Just like the airlines are responsible for your safety, there’s somebody else, besides you, looking out for your pet’s safety during air travel. The Pet Air Travel Safety Act protects animals when they travel via air. It is the duty of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to stay on top of health laws and keep animals safe. In addition, the service also ensures that shipping rules are followed and that all animals are treated well by airline personnel.
Below is a quick review of the key points of the Pet Air Travel Safety Act
Point #1 – Pet Seating Areas. Even though your dog may be your best friend, he can’t sit with you on the plane. Regulations insist that animals must either travel in the plane’s cargo hold or inside of approved carry-on bag which must fit underneath a passenger seat. At all times, the pets must be inside of a kennel.
Point #2 – Flying Issues. Some airlines do not transport pets, and others do not allow them in-cabin. Particular airlines have pet, weight restrictions. Others may not allow the presence of certain breeds. Be sure and check with an airline representative before making your travel plans.
Point #3 – Air and Temperature. Federal law does not permit pets to be exposed to dangerous temperatures, 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less if they are traveling via the cargo hold. All carry-on and cargo kennels must have ventilated openings that take up at least 14% of the kennel’s wall area. A third of this space must be on the top of the carrier.
Point #4 – Certificate of Health. Before pets can travel by air, their health certificates must be current. The health certificates must be produced by registered veterinarians who have seen the pet within ten days of the trip.
Point #5 – Water and Food. Food, water, and any necessary medicines must be attached to the kennel. If a pet is less than 4 months old, it must receive food and water every 12 hours. Older pets must receive food every 24 hours and water every 14 hours. When pets are in cargo transport, federal law requires that the airline staff present documentation verifying the feeding and hydration times.
These are the key points of the Pet Air Travel Safety Act. They may help you decide whether or not flying is right for your pet.