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Can a dog or cat travel in the plane cabin with me?

Most airlines will allow small pets to travel. They have specific weight limits and only a certain number of pets are allowed on each flight. The charge will range from $50.00-$175.00 depending on the airline.

When a pet travels in the cabin, the airlines call the pet “accompanied baggage.” If you want your pet to travel in the cabin as accompanied baggage, you must be a passenger traveling on the same flight as your pet. Most airlines place a limit on the number of pets allowed in the cabin, so make sure to check with the airline prior to booking your ticket. At that time, ask for the airline’s rules on pet travel, including the recommended dimensions of your pet’s carrier and the types of pets the airline will allow in the cabin.

If your pet is a larger animal, the airline may decide to stow the pet in the cargo hold with the baggage. Below are some helpful tips and more information about traveling with pets.

• The pet should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned.

• The pet cannot be ill, violent, or in physical distress.

• According to the ASPCA and many veterinarians, as well as most airlines, pets should not be sedated for air travel. If you are concerned about your pet being over anxious during travel, then please discuss this with your veterinarian. Make sure that your pet’s nails are trimmed to avoid snagging on the travel crate’s door or some other object.

• The pet should have all necessary health certificates and documentation. The travel crate must meet the airline’s standards and be large enough for the pet to lie down comfortably, turn around, and stand freely. Mark the crate with “Live Animal — This Side Up” and include your name, address, and telephone number in case she gets lost or misplaced in transit. You also should include the name, address, and telephone number of your destination. New Regulations — Containers constructed after October 1, 2000 must meet the following requirements — The door must be constructed of welded or cast metal of sufficient gauge or thickness to prevent the animal from bending or distorting the door. The door hinge and locking pins must engage the kennel by at least 1.5 cm (5/8″) beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening where the pins are fitted.

• Your pet may be more comfortable if you place an old towel, blanket, or toys in the crate.

• Book a nonstop flight and take temperatures into consideration. During the summer, fly at night when it’s often cooler. In the winter, fly during the day when it’s warmer.

• Certain short-nosed dogs such as pugs cannot breathe well in airplane cargo areas. Avoid flying with these particular breeds.

• Do not feed your pet just before traveling due to the potential for an upset stomach during the flight. Give your pet frozen water or, if possible, some ice cubes that will melt slowly (and hopefully will not dump out during boarding).

• Plan your trip well in advance and make sure you follow all airline regulations. Plan to check-in at the airport at least three hours before the flight departs.

• Federal law prohibits you from taking your pet out of the carrier while you are in the plane’s cabin.