Travel tips for flying with your pet

Travel tips for flying with your pet

Wen-Ling Lin moved from Vancouver to Toronto for work, and often flies home to see her friends and family.

“We love taking Kygo on trips. He is obviously the best travel companion and we want to show him the world. He is my fur baby,” Lin told CTV News Toronto.

Lin said she had taken her two-year-old French bulldog Kygo to Vancouver six times and each time the experience went very well.

“The carrier sits right below my feet. He just sits in it and he goes to sleep usually. We zip it up and he goes right underneath the seat,” said Lin.

Since Kygo is a smaller dog, he is allowed to be in the cabin with Lin. However, larger dogs may have to stay in a pet crate that will go in checked luggage or cargo.

Kygo on board the plane’s cabin. (Supplied)

No matter where your pet is on the plane, the Toronto Humane Society says flying can be a traumatic experience for them, adding careful consideration should be made before bringing a pet on board an airplane.

“For some animals they are really stressed when they are away from home. The travel itself can also be quite difficult for them,” said Linda Jacobson of the Toronto Human Society.

If you do decide to fly with your pet, you may need a health certificate with vaccination status. It is also recommended that you carefully research pet size and weight requirements beforehand, and if you’re traveling to another country, find out if it’s necessary to have your pet placed in quarantine on arrival.

Your pet should have an identification tag with your phone number and be microchipped. Lin takes the extra step of also using an AirTag on her dog just in case he would go missing.

“The AirTag is just added protection if he would wander off,” said Lin.

While some owners may be tempted to give their pets a sedative to calm them down before a trip, Jacobson said that should only be done under a veterinarian’s supervision.

“There are some mild sedatives that could potentially be used, but it is a little more difficult if they are not in front of you and in the cargo area, because you really want to keep an eye on them. So, you definitely want to discuss that with a veterinarian,’ said Jacobson.

Kygo wearing a life vest on a paddleboard. (Supplied)

Lin says Kygo has become a good flyer, adding she gives him lots of exercise the day of the flight so he will be tired and sleep on the plane.

The cost to fly with a pet varies from $50 to $120 for domestic flights and can be about $300 for international flights, with airlines typically allowing two to four pets in the cabin per flight.

Lin said while flying with Kygo takes extra planning for her, it’s worth it.

“My family also loves Kygo, so anytime I’m going back home they say, ‘Are you bringing Kygo with you?’” said Lin.

When flying with a pet, try opting for direct flights, avoid busy travel times and contact the airline in advance.

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