides provide Pets ample Fresh Air and Visibility

Sturdy Plastic Shell Metal Nuts & Bolts so you don’t have to replace the plastic ones. (Most airlines require metal fasteners.) Easy, Hassle-Free Assembly

Simple and Solid design.  The two halves fit together well.  The ventilation holes are paw-proof, but not very gnaw proof.  Airline compliant for most. Easy-open Latch for opening the dog travel carrier with one hand.

Larger Crates have back vents, compartment covers, and side latches for the smaller sizes and secure tie-down holes for the larger sizes.

6 Sizes, Dimensions:  

  • 19″ x 12.6″ x 10″, Pets Up to 10 lbs, Crate 3lbs
  • 24″ x 16.5″ x 14.5″, Pets Up to 20 lbs, Crate 5lbs
  • 32″ x 22.5″ x 24″, Pets Up to 50lbs, Crate: 14 lbs
  • 36″ x 24.5″ x 27″, Pets Up To 70lbs, Crate:19lbs

SportPet Designs Kennel

SportPet Designs from Amazon.com
Pros
  • Removable Wheels
  • 6 Sizes
  • Incl: 2 Bowls, 4 “Live Animal Stickers”
  • Metal Nuts & Bolt
Cons
  • Vents are a Bit Small
SportPet Designs from Amazon.com

Along with Removable Wheels, 6 Sizes to choose from, the 2 clip-on Bowls, 4 “Live Animal Stickers”, Metal Nuts & Bolt, the Aspen Pet Porter Crate has additional Tie Down Holes for Cable Ties

Sturdy and durable construction makes assembly easy. Meets IATA requirements for Most Airlines. Easy-to-Grasp Latch

Dimensions:

  • (L) 31.5 x 22 x 23, Crate: 15.25lbs
  • (XL) 35.5 x 23.75 x 26.75, Crate: 20lbs
  • (2XL) 39.5 x 26.5 x 29.25, Crate: 26lbs
  • (3XL)48 x 32 x 35, Crate: 43.25lbs

Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Sky Kennel from Amazon.com
Pros
  • 4 Way Vault Door
  • Heavy-Duty Plastic
  • 365 Degree Ventilation
Cons
  • Need to buy Metal Nuts & Bolts

I needed to change the plastic nuts & bolts for Metal nuts & bolts. These are required for almost every airline. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. Some airlines specifically require every drill hole must have a nut & bolt.

The wire door, latch system and 360-degree wire ventilation windows are IATA and airline compliant.

I like that it comes with 2 “LIVE ANIMAL” stickers, 1 dual food & water bowl that attaches to the kennel door, 1 absorbent paper pad, and ID stickers.

Please note that only sizes 21″ and 28″ include a handle. All other sizes DO NOT come with a handle.

Easy to operate secure latches, Made in the USA of recycled materials, Four-way ventilation

Dimensions:

  • 32.5x26x26
  • 36.25×24.75×28.8
  • 44x29x32.5

See our Guides on Pet Cargo Crate Requirements for Airlines-A Complete Guide

What Airlines Allow Large Dogs in Cabin?

Currently, there are no commercial airlines that allow large dogs in cabin that are not qualified Service Dogs.  All Dogs in cabin must be able to fit under the seat in front of you in a carrier. There are private companies that cater to flying large dogs in cabin. They cost an average of $15,000-$30,000usd.

Flying with a Service Animal

As of January 2021,to fly with Service Animals, Airlines may require that Service Animals must be Dogs, you must present a DOT Attestation form up to 48 hours in advance, fit in the seat footprint, remain on a leash and travelers are limited to 2 service Dogs, you may check-in online.

What Proof or Documents Do Airlines Need for Service Animals?

For US Airlines, Up to 48 hours in advance Airlines may require:

  • A U.S. DOT form attesting to the animal’s health, behavior, and training. See Form HERE.
  • A U.S. DOT form attesting that the animal can either not relieve itself or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner for flights over 8 hours

For International Flights from/to the EU:

  • Your Service Animal must be Professionally Trained to be Recognized.
  • In the EU and specifically, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Austrian Airlines, your Service Dog cannot be Self-Trained. 
  • You must submit a Certificate/Document issued by a Training Facility or Trainer who specializes in by regulation of European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC).
  • The Facility or organization must be accredited by ADI/ADEu/IGDF.

8 DOT Rules Changes for Flying with Service Dogs

The new ACAA rules are more restrictive than the ADA requirements as of January 11, 2021. See Rule Here.

The biggest changes are:

  • Only Dogs are considered Service Animals for Flying.
  • DOT may require the United States Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form.
  • The airline requires this form up to 48 hours in advance and/or at the gate of departure.
  • Airlines must allow travelers with Service Dogs to check-in online.  They are no longer required to check-in in person.
  • Limits travelers with disabilities and a service Dog to 2 dogs.
  • The Service Dog MUST fit within the footprint of the travelers seat or on their lap. 
  • If the Dog does not fit within the seat footprint, the traveler can ask to be moved to another seat with more space so long as it is within the same cabin-class.
  • If another seat in the same class is not available, the traveler has the option to either travel in Cargo or reschedule for the first available next flight.
  • Airlines are allowed to require a leash or tether at all times.
  • Airlines may deny boarding to aggressive dogs or that are a threat to others.  The airlines cannot deny based on breeds but, on observations of the Dog. 

Can an airline deny my service dog to board my flight?

You Service Dog may be denied boarding your airplane if you do not present the required DOT forms, your Dog does not fit in the footprint of your seat, or your Dog’s behavior is disruptive. 

In the EU, your Service Animal will be denied flying if it is not professionally trained and you cannot present certification from a professional trainer or facility.  More on that below.

In the US: the DOT gives airlines three methods to use in determining whether someone is travelling with a true service animal:

  • These are the three ways the airline’s staff can verify your canine companion is a service dog:
  • Asking whether the animal is required to accompany the passenger because of a disability and what work or task(s) the animal has been trained to perform.
  • It’s important to note here that service dog owners have a right to a certain degree of privacy. Airline staff cannot make specific inquiries about your disability or ask that you have your service dog demonstrate the task it has been trained for.
  • Observing the behavior of the animal.
  • Airline staff are trained to know differences between pets and service animals.  They will observe the general behavior of the service dog to see whether it remains under the control of its handler.
  • A service dog can be barred from a flight if it is out of control, barking or growling repeatedly at other passengers or animals, biting, jumping on or causing injury to others, or urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area.

Airlines May Deny a Service Dog to Board a Flight if:

  • Violates safety requirements – e.g., too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin
  • When the Dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • When the Dog causes a significant disruption in the cabin or at airport gate areas; or
  • Violates health requirements – e.g., prohibited from entering a U.S. territory or foreign country.

What is a Psychiatric Service Animal? 

A Psychiatric Service Animal is a one specifically trained to help an individual living with a mental illness.

A Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) is an animal,  usually a dog, specifically trained to support individuals diagnosed with a mental illness.

A well trained PSD is able to ease symptoms caused by the mental disability and can comfort their handler in times of distress. In some cases, a Psychiatric Service Dog can be trained to sense the onset of psychiatric episodes and alert their handler.

PSDs may also help with everyday tasks, such as reminding their owner to take medication or helping them stay in touch with reality during hallucinations.

What Psychiatric Disabilities Can a Service Dog Assist with?   According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), these dogs must assist their handlers in completing tasks that directly relate to their disabilities including:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Agoraphobia and others

When flying, Psychiatric Service Animals have had rough time in the past due to the abuse by so many diluting the need for service animals by claiming their Pet is a Service animal under the guise of Emotional Support Animal (ESA). 

In 2021 the rules for allowing ESAs have changed and airlines are no longer required to allow ESAs to fly in cabin.  ESAs are now, rightfully, considered Pets for airlines from the US.

Getting through the Airport with a Service Dog

For TSA Security Check, you have a option of removing all your dog’s gear or switching to a metal-free leash or having the Agent perform a pat-down. 

Give the Dog a vocal command to go through the detector, then walk through yourself. Usually, TSA agents don’t let you touch the dog until the pat down in complete.

You can choose to pre-board and you do not have to check-in in person.  The new rules allow you to check-in online.

Flying with a Service Dog in 2021 | New US DOT Rules-YouTube

As of January 2021,to fly with Service Animals, Airlines may require that Service Animals must be Dogs, you must present a DOT Attestation form up to 48 hours in advance, fit in the seat footprint, remain on a leash and travelers are limited to 2 service Dogs, you may check-in online.

See Also, Can my ESA Become a Psychiatric Trained Service Dog for Airline Travel?

4 Best Pet Carriers for Airlines 2021-In Cabin

Oh, we have so much planning to do when we travel with our furry companion.  Vaccinations, check…health certificate, check…book a space with our ticket…check.  Now, we need the best Pet Travel carrier for in cabin. 

We’ve researched, tried and traveled with many.  Here are our best picks.


QUICK LOOK



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BEST FOR PRICE Sherpa Original Deluxe 

SIZEs:

(S) 16"L x 10"H 

(M) 17”L x 10.5”H, 

(L) 18"L x 11"H

FEATURES:

3-Sided Ventilation

Top & Side Doors

Locking Zippers

Padded Carry Strap


  • Faux Lambskin Liner


COLLAPSIBLE: NO

EXPANDABLE: NO

POCKETS: 1

VENTILATION: 3-Sided

COMFORT LEVEL: Comfortable

BEST FOR FEATURES

Katziela Pet Carrier



SIZE:

11" x 16" x 22"

FEATURES: Ventilation on 4 Sides

Removable Wheels

Telescoping Handle

Seat Belts

Snack Door

Fits Up To 25lbs

4lbs

Fits 2 Pets Comfortably

COLLAPSIBLE: NO

EXPANDABLE: No, Doesn't Need It

POCKETS: 4

VENTILATION: 4 Sides 

COMFORT LEVEL: Very Good

BEST FOR DURABILITY

Mr. Peanuts Rhodium Series 


SIZE: 

19X11X12"

 

FEATURES: 

Ventilation on 3 Sides

Carry Handle

Sturdy Nylon Fabric



COLLAPSIBLE: NO

EXPANDABLE: NO

POCKETS: 1

VENTILATION: 3-Sided

COMFORT LEVEL: Privacy Shield adds Comfort to Anxious Pets

LUXURY MEETS FUNCTION 

Arlo Skye


SIZE:

(M) 17.5" x 11" x 11"

(S)15" x 10" x 8.5" 

FEATURES: 

Memory Foam Bed

2 Entry/Exit Doors, Front and Back

4lbs

360 Degree Ventilation

Back Sleeve For Carry On

COLLAPSIBLE: YES

EXPANDABLE: NO 

POCKETS: 

VENTILATION: 4-Sided  

COMFORT LEVEL:

First Class


BEST FOR PRICE- Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe from Amazon.com
Pros
  • Top And Side Entry
  • 3.9lbs
  • Very Well Compressible
  • 3-Sided Ventilation
  • Luggage Strap for Carry-On
Cons
  • Only 1 Slim Pocket for Storage
  • You Pay more for Color Choice
  • Reported Zipper Failure

DETAILS: 

  • MANY GREAT FEATURES: I think the best feature is the top Opening.
  • 3-Sided Ventilation. Mesh windows for ventilation, l
  • Locking zippers for safety,
  • Padded, Adjustable, Carry Strap,
  • Seat Belt Strap, machine-washable
  • Faux Lambskin Liner
  • 1 Pocket
  • Spring Wire Frame allows the back of the carrier to compress several inches to fit under-seat allowances.
  • Dimensions:  (S) 16″L x 10″H Up to 16 lbs, (M) 17”L x 10.5”H Up to 16 pounds, (L) 18″L x 11″H Up to 22 pounds

BEST FOR FEATURES-Katziela Pet Carrier

KATZIELA.COM

Pros
  • 6 Wheels are Ideal for Rolling Through Airports and Removable for In-Cabin Space
  • Telescoping Handle is Ergonomic
  • Fits Pets up to 25 pounds
  • Fits 2 Small Pets Comfortably
  • Seat Belts, Snack Door and Name Tag
  • Padded Shoulder Strap and 2 Handles
Cons
  • Wheels are not 360 Degrees
  • Carrier Can Tilt off Center When Using the Handle
  • Pockets Only Big Enough for Single Items
  • About Twice the Price of the Average Carrier

Details: Your Furry Friend will feel it’s flying first-class, even when you don’t.

  • PLENTY OF VENTILATION: For me the Best feature is generous, full-size ventilation and viewing space.  Too many others have ventilation/viewing on only 2 sides. Katziela paid particular attention was paid to enlarging the Ventilation on 4 Sides!
  • WEIGHING IN AT A MERE 4 LBS without WHEELS.  And 8.09 with wheels. The lightweight polyester fabric allows for more pets to meet the maximum weight for most airlines. I have had both of my cats inside comfortably and together they weighed 25lbs.  Also, making it easy to carry when you want. It The seat belt feature is rare in most carriers. It also a safety leash, 4 (1-item each) pockets, snack tray and padded shoulder strap, too.
  • REMOVABLE WHEELS: I can take the wheels off easily to reduce weight and add additional room under the seat in front of me in Coach and Business. It’s nice to have the wheels for walking through the airport and elsewhere and my kitty is very docile.  I have heard that it can get off balance if you are not careful.  Disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.
  • AIRPLANE FRIENDLY: It meets TSA and most airlines standards, I like that it has the extra room others don’t but, flexible enough for compressing the top so I can fit it under the seat in front.

FLEECE/PLUSH BED: Inside the carrier is a removable soft, comfy and cozy mini mattress pad for your pet to sit or sleep on comfortably. A removable board underneath keeps it firm, remove it for machine washing. The bag is backed by Katziela’s satisfaction guarantee. Dimensions: ‎ 11 x 16 x 22 inches.

You may also like: How to Book Your Pet to Fly in Cabin


BEST FOR DURABILITY-Mr. Peanuts Rhodium

MR. PEANUTS RHODIUM SERIES

Pros
  • Rugged Construction Nylon
  • Wire Frame
  • Plywood Base
  • Only 2.7lbs
  • Premium Fasteners
  • 3-Sided Ventilation
Cons
  • Not best for Pets over 18lbs
  • Only 1 Entry/Exit Point

DETAILS:

RUGGED CONSTRUCTION:  Made with a very sturdy wire frame structure to eliminate that sinking fabric look found on other carriers with a less structured frame. This wire frame ensures this carrier is fully expanded with plenty of space. 

The fabric is Nylon. This type of fabric is good combination of stiffness and flexibility.  Probably, the only better is fabric that includes Spandex.  But, if hard-wearing is key, this works well.  It withstands scuffs and tears. The 1/4″ Plywood Base Insert is a sustainable upgrade from the standard cardboard.

The Safety Seat Belt Attachment is another upgrade.

WEARABILITY:  The Premium Brand Zippers  eliminates those fragile clasps of poorer quality fasteners that separate from the fabric and are reduce the life-span of the carrier. And, of course, they are Auto Self Locking Zippers for safety.  The carrier will not be pushed open by your Pet.

MANY FEATURES: Open Air Large Mesh Windows on 3 Sides, 

I really appreciate the Privacy Cover.  My Cats do not like the feeling of being surrounded.  I think they appreciate the carrier as a sanctuary.  The privacy cover help keeps them calm. Once acclimated to this carrier, they have privacy and ventilation.

  • 1 ample Zippered Pocket 
  • Padded Heavy Duty Shoulder Strap and Hand Carry Handle 
  • Faux Fleece Pet Bed.
  • Name Tag Holder
  • Luggage Strap
  • Leash Tether

Dimensions:  Fits More Airlines than many others (use chart link).  BONUS: Since it weighs only 2.7lbs, it provides more allowance for airline weight requirements. The manufacturer recommends this carrier for Pets Up to 18lbs

You May Be Interested In: How to Choose a Carrier for Flying in Cabin


LUXURY MEETS FUNCTION-Arlo Skye

Arlo Skye Pet Carrier
ARLO SKYE

Pros
  • Memory Foam Mattress (removable and washable)
  • Dual Doors: Front and Back
  • Back Sleeve to Secure on Top of Carry-On
  • High Quality, Thick Poly-Mesh, Nylon Fabric.
  • Foldable
  • Compressable
Cons
  • More than Twice the Average Price

It’s swank, elegant and it turns heads. The quality of this carrier shows even before you realize it has a memory foam bed, dual doors, a back sleeve for securing on top of your carry-on.

DETAILS:

PLENTY OF VENTILATION The 360 degree Ventilation on all 4 Sides ensures a cool and breathable space. No matter what is pressed against a side there are more to ensure your furry friend can see and has plenty of ventilation.  With the Two Exit Doors you aren’t moving the carrier around to get access.  The Doors are full-frame allowing for full a height opening.

WEIGHING IN at 4.6 lbs (Medium), 4.0 lbs (Small) this carrier allows more airline weight allowance for your Pet. Arlo Skye recommends a Max weight 25 lbs (M), 15 lbs (S).

AIRPLANE FRIENDLY: Arlo Skye meets TSA and most airlines standards. I like the extra room others do not.  The material is so sturdy that it may not compress as much as less-expensive models but if you need an inch or two, it will compress enough to fit it under the seat in front.

FIRST CLASS COMFORT:  The Memory Foam Pad conforms to your Pet’s body.  It is Removable and Washable. The great quality lets you wash and use for many trips to come.  There is a removable board that adds sturdiness, and the carrier is leak-proof.
Dimensions: (M) 17.5″ x 11″ x 11″, (S)15″ x 10″ x 8.5″

I know that this carrier is approved for: United, American and Delta.


See Our Guide: How to Choose a Carrier for Flying In Cabin

and, How to Book Your Pet to Fly In Cabin

You have many choices for an In Cabin Pet Carrier, we have narrowed the choice after much research and personal testing to: Sherpa, Mr. Peanuts, Katziel and Arlo Skye. Let us know at CompanionPetTravel@gmail.com What your favorite is.

HAWAII Pet Quarantine and How to Avoid IT

To fly with your pet to Hawaii, your pet needs a Microchip, Rabies Vaccine, Rabies Titer Test, (excludes British Isles, Australia, Guam, New Zealand) and Tick Treatment, Health Certificate & Import Permit. Hawaii has quarantine requirements.  You pet may qualify for the DIRECT RELEASE PROGRAM.

Let’s start with the quarantine requirements and how to avoid quarantine and then all the documentation and timeframe you will need to bring your pet to Hawaii.

HAWAII PET QUARANTINE 2021

There are TWO ways to bring your dog or cat to Hawaii:

UP TO 120 DAY QUARANTINE

ALL Dogs and Cats, (all ages) must be rabies-free.  IF they are and you comply with all the steps below, they likely will qualify and be released under the Direct Release Program.  Puppies and Kittens will need to be about 6 months old to meet the requirements.

The period of quarantine is up to 120 days. If your Pet arrives and your Documents are not complete, your pet must be quarantined for up to 120 days.

Restricted breeds are: all non-domestic dogs and cats (including Wolf and Cross-Wolf, Dingo and Savannah).

B. HOW TO AVOID PET QUARANTINE—THE DIRECT RELEASE PROGRAM

IF FLYING INTO HONOLULU, OAHU, use CHECKLIST 1(current as of June 30, 2021), from Hawaii Animal Industry Division’s (AID) HERE

IF FLYING INTO KONA, KAHULUI OR LIHUE use CHECKLIST 2 HERE

IMPORTANT TIP:  Ensure all your paperwork is with the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (AAQHF) 10 DAYS OR MORE BEFORE ARRIVAL to allow time to have those documents reviewed by AAQHF.  

If you do not submit your paperwork for approval at least 10 days before, there likely will be delays in releasing your pet.  They are so overwhelmed with arrivals that are in compliance, you will not be a priority. Your pet may not be released on arrival.

NOW that you know how to avoid Quarantine, here’s a Step by Step Guide to bring your pet to Hawaii.


Your Pet Must Have a Microchip

All Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets must have a microchip implanted. We recommend your pet have a microchip in the standard ISO compliant microchip format. Most country inspection services; veterinarians and animal shelters word-wide use the ISO standard.

ISO Standard Microchip? 

ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchips are 15 digits long.  The pet’s microchip ISO compatibility can be confirmed with the microchip manufacturer.

Not an ISO Standard Microchip? 

If the pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip:

The pet will need to travel with a microchip reader that can read the microchip OR contact the Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading the pet’s microchip.

OR

If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one the pet currently has. The number and the date of implantation of both microchips must be documented on the Health Certificate.

When recording the “Date of implantation and/or reading [dd/mm/yyyy]” of the microchip/transponder on the health certificate, IT MUST BE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE PRIMARY RABIES VACCINATION. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated. 

If you have a microchip, ensure it is up to date an accurate for free at AAHA Microchip Lookup.

Read more about Microchips for Pets-Everything You Need to Know for Travel.


Pet Microchips are about the size of 2 Grains of Rice
Microchips are about the size of 2 Grains of Rice

NOW that you know how to avoid Quarantine, here’s a Step by Step Guide for everything else Hawaii Requires to bring your pet to Hawaii.


VETERINARIAN APPOINTMENT—1st Appointment

If you have a microchip, ensure it is up to date an accurate for free at AAHA Microchip Lookup

Your Pet Must have a Rabies Vaccine/Booster Vaccination and a FAVN/Titer Test.  This is done in two steps, FIRST the vaccine or booster and, SECOND, the Titer Test at the 2nd Veterinarian visit. (more about vet visit 2 below)

No other vaccines are required, The only vaccination that is a legal requirement to enter Hawaii is the rabies vaccination. In order to fly to Hawaii, your dog must have been vaccinated against rabies at least twice in his lifetime.

Your dog’s latest rabies vaccination must be administered no less than 30 days prior to arrival in Hawaii.

Pets must be vaccinated for Rabies less than 30 days and less than 36 months before entry to Hawaii.  This information is included in the pet’s microchip. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated.  The Rabies vaccine MUST occur the same day or after the microchip implant.


VETERINARIAN—2nd Appointment

Rabies Titer Test/FAVN.  This ensures the vaccination is effective and your pet has the antibodies. (Exception: New Zealand, British Isles, Australia).

A licensed veterinarian will take a sample of your dog’s blood and send it to the authorized laboratory for testing. The sample must be processed at 1 of 2 Labs: Kansas State University or DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas.

These laboratories process samples from all over the world. They are understaffed so, please get your sample taken as soon as possible. Your test is valid for 36 months.

TIP: Ensure your Veterinarian states your destination is Hawaii, so the Laboratory knows to send the results to Hawaii.

Within 24 hours of the Results of the Blood Test (not submission of the Sample:

  • Notice is sent to you via Email.
  • Results are sent to Hawaii Animal Quarantine Station in Hawaii.
  • The Results are available to your Veterinarian to Complete the Rabies Certificate and Health Certificate (more on that next).
  • The Results are Recorded on Your Pet’s Microchip. If you want to be certain the results have been recorded on your Pet’s microchip, Enter Your Chip Number at the Hawaii AQS Microchip Search HERE.

Once the results are returned, a Health Certificate will be completed.

Health Certificate Requirements

A licensed veterinarian must complete a Health Certificate for Hawaii in English. It must be an original, photocopies will not be accepted. This certificate must be issued by your veterinarian within 14 days of your dog’s arrival to Hawaii. USDA endorsement is not required when entering Hawaii from the mainland United States. Details of your Pet’s vaccination will be recorded here as well as on the microchip.


Next, GATHER YOUR DOCUMENTS: 

You need 4 Documents: 

  • The Rabies Certificate (from the Veterinarian).
  • A Health Certificate obtained within 14 days of your arrival in Hawaii (from your Veterinarian).
  • An Import Certificate-A notarized Dog or Cat Import Form (AQS 279)
  • Flight Booking Information.

You must mail (no email) this documentation for approval to Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Branch.  To ensure it arrives and is sent back on time send via FEDEX or other “overnight” service. You will need these documents on arrival in Hawaii.

Send documents to: Animal Quarantine Branch, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, Hawaii 9670.

The documents must arrive 10 days prior to your dog’s arrival to qualify for same-day release and reduced fees (Fees are listed below). Again, since the documents must be processed within 14 days of your arrival, you must send them by an overnight carrier to qualify for airport Direct Release of your pet.

IMPORTANT TIP: YOU MUST schedule your flight to arrive no later than about 15:30 because it takes up to an hour to transport your pet to the Holding Facility and the Holding Facility ceases operation for the day at 17:00

If you do not arrive in time, your pet will spend the night in holding.  The Holding Facilities hours are 8:00 to 17:00 every day, including weekend and holidays.  If this happens, you MUST pick up your pet before 10:00 am or pay $59usd.


Dachshund Playing on Beach in Hawaii
Photo by Ion Ceban @ionelceban from Pexels

FEES:

Direct Airport Release$185 $244 if documents are not received by the Animal Quarantine Station at least 10 days prior to arrival
5 Day or Less$244
Neighbor Island Inspection Permit$165
Arriving early before eligible for 5 Day or Less$14.30/each day early + $244
Re-Entry Fee (if qualified)$98**
** The higher fee of $130 for each dog or cat released at the airport shall apply (instead of $98) when documents are not received by the Animal Quarantine Station 10 days or more before arrival (re-entry). This includes situations where documents are submitted on arrival for review and qualification purposes.
Hawaii State Gov’t Website

To reach the quarantine station staff, call (808) 483-7151 or email rabiesfree@hawaii.gov. They are very responsive!

Update: Expect Delays When Releasing Your Pet at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility COVID-19 mitigation procedures have increased the time for pet releases.

Delays happen if you do not submit your paperwork 10 days or more before arrival and have their documents reviewed at the AAQHF.


NOTICE: It may not be possible to release these Dogs if you did not follow the steps.  This is another reason why it is very important to book your flight to arrive before 1530pm so you have time to have your Dog release before the office closes at 1700pm.

Your Airline may require you fill out an Attestation of Health.  An Airline form (not Gov’t.) asserting that your pet is in good health. It is a simple, 1 page form the airline will give you at check in.


Pug Ready for Travel to Hawaii
Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

You may visit your pet during its quarantine at the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley. 

TIP:  The best way to get in touch with Animal Quarantine Station is: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov but, here’s their phone:  808-483-7151.

Procedures to Visit your Pet in Hawaii Quarantine

Owners who have pets in quarantine, will abide by the following procedures to visit pets:

  • Mask or fabric Face Covering
  • Follow the 6’ spacing Social Distancing using Floor Markers
  • Visits may be limited to 15 minutes when at capacity
  • Check in at the window, no visiting is allowed by owners still under 14-day post-travel quarantine restrictions.
  • Submit Your Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 test taken within 7 days must be provided.
  • Receive a Visitor Pass
  • Three visitors maximum at one time (including children). If you have more than 3 visitors in your group, the remaining will wait outside and you must rotate visitors.
  • Visitors must remain in the Kennel with their Pet.
  • Violators to the Procedure will be asked to leave the premises and will not be allowed further visitation.

To reach the quarantine station staff, call (808) 483-7151 or email rabiesfree@hawaii.gov


Parasite Treatment (Ticks)

Within 14 days of arrival to Hawaii, your pet must be treated for ticks. 

Most pet owners can administer treatment themselves; however, it’s best to ask your veterinarian at one of the two visits about which is best for your pet. K-9 Advantix® is an acceptable treatment for DOGS ONLY, DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT ON CATS. However, Revolution® IS NOT an acceptable treatment. You should always consult with your veterinarian prior to application of flea/tick products on your pet.

Topical Product Ingredients include:

Fipronil Imidacloprid

Permethrin Pyriproxyfen

Permethrin Dinotefuran

Pyriproxyfen

Permethrin Metaflumizone

Amitraz Dinotefuran

Pyriproxyfen Dinotefuran

Pyriproxyfen + PermethrinFipronil

Amitraz Indoxacarb

Permethrin Flumethrin

Imidacloprid

Sarolaner + Selemectin

The following list of active ingredients are accepted for tick treatment (oral products):

Fluralaner

Afoxolaner

Sarolaner

Lotilaner


TIPS to SEARCH FOR FLIGHT OPTIONS

But do not book immediately. Write down the airlines that travel to your destination and preferred routes. Maybe begin with your top 3 airlines flying your route to your destination.

a. When flying with a pet, your first choice or favorite may not be best or even available to allow your pet to travel. See more information: Pet Passport Page and How to Get a Pet Passport or Health Certificate for many Countries.

b. Each airline has different requirements. They all follow International Air Transport Association (IATA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other regulatory agencies but each airline set their own requirements for carriers based on aircraft, cabin and seat selection.

c. Check each airline flying your route for their carrier size requirements.

d. NOTE THE FLIGHT NUMBERS FOR EACH POTENTIAL FIGHT/AIRLINE and call the airline DIRECTLY.

e. Ask IF each flight has space available for your pet and how many are left available to book. The reservationist can also help with finding alternative routes with available pet space.

f. It is not only a matter of whether there is a seat for you, each airline allows only a certain number of animals in cabin for each flight—not each seat. Just because you can book your seat, does not mean you can book your pet in that seat.

See also: How to Book Your Pet to Fly In Cabin


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HAWAII DIRECT RELEASE AND QUARANTINE

How Do I Get My Dog on Arrival at the Airport in Hawaii?

Your Airline will bring your Dog to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. If your pets was in-cabin, airline personnel will take them to the Holding Facility. The Holding Facility is located on the Ewa Service Road that runs between the Interisland Terminal and the Main Terminal.  Map to AAQHF

How Long Does it Take to Release My Dog for Hawaii’s Direct Release Program?

Generally, within 1 hour from the time the pet is received at our facility. Ensure you book a flight to arrive no later than 15:30 as the holding facility closes at 17:00. There will be a delay if you do not submit the original documents at least 10 days prior to arrival. If you are booking connecting flights, it is recommended that you allow at least 4 to 5 hours.

Can I Have Someone Else Pick Up My Dog at Hawaii’s Pet Release Holding Facility?

Yes, Two Ways are Available: List another person (adult) on the Form AQS-279 Dog and Cat Import Form and on the Shipmaster’s Declaration Form that is required by the airline if arriving via Cargo. Pets will not be released to anyone that is not listed on those forms. ID will be required.
You may also submit a notarized letter stating that your pet may be released to a specific individual.

What Happens if I am Not able to Pick Up My Dog at the Airport?

Pets that are not picked up under the Direct Release Program or under the 5 Day Or Less program will be taken to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley. If a pet stays between 0 and 5 days, the cost will be $244. Fees for any additional days will be charged at $17.80 per day.

How Long is the FAVN or Rabies Titer Test Valid?

The FAVN or Rabies Titer Test result is valid for 36 months from the day the blood was received at the laboratory.

How Can I Pay the Fees for Hawaii’s Direct Release Program?

You may pay the fees at the airport by VISA, Mastercard, travelers check or cash. For faster processing at the airport, payment by cashier’s check or money order may be sent in more than 10 days prior to the pet’s arrival. Payment must be made in the exact amount and submitted with Form AQS-279 Dog and Cat Import Form to ensure proper credit.

You can see these requirements for entry and quarantine including the 5 Day or Less at Hawaii Quarantine Information Page.

Microchips for Pets-Everything You Need to Know for Travel

For travel with pets, most countries require a pet microchip.  This is where a Veterinarian records your Pet’s vaccination and identification information including regular vaccinations, Rabies, Titer test results, name and description.  Although the US has no law requiring microchips for identification, it is mandatory for most travel

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is a transponder that emits information by radio-frequency. It carries a unique identification number and is roughly the size of two grains of rice. When the microchip is scanned by a veterinarian, shelter or anyone with a scanner, it transmits the ID number. There’s no battery, no power required, and no moving parts. The microchip is injected under the loose skin between your pet’s shoulder blades and can be implanted by a Veterinarian including Pet Supply stores.

Why Does my Dog/Cat need a microchip for travel?

Microchipping is voluntary but Mandatory for International Travel. Dogs, Cats and Ferrets are currently covered under the PETS travel scheme, along with cats and dogs. This means they can travel within Europe once they have a Pet Passport, which can be issued by your veterinarian.

Many more countries require Microchips for Travel (usually for Dogs) such as: Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland all require microchips for travel.

You may be interested in: Guides to Get a Pet Passport or Import Permit for many countries in our Pet Passports page.

What Information is stored in a microchip?

A Veterinarian will record your pet’s vaccinations including Rabies vaccinations, booster and Titer test results.

Note for Rabies Vaccinations: if the vaccination is older than the microchip, your pet must be re-vaccinated to enter most countries. Pets must be vaccinated for Rabies More than 21 days before entry to most countries and 30 for some.

This information is included in the pet’s microchip. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated. The Rabies vaccine MUST occur the same day or after the microchip implant.

What Kind of Microchip Should I have to Travel with my Pet?

We recommend your pet have a microchip in the standard ISO compliant microchip format. Most country inspection services; veterinarians and animal shelters word-wide use the ISO standard.

ISO Standard Microchip?

ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchips are 15 digits long. The pet’s microchip ISO compatibility can be confirmed with the microchip manufacturer.

Not an ISO Standard Microchip?

If the pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip:
The pet will need to travel with a microchip reader that can read the microchip OR contact the Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading the pet’s microchip.
OR
If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one the pet currently has.

What does a microchip look like?

A Pet’s Microchip is about the Size of a Grain of Rice

Can you microchip other animals for Travel?

Yes, almost all pets can have a microchip, including Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Tortoises, Birds, Ferrets and even Snakes. Microchips offer a more permanent way of making sure your pet is always identifiable and that you can always be contacted in the event of them being found.

What does a Pet Microchip Cost? Where Can I have a Microchip Implanted?

  • Animal Rescue and Animal Shelters often have the most reasonable prices of between $10 and $25usd.
  • Pet Supply stores such as PetSmart and Petco also implant microchips at a cost of about $25usd.
  • Veterinarians and Breeders often charge between $20 and $50usd.

How Do Microchip Registries Work?

Many different registries offer pet microchips, and each registry keeps its own database. Most registries charge a small up-front cost for a lifetime membership.

Some shelters will microchip all the pets they place and include the registration cost in the pet’s adoption fee. In those cases, the paperwork you’ll receive as part of your adoption should include the information on your pet’s microchip, including the microchip ID number and the microchip’s registry.

Fortunately, although different microchips transmit their information on different radio frequencies, most shelters, vet offices and animal control offices possess scanners that can read any type of microchip.

AHAA (American Animal Hospital Association) is the most widely used by Veterinarians, Shelters and Animal Hospitals.

According to PetFinder.com, “Only 58 percent of the microchipped animals’ microchips have been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information.”

Petfinder.com

Do Not Assume that a Microchip is not Registered if it Cannot be Found on one Registry.

If you do not get a match on AHAA, search other Registries. Most allow a search online for free.

Who can check if a pet has a microchip?

  • Anyone with a microchip scanner.
  • Immigration
  • Veterinarians
  • Animal Hospitals
  • Breeders

Image Source: FortStreetVet

How to Update My Pet’s Microchip information?

  1. Determine the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip. This should be on any microchip paperwork you hold. Your Veterinarian can locate this for you.
  2. Determine which database holds your contact details. From your Pet’s microchip paperwork, or from the microchip company’s website, find out which database your pet’s microchip is registered on. Each microchip manufacturer contracts with a specific database.
  3. Fill out the change of details form. Each database will have a form you can fill out which will allow you to change your details. This may incur a small cost.

Are There Alternative Ways to ID a Pet?

A few countries allow a Tattoo as an alternative to a microchip but, for those that do allow a tattoo, usually it must be over 10 years old and clearly identifiable.

Interesting Note: If you wonder how old your adopted pet really is

any vaccination records on the microchip can tell you when it had its first vaccinations. If that was as a juvenile, you can get a better idea of how old your pet is.

Image Source: AAHA.com

Pet Microchips do more than help you find a lost pet, they are mandatory for travel to most countries because Veterinarians use them to store your pet’s vaccination and identification information including name, contact information, regular vaccinations, Rabies, Titer Test results and boosters.

Transgender Travel with Pets Gets Easier

US State Department makes Travel Easier for Pet Parents

Passports, that little blue book we US travelers hold so dear.  It holds all those coveted stamps from the countries we have traveled so far with the hope and goal to add so many more! 

We use it as our primary, sometimes only Identification of who we are in many countries. 


Couple Enjoying Travel with Boats in Background
Photo by Nicholas Swatz from Pexels

For some travelers it is their primary source of identifying who they are in the countries we travel to, especially when you don’t “go home” often enough to keep a current driver’s license.

Soon, with the help of the US State Department, Pet Travel will have one less obstacle—A Gender-Affirming Correct Identification!

How you apply and renew US Passport will change with this new, and long overdue policy.

A third option will be available. “The department said…it will be updating its procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender marker for passports and that it “will no longer require medical certification” if an applicant’s self-selected gender marker doesn’t match the sex listed on other official identity documents.” Devan Cole, CNN.


Couple with Daughter and Pet Dog Traveling enjoying ice cream
Photo by PNW Production from Pexels

This policy change announced on the final day of Pride Month means that non-binary, intersex, transgender and gender non-conforming persons will be able to self-select a marker other than Male or Female.

The US will join other nations including Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Iceland and Denmark in protecting members of the LGBTI community from discrimination and towards a more gender-affirming policy.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the Department will be taking further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex, by beginning the process of updating our procedures for the issuance of U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA),”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

LGBTI advocates applauded the State Department’s move on Wednesday, with a leader at the National Center for Transgender Equality saying that “having accurate passports and consistent ID is critical to daily life.”

It’s necessary for travel, banking, starting a new job and school. Inaccurate IDs open transgender people up to harassment and discrimination,” Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the group’s deputy executive director, said in a statement. “Reforming US passports is a common-sense way to improve the lives of transgender people.”

You may be interested in: Guides on How to Get Pet Passports or Import Permits for many countries. We keep updated information on our Pet Passport page

.These changes will promote ease of entry to many countries, deter harassment and is critical for daily life for so many travelers.


Couple Laughing near Bridge with Laptop
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

One less hassle at the airport is welcome. Pet Travel and importing a pet to a new country can become a logistical dilemma without the added frustration of having to present a passport that does not show your correct, gender-affirming, designation.

This policy change also applies when applying to replace or amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).


Couple Embracing with their Dog by the Ocean
Photo by PNW Production from Pexels

Along with 20 states making similar changes to state documents, the path toward gender-affirming policies and reducing discrimination is a step in the right direction.

How Can I Change the Gender Marker on My Passport Now?

To select the gender marker on your passport, see the Selecting your Gender Marker page on the Travel.State.Gov website HERE. If you were born abroad, follow the instructions on how to Replace or Amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) to update gender marker.

When will Changes to the Gender Marker on US Passports Happen?

The US State Department anticipates a person may apply to change, renew or apply with their self-selected gender as soon as December 2021.

You may be interested in other news for Pet Travel here.

Pet Travel in the Age of Movie Stars and Bulky Luggage

Travel has certainly changed. On my first big trip to Europe when I was 13 we arrived in our best outfits and heels and our biggest piece of luggage. Today, it’s casual wear, sneakers and lightweight bags. But, one thing hasn’t changed, we love to take our furry companions with us.


Victoria Station, the Iconic Belmond British Pullman, and the day of fashionable Dress for Travel.

Victoria Station, the Iconic Belmond British Pullman, and the day of fashionable Dress for Travel and Pets Welcome
Allan Cash Picture Library / Alamy

1955: Hollywood Movie Stars, Grace Kelly and her Poodle, Elizabeth Taylor and Lorraine Day arriving in New York City

1955 Hollywood Movie Stars, Grace and her Poodle, Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Lorraine Day arriving in New York City
Getty Images

Two Men Enjoying a Day at the Beach with their Furry Friend

Two Men Enjoying a Day at the Beach with their Furry Friend
Getty Images

Vintage Girl in the day when you packed up your phonograph and took it to the beach with your Furry Friend

Vintage Girl in the day when you packed up your phonograph and took it to the beach with your Furry Friend
Shutterstock Images

Bulky Luggage has changed so much, but luckily, Pet Travel is increasing

Bulky Luggage has progress so far but luckily, Pet Travel increases
Getty Images

You May Also Like: 12 Ways to Waste Time During a Layover+Give a Lonely Robot a Job

1941: Handsome Movie Star, Errol Flynn and his Faithful Companion aboard a yacht

1941: Handsome Movie Star, Errol Flynn and his Faithful Companion aboard a yacht
Getty Images

1933: “Sleep Like a Kitten and Arrive Fresh as a Daisy in Air-Conditioned Comfort” Chessie the RailRoad Kitten rode the rails in Quiet Slumber on the C&O Railway


1933:  “Sleep Like a Kitten and Arrive Fresh as a Daisy in Air-Conditioned Comfort” Chessie the RailRoad Kitten rode the rails in Quiet Slumber on the C&O Railway
cohs.org

1955: Hollywood’s Favorite Italian Actress, Sophia Loren, at the Beach in Cannes with her Dachshund

1955: Hollywood’s Favorite Italian Actress, Sophia Loren at the Beach in Cannes with her Dachshund
Getty Images

How we Dress for a Day at the Beach has Certainly Changed A Lot–But not for Furry Companions

How we Dress for a Day at the Beach has Certainly Changed A Lot--But not for Furry Companions
Suzy Hazelwood Pexels.com

If Only all Pets were Allowed in Theaters as here in this Publicity Photo

If Only all Pets were Allowed in Theaters as here in this Publicity Photo
Google Images

You may also like: Best AFFORDABLE Pet Friendly Hotel Chains for 2021

Pet Travel is Coming Back into Vogue. A Lot has Changed including More Comfortable Seats, and More Room for Pets

Pet Travel is Coming Back into Vogue. A Lot has Changed including More Comfortable Seats, and More Room for Pets
Min An-Pexels.com

1954:  The always Fashionable, Ava Gardner, arriving by Plane with her Companion Pet, Rags

1954:  The always Fashionable, Ava Gardner, arriving by Plane with her Companion Pet, Rags
Pexels.com

1956: Hollywood Actress turned Princess, Grace Kelly, Traveling in her Stylish Way to find her Prince.  She Wouldn’t Leave for Monaco without her Pet Poodle, Oliver, who was Given To Her by the Legendary Cary Grant

1956: Hollywood Actress turned Princess, Grace Kelly, Traveling in her Stylish Way to find her Prince.  She Wouldn’t Leave for Monaco without her Pet Poodle, Oliver, who was Given To Her by the Legendary Cary Grant
Getty Images

Staycations Are Nothing New.  Stewart Granger, Jean Simmons and their 3 Companion Pets enjoy Some Family Time at Home

Staycations Are Nothing New.  Stewart Granger, Jean Simmons and their Three Companion Pets enjoy Some Family Time at Home
Google Images

Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at Grand Central Station following Tony’s Movie Premier with their Aptly Named Poodle, Houdini

Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at Grand Central Station following Tony’s Movie Premier with their Aptly Named Dog, Houdini
Getty Images

America’s Little Darling, Shirley Temple, and a Furry Friend at the Beach

Shirley Temple and Dog Beach
America’s Little Darling, Shirley Temple and a Furry Friend at the Beach

Dorothy Dandridge and her Pet Poodle Relaxing in Style at Orly Airport in Paris

Dorothy Dandridge and her Pet Poodle Relaxing in Style at Orly Airport in Paris
Getty Images

Travel has certainly changed from dress and bulky luggage to casual wear and lightweight bags. But, one thing hasn’t changed, we love to take our furry companions with us.


12 Ways to Waste Time on a Layover + Give a Lonely Robot a Job

Years ago, airports were just a place where people wait for their flight. Today, even airports have become tourist spots for travelers. With all the most incredible amenities they have, waiting for your next flight will never be an exhausting experience again.

Here are some of the best amenities international airports provide that pets and their companions can genuinely enjoy.


1.      GO SEE A MOVIE

If you are most travelers who come to the airport early, you’ve probably had some time to spare. Nowadays, airport companies have recognized that airports are not only places to wait for your next flight.

There are now airports that have movie theaters for travelers to enjoy. In fact, the Hong Kong International Airport has its UA IMAX Theater which can be found in Terminal 2 on Level 6. It is open from 11 am until 10 pm. So you can catch the latest new film releases as you wait for your flight schedule. I enjoyed the one in Seoul South Korea during my 7 hour layover in May 2021.


2.       DON’T FORGET YOUR SWIM SUIT

It is known all over the world how great Singapore’s Changi airport is. In fact, you can probably even consider it as a tourist destination as it is. Just to take a traveler’s experience to the next level, the Changi airport has a rooftop pool found in Terminal 1. It is a Balinese-themed pool and even a Jacuzzi. The pool area is open from 7 am until 11 pm every day. If you are staying at the Ambassador Transit Hotel, you can access these amenities for free. If not, you can pay $13, and you even get a complimentary non-alcoholic drink.


3. IT’S LIKE VEGAS IN NASHVILE–HAVE A DRINK WHILE YOU SHOP AND LOOK AT ART

The Nashville International Airport was able to get an airport-wide license for both beer and liquor. The introduction of drinks on the go in the airport allowed the passengers to bring their liquor anywhere they want to go.

Instead of staying in the bar, passengers can go and enjoy the other amenities the airport can offer them. Plus, they offer services such as a manicure and a massage. There are also local art exhibits and live music to enjoy. How else to enjoy Nashville other than enjoying their music scene.


4.  LONELY ROBOTS

I can’t forget the little lonely Robots I encountered in May 2021. He was just meandering around Seoul International Airport looking for someone’s luggage to carry.

My encounter with a couple of lonely Robots at the Seoul International Airport in May 2021–Stephanie Anne Fling

5. YOGA STUDIO

When you go to the San Francisco International Airport, you can find a yoga studio to relax and unwind. The airport has a 150-square -foot yoga studio located in Terminal 2. More than that, travelers have complimentary 24-hour use of the yoga studio. Additionally, passengers also have access to a reflection room which is excellent for those who wish to meditate. Finally, for those who want to get either a facial, massage, or even a manicure and pedicure, they can avail of it at the XpresSpa.


6.  BRACHIOSAURUS DINOSAUR SKELETON

Imagine having a museum in an airport, in Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and you don’t have to imagine. For those who love natural history, they got the 72-foot long Brachiosaurus Dinosaur Skeleton on loan from the Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. This dinosaur skeleton is known to be one of the largest in the entire world. More than that, it stands at four stories high, indeed a sight to behold. For those who wish to witness this natural history wonder, you can find it at Terminal 1.


7.       24-HOUR VETERINARY CARE

Any pet owner knows how heartbreaking it is to leave their pets at home. As pet owners, we would also want to bring our pets the kind of joy they can provide us. We are not talking about just bringing our furry friends to the dog park but perhaps a little further and maybe beyond a few oceans. Aside from being a cute stress reliever, pets, especially dogs, can serve as therapy dogs. There are people with mental illnesses who have their dogs trained to work with them in case of an emergency. At the JFK International Airport, they know how important pets are and have provided 24-hour Veterinary Care to their travelers.


8.       DOGS DO THEIR BUSINESS

There is no doubt that our pets can be quite messy when they want to play. When they relieve themselves, it can also cause some sanitary problems in certain places. At the Calgary International Airport in Canada, there is no need to worry about your furry friend and to meet their needs. They also have a daycare facility that caters to the needs of basically any pet or traveling animal in the airport.


9.       VISIT DOGS AT POOCHIE PARK

Waiting for hours for your flight can be boring not just for you but also for your pet. You may have your smartphones to keep you occupied but not your furry friends. At the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport, they have a dog park called the Poochie park dedicated to dogs running to their heart’s content before boarding. Even pet relief stations are complete with fake hydrants to ensure that your pets feel at home and comfortable.


10.       43,000 SQ. FT OF PET DAYCARE

Perhaps one of the best airport worldwide amenities pets can truly enjoy the Animal lounge found in Frankfurt Airport in Germany. They have a 4000 square meter facility that can meet the needs of basically any animal possible. The Frankfurt International Airport caters to animals, including house pets like dogs, cats, fish, and even horses. But their offered amenities do not end there, and their animal lounge can also cater to bigger animals like polar bears and rhinos. So no pet owner would ever have to worry about their pets, for they provide round-the-clock care for all the animals that enter their doorway.


11.     FREE MASSAGE CHAIRS AND SHOWERS

During a long layover you can freshen-up at the world-class Seoul Incheon International Airport with their free massage chairs and free showers in the airport’s “Relax Zone” on the 4th floor passenger terminal, and a few cute robots strolling around the concourse offering to carry your carry-on or shopping bags.


12.     GET YOUR WORKOUT WHILE YOU WAIT FOR YOUR PLANE

Tired of casual stroll through the terminal window shopping? You can get some exercise on the 2, 1k Cardio Trails at Baltimore Washington International.   


13.     CATCH SOME CHEAP ZZZZs in a CAPSULE POD

Right in the airport, capsule pods are great for long layovers, 1 day stopovers or those really early flights–and they come with lounge access. Heathrow International Airport provides comfortable, quiet and clean pods for rent to get your zzzz’s.

Going to new places is one of the most exciting things anyone can ever think of. Therefore, it is crucial to know the places you will visit in more detail to prepare for whatever is in store for you.


Help Make Dog-Friendly Mexico City Even Better for FREE!

YOU CAN TAKE A SHELTER DOG FOR A WALK

Want some company in Mexico City? These dogs certainly do!  Maybe you are without your companion animal for your stay in Mexico City.  These pups at La Casa del Mestizo, while waiting for their forever home would be thrilled to go out for a walk with you.  In the popular and very walkable Roma Sur neighborhood, for the price of a copy of your ID you can share an hour or even a whole day with a shelter Dog in need.

IMAGE: Emilia Hamdan Photography CANUTO.COM.MX AND COURTESY LA CASA DEL MESTIZOS

Twenty-two years ago Güera opened her heart and her home to abandoned, injured and stray dogs in Mexico City.  Today she heals and cares for over 150 dogs living with her and has placed over 4000 to new homes in 22 years. 

Working with her small staff of 3 and through donations, her husband and the goods she sells, she continues her wonderful work for so many needy dogs.

While you’re in Mexico City, you can help out by offering to take one or more of her dogs out for a walk.  I’m sure they would love the stroll and new company.

Check it out and if you travel to Mexico City, maybe give a dog a break and have some more company while you’re here.  They also accept donations that help provide Veterinarian care, medicine, food and clean water. 

You can find more information on their Instagram site here:

Check it out and if you travel to Mexico City, maybe give a dog a break and have some more company while you’re here.  They also accept donations that help provide Veterinarian care, medicine, food and clean water. 

You can find more information on their Instagram site here:

Can my ESA Become a Psychiatric Trained Service Dog for Airline Travel?

Yes, with proper training your ESA can become a Trained Service animal allowing your animal to travel in cabin free of charge. There are no certification requirements. Airlines cannot deny your service animal based on breed but they are allowed to restrict service animals to Dogs and deny boarding based on behavior.
Airlines recognize only Dogs as Service Animals.

What is the Difference Between an Emotional Support Animal and a Trained Service Animal?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) and service dogs both provide companionship as well as assistance for people with disabilities. Both are defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The primary difference is that ESAs do not have to undergo the extensive training that service dogs do. There is no standardization of training of emotional support animal training as there is for Trained Service Animals under Title II of the ADA.

A service animal is an animal that has been individually trained to perform tasks for a person with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair or alerting an owner of a seizure or panic attack.

Service animals can be any species of mammal – dog, cat, horse etc.; however, for Airlines, the service animal must be a Dog

What is a Psychiatric Service Animal?

A Psychiatric Service Animal is a one specifically trained to help an individual living with a mental illness. A Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) is an animal, usually a dog, specifically trained to support individuals diagnosed with a mental illness.

A well trained PSD is able to ease symptoms caused by the mental disability and can comfort their handler in times of distress. In some cases, a Psychiatric Service Dog can be trained to sense the onset of psychiatric episodes and alert their handler.

PSDs may also help with everyday tasks, such as reminding their owner to take medication or helping them stay in touch with reality during hallucinations.

What Psychiatric Disabilities Can a Service Dog Assist with? According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), these dogs must assist their handlers in completing tasks that directly relate to their disabilities including:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Phobias that significantly interfere with routine life.
  • and others.   

If you are seeking a Psychiatric Service Animal to help provide emotional support for your anxiety or depression, it may be possible that the animal can become certified as a psychiatric service dog. The process involves training for your specific psychiatric disabilities.

See How to Book Your Pet to Fly In Cabin.

What are the benefits of having a PSD for your mental health? 

Having a PSD can be enormously beneficial to your mental health. This is because PSDs are trained specifically for their owners and these animals help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD as well as other disorders by providing comfort, companionship, recognition of triggers and provide guidance for their owners.

For example, they may bring you medication or remind you when it’s time to take them which helps people with memory problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

Further, a trained service Dog is allowed by most airlines to travel with their owner in cabin for no additional cost and without a carrier.

What Training is Required for Compliance with the ADA?

You can train a Psychiatric Service Animal, but most are trained by professional.

Training your PSD can take a lot of time and patience, but it is possible! Make sure you have the right training equipment, find someone experienced in animal behavior/training if needed, practice often, train daily for short periods of time (15-20 minutes). It takes a lot of work.

Each dog has different levels of skill and understanding when it comes to learning what their handler needs. Some dogs are very intuitive, while others might need several training sessions before mastering the tasks they must perform for their handlers.

All PSDs must have the following basic skills and training:

  • A PSD can Interrupt panic/anxiety attacks
  • Use pressure and tactile stimulation to calm the handler
  • Remind you to take your medication
  • Interrupt, redirect and prevent destructive behaviors by reorientation you during a panic or anxiety attack and acting as a physical buffer in crowded areas
  • Waking you up so they do not oversleep

Is There a Registry or Certification for Service Animals?

No. There is no official, no US Government Registry or Certification, for Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require any registration or certification for Service Animals/Dogs. Psychiatric Service Dogs can accompany their handlers unmarked and without any id or paperwork.

However, some handlers find it reassuring to register their Service Dogs and to purchase a vest and id. It helps them to communicate that their Dog is, in fact, a working Service Dog and their rights should be respected.

What are the costs of Owning and Training a Service Dog?

The cost of owning a Service Animal can include the price of the animal. There are expenses beyond purchasing such as feeding and veterinary care that often adds up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year depending upon your location in relation to where you live.

What Breeds are Best for Training as a Psychiatric Service Dogs?

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Border Collies
  • Poodles
  • Golden Retrievers

These breeds share traits, such as high levels of trainability, desire to please, intense focus, and generally good temperament. Dogs with these characteristics usually do well in training and are able to form a strong bond with their handlers.

First 10 Steps when Training a Service Dog
Nate Schoemer-YouTube

Flying with Service Animals

Airline regulations have been changed to allow all types of service dogs on flights. While the DOT prohibits airlines from restricting certain breeds, they can still refuse boarding if a dog is acting aggressive or disruptive.

Further, during your flight, the airline can require the service dog be harnessed, leashed or tethered at all times, even if such items would interfere with the service animal’s work or the passenger’s disability prevents the use of these items.

International Flights from/to the EU: Your Service Animal must be Professionally Trained to be Recognized.

In the EU and specifically, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Austrian Airlines, your Service Dog cannot be Self-Trained.  You must submit a Certificate/Document issued by a Training Facility or Trainer who specializes in by regulation of European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). The Facility or organization must be accredited by ADI/ADEu/IGDF.

Can an airline deny my service dog to board my flight?

The DOT gives airlines three methods to use in determining whether someone is travelling with a true service animal.

These are the three ways the airline’s staff can verify your canine companion is a service dog:

1. Asking whether the animal is required to accompany the passenger because of a disability and what work or task(s) the animal has been trained to perform.

It’s important to note here that service dog owners have a right to a certain degree of privacy. Airline staff cannot make specific inquiries about your disability or ask that you have your service dog demonstrate the task it has been trained for.

2. Observing the Behavior of the Dog.

Airline staff are trained to know differences between pets and service animals. They will observe the general behavior of the service dog to see whether it remains under the control of its handler.

A service dog can be barred from a flight if it is out of control, barking or growling repeatedly at other passengers or animals, biting, jumping on or causing injury to others, or urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area.

3. Airlines are permitted to deny transport to a service dog if it:

  • Violates safety requirements – e.g., too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin
  • When the Dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others
  • Violates health requirements – e.g., prohibited from entering a U.S. territory or foreign country.

Airlines may also deny transport to a service dog if the airline requires completed DOT service animal forms, and the service animal user does not provide the airline these forms.

(1) a U.S. DOT form attesting to the animal’s health, behavior, and training.

(2) a U.S. DOT form attesting that the animal can either not relieve itself or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner. if the Dog will be on a flight that is 8 or more hours.

Is there a Registry for Service Dogs?

No. There is no official, no US Government Registry or Certification, for Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals There are many online companies that will give you a Certification for a fee. They are fake and that certificate has no credibility.

Airlines do not accept a certificate for qualifying as a service dog. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal. Do not waste your money.

Does my Dog need a Special Vest/ Jacket or ID?

No. However, a vest or jacket that states your dog is not a pet and not to approach, pet or offer treats to your service dog can help.

Can an Airline Deny my Service Animal Access to a Flight?

Yes, Airlines only accept Dogs as service animals on flights. They can request a DOT form, observe your dog’s behavior and demeanor and ask what work or task(s) the Dog has been trained to perform. Also, if the Dog is too large to accommodate in cabin.

The EU also restricts Service Animals boarding flights to animals that are professionally trained.

You must show Certification from a professional Trainer or Training facility.  At time of this article, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Austrian Airlines are enforcing this regulation of European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). The Facility or organization must be accredited by ADI/ADEu/IGDF.

Can an Airline Deny My Service Dog based on Breed?

No. Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a service animal means a dog, regardless of breed or type.

Can My Insurance Help Pay for Training My Dog to be a Service Dog?

Medicaid and Medicare do not cover the costs of obtaining or caring for a service dog. You can use your SSI or SSDI income to pay for your animal. Also, the Veteran’s Administration allows for payment of a service dog for Veterans under certain circumstances.

Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained?

No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.

Companion Pet Travel