You are going to fly with your pet and you are wondering, this is normal. Such a trip can be stressful both for you and for your dog or cat. Administrative formalities, airline regulations, stress during the flight, here are our tips…
First of all, your dog or cat must be identified by microchip.
The identification of dogs and cats is compulsory in France for any transfer of an animal free of charge or for a fee.
And apart from any assignment, identification is also compulsory for dogs born after January 6, 1999 over the age of 4 months and for cats born after January 1, 2012 over the age of 7 months.
To fly and travel in the European Union, the dog or cat must therefore be identified by electronic chip. This is also the case for the ferret.
Identification by tattoo only remains valid if it has been performed before July 3, 2011, and it is still clearly legible.
Since July 3, 2011, only the electronic chip will be recognized as a valid means of identification.
To travel, your dog or cat must also have a European passport which attests to its vaccination against rabies in particular.
For the plane itself, each airline has its own regulations.
It is therefore advisable to be well informed when purchasing the ticket on the travel conditions: transport case, transport bag, in the hold or cabin, required vaccinations, certificate of good health, etc.
In general, dogs and cats weighing less than 4 kg can travel in the cabin (and not in the hold). A closed case or transport bag remains compulsory.
The requirements for this transport case (or bag) must be well defined in advance so as not to be blocked on boarding. We often talk about the IATA (International Air Transport Association) standards for transport crates, do not hesitate to read our sheet on this subject.
Some companies also refuse to transport certain breeds of dogs such as brachycephalic breeds, which are more prone to respiratory problems.
Concerning the behavior of the animal during the flight and in particular the stress during the trip, it is possible if your animal is naturally very anxious to anticipate and help him with anti-stress.
It may be in mild stress cases of dietary supplements starting 1 week before travel, but in cases of really serious anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to be taken a few hours before boarding.
Some medications decrease the feeling of nausea and act as a painkiller. Not all drugs have the same durations of action, which are usually quite short. Ask your veterinarian for advice on this subject, he will prescribe the most suitable treatment for your animal and the trip.
Plan to place in the transport case a terry towel and if possible an absorbent disposable draw sheet. This will keep your pet from getting wet if he urinates in his crate, for example.
If you have your small dog or cat with you in the cabin in a transport bag, do not hesitate to cover its bag or its crate with a cloth to prevent it from drafts and the sight of the ambient agitation.