Sedating pets airline travel

Much the same as domestic pet travel, the first step in organising your furry friend’s big adventure abroad is booking in a visit to the vet.

As well as giving your cat or dog a clean bill of health with up-to-date vaccinations, worming and flea and tick treatments, the vet may be required to administer some extra checks for international travel.

The area is pressurised, just like the cabin, and most pets sleep comfortably during the trip.

The cabin crew do not access the hold during the flight, but the ground staff will ensure your pet is securely loaded on board and are unloaded as soon as possible after landing.

There are natural calmers to help your pet if they are particularly anxious or hyperactive, but this should be discussed with your vet during your pre-flight visit.

All pets must travel in containers approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

There will be different forms depending on the country you are entering to be arranged through the appropriate government body (in Australia, this is the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry).

Travelling from Australia, you will be required to complete an AQIS form notifying your intention to export an animal, called an NOI.

Most airlines require your pet’s travel abode to be made of metal or wood, as larger animals can potentially breakthrough plastic crates.Containers can be hired or purchased from dedicated pet travel companies such as Dogtainers, or sometimes even from the airline themselves.Travel Tip: Make sure to label your pet's carrier with your name, contact details, destination details, and attach a bag of food and feeding details for ground staff upon arrival.Taking your pet on a few short drives in the container may also help them become used to travelling in it.For more tips and a detailed pet travel packing checklist, check out our travel blog where we speak to the RSPCA and Australian Assistance dogs for expert advice.

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