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Summer vacation is here and now, many airlines will allow you to take your small pup with you on the plane. To make sure this trip is successful for everyone, follow these tips:

Check Ahead- Each airline has different requirements for pet travel from what sort of health certificate a pet needs, if any, to the size of the crate they allow, to how many pets can be on the plane at one time. Thoroughly investigate each airline to see what flight is the best fit for you AND your pet. Once you make a decision, book as far in advance as possible to secure your spot.

Getting Ready– Even if your pet is use to being in a crate, they may not be comfortable with the smaller crates that most airlines require. Buy the crate that you will use when you fly at least 3-4 weeks before your trip. Give your pet time to eat, nap, and relax in the crate. This will help the trip be as stress free as possible for your pet AND you.

Pack the Essentials- When you pack your bag, pack a bag for your pet too including a copy of vaccines records, extra medication, food, treats, and a favorite toy. Make sure that the information on the ID tag and microchip are also up to date.

Airport Etiquette- Pets should fast 4-6 hours before a flight and potty right before they go to into the airport. If you have a multi-leg flight, check ahead to see if the airports you are traveling through have pet potty areas and if so what terminals those potty areas are in. All pets, kitties included, will need to be taken out of their carrier and carried through security. Make sure that your pet has a harness and leash on during this process so you can keep them safe during the security check.

Fly Time- Your pet must stay in the carrier throughout the flight and under the seat in front of you for take off and landing. To help your pet feel comfortable, board as early as possible and then put the carrier on your lap facing the window so your pet can relax. You can unzip the carrier and give your pet some treats and pets to calm any nerves throughout the flight.  A window seat is also best because you can face your pet towards a wall verses a plane full of feet.