Transporting animals by plane: everything you need to know

by Liz Barcelos

Traveling is an incredible experience, but when it comes to taking your pet along, it's important to be prepared. Airlines offer animal transport services on planes to make this journey possible. In this article, we will detail everything you need to know to ensure your pet travels safely and comfortably.

Preparing Your Pet

Before thinking about airline rules, your pet's well-being should be your main concern. Traveling can be stressful for animals, so consult a veterinarian to assess your companion's health and adaptation to the trip. Direct flights and short journeys are ideal to avoid anxiety and dehydration.

Buying a “Ticket” for Your Pet

Once you have decided that your pet will travel with you, it is essential to check the specific rules of each airline. They vary and depend on the aircraft model, size, breed and age of the animal. Companies usually charge a fee for transport, which must be booked in advance.

Box for Transporting Animals on Airplanes

Now, let's talk about the essential part of the trip: the animal's transport crate. It must be clean, free of unpleasant odors, resistant, well ventilated and the right size for your pet. Make sure the crate has a secure lock to prevent your pet from getting out during the flight. Starting the pet's adaptation to the box in advance is a common recommendation.

Where to Take Your Pet?

Transporting animals on an airplane can be done in two ways: in the cabin or in the luggage compartment.

In the cabin, the animal must be below the seat and remain inside the box during the flight. In the luggage compartment, it is necessary to identify the pet and the transport box, which will be secured to avoid movements that could make the animal agitated. It is advisable to line the box with a hygienic mat and leave a piece of your clothing with the pet.

Vaccinations and Certificates

Pet documentation is crucial. Check that your vaccinations are up to date and that you have a specific health certificate for air travel. Certain rules apply, and it's important to check with the airline to avoid surprises. Certificates must be issued no more than 10 days before the flight.

International Travel with Animals

For international travel, it is necessary to check whether your animal's species is accepted in the destination country, which vaccines are required and how far in advance the International Zoosanitary Certificate (CZI) must be issued. The Passport for the Transit of Dogs and Cats is a practical option for traveling in Brazil and Mercosur, replacing the CZI in some cases.

Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

To ensure a peaceful trip for you and your pet, follow some valuable tips:

  • Give your pet a bath and trim their nails the day before your trip.
  • Offer light food on the day of travel, with the last meal 2 to 3 hours before boarding.
  • Keep your pet hydrated with water at home, at the airport and before your flight.
  • Walk your pet before boarding to help them relax.

How does boarding with guide dogs work?

The rules for guide dogs are different. They can fly alongside their owners, outside of the carrier, as long as they meet specific training and documentation requirements. In the case of international travel, the International Zoosanitary Certificate (CZI) is required.

Now that you are well informed about transporting animals on planes, you can plan your trip with your pet with confidence. Always remember to check the specific airline's rules to ensure a smooth and safe journey for your furry companion. Traveling with your pet is an enriching experience, and with the right information, you can enjoy incredible adventures together.

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