Is your pet traveling alone? Here are some tips for keeping them safe

Is your pet traveling alone? Here are some tips for keeping them safe

Most of the time when our pets travel, they travel with us, their owners. However, there are times when pets do have to travel alone, such as cross-country airline travel or if a family is relocating to a new country and transporting a pet separately is necessary.  These situations can be rather un-nerving for pets and their parents but there are some guidelines that should be followed that will make this situation much easier for both the pet and the pet parent.


  1. The first step to take is make an appointment with your vet to ensure that your pets vaccines are up to date. This is especially important for overseas travel. Discuss with your vet options for keeping your pet calm during transport, especially if your pet is traveling via the cargo section of an airline. Some vets may discourage tranquilizing your pet because that can interfere with breathing during travel, but it is important that your pet have something that will keep them calm during the flight.
  2. Learn what the airline requirements are for your pet’s crate and ensure you have the proper crate for travel. Make sure it is large enough for your pet to be comfortable and that you have blankets or towels that will smell of home for both their physical and emotional comfort as well. Also, make sure food and especially water are available for your pet in the crate and that the crate can be easily opened should airline personnel need to do so. Additionally, make sure your pet’s kennel has all the proper identification needed.
  3. When possible, book a direct flight for your pet. There are many more opportunities for things to go wrong if there are multiple transfers, such as your pet being left on a hot tarmac for too long or failing to get them on the correct connecting flight. If a layover is necessary, find a local kennel who may be able to care for your pet during a layover. Layover service is something we provide here at Hillrose Pet Resort. If a layover is needed, the kennel should be notified well in advance and the necessary arrangements made for your pet.  Here at Hillrose, we meet the pet at the airport and transport them to our kennel and board them for the duration of the layover then transport them back to SeaTac in time for their flight.
  4. Make arrangements for your pet to be met by someone at their final destination. In most cases, pets traveling alone will be met by their families, however, if the family has not yet arrived at the destination, it is important that your pet will be met by either a friend or a local kennel that will provide care for your pet until you can be reunited with them. If this is the case, make sure the airline has the information regarding who is authorized to receive your pet.

The most important thing to keep in mind when your pet needs to travel alone is to know, well in advance, what is needed for their safe travel and plan every detail accordingly. Because we provide layover services here at Hillrose, we are well acquainted with the process and we are happy to offer any additional advice you may need.  You may contact us or visit our website for additional information.


Source: ASPCA

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