How to travel by air with your dog

Air travel with your Cavalier King Charles Spaniels takes careful planning and carries a certain level of risk, yet is sometimes unavoidable. Here are also some general guidelines for traveling with your pet by air.

  • Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will need to be at least 8 weeks old and weaned before traveling by air.
  • A health certificate is generally required from a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel. If your vacation will last more than 10 days, you may need to arrange for another vet exam at your destination prior to your return.
  • Ensure that your pet’s carrier meets all airlines requirements to fit under your seat in the main cabin of the plane.  I do NOT recommend allowing your pet to travel in the plane’s cargo hold. It has been reported that thousands of animals have been lost, injured or killed while being transported in the cargo holds of commercial airlines.
  • Request a middle seat for yourself as aisle and window seats have less room under the seats for a pet carrier.
  • If at all possible, take a direct flight to your destination to minimize the time your pet is restrained in his crate or carrier.
  • Make sure your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is properly micro-chipped and wearing ID tags. Consider adding a temporary tag to his collar with a phone number where you can be reached at your destination. Write your name, home address and phone number on his crate or carrier as well as your destination and how you can be contacted there.  Carry a photograph of your pet in case your pet gets loose and becomes lost while traveling.
  • Don’t sedate your pet without the guidance of your veterinarian.

Before booking your flight, research the particular regulations and fees imposed by your chosen airline.  Here are a few links to the pet policy sections of major airlines for your convenience:

Bon Voyage!

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