How To Fly With Your Dog

Every airline seems to have a different policy when it comes to flying with your pet. Some charge to bring them in the cabin, and some don’t. Some won’t let short-nosed animals, like pugs or Persian cats, on the plane at all — fearful that their short nasal passages will make breathing at high altitudes too difficult. Because of the complications arising from sedating animals in-flight, Continental requires passengers to sign a waiver saying they haven’t sedated their pet — though most airlines have yet to adopt this regulation.

If you’re finding it hard to keep all this straight, here’s a list of the basic guidelines that both airlines and pet-owners are required to follow by law. While some of it’s common sense, a few of the rules may surprise you, and all the tips are helpful. For instance, did you know that you shouldn’t feed or give water to your pet two hours before departure? Or that American Airlines requires paperwork certifying that pets were fed and watered within four hours before delivery?

In any case, flying with a pet will probably be stressful for both you and the animal. However, by knowing the rules, and planning ahead, you can make the process as easy as possible.