Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre
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KAT is an animal welfare organization that helps stray dogs like Lucy in Kathmandu, Nepal
Lucy before treatment

The KAT Centre rescues and helps animals like Lucy in Kathmandu, Nepal
Lucy after treatment

Advice about Pets on Planes

Scheduling the Flight
The Box / Crate / Pet Carrier
The Days Before the Flight
The Day of the Flight

Read about how to bring your pet to another country

Scheduling the Flight

Learn about the rules of the airlines that fly to where your pet will travel. Different airlines may have very different regulations and costs. Decide if your cat or dog will travel with you in the cabin (which may be possible if she's small), as your excess baggage, or as cargo.

Tips about travel with pets and transporting a pet on a planeArrange your pet’s flight as early as possible. Some airlines limit the number of animals on a plane.

If you will transport the pet as cargo, plan the arrival on a weekday, because a veterinarian and/or other staff may need to check your dog or cat when he reaches his destination. Contact the airline to ensure the cargo facility will be open when your pet arrives.

Try to minimize the number of flights. Leave plenty of time between connecting flights.

Ask the airline specifically where and when the pet should be dropped off and picked up.

Snub-nosed dogs, such as pugs, bulldogs, and Pekinese, should not fly during hot weather because of the higher risk of potentially fatal health issues.

The Box / Crate / Pet Carrier

Ask the airline about their rules for the box your pet will travel in, especially if you want to build your own.

Unless your cat or dog will be in the cabin with you, she should travel in a strong dog carrier (pet crate) that’s big enough for her to stand, lie down, and turn around in, but not so big that she may be knocked around if there’s turbulence. Check that it closes properly. Buy the dog carrier far in advance, because many stores don’t sell dog crates of all sizes. If your pet will fly in the cabin with you, soft-sided carriers may be allowed.

Attach a water bowl to the pet carrier so it can’t be knocked over and airline staff can fill it without opening the box.

Advice about dog carriers and pet crates for airplanesIn the weeks before your cat or dog will travel, let him get comfortable in the pet carrier. Put his food in it every day so he goes into it by himself. Close him in it for a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase the length of time.

Put some comfortable bedding and some familiar toys in the dog crate.

Write this information on the box (or type it, print it, and tape it to the box):
• Your name and phone number
• The address where the animal will go
• The animal’s name
• Any important information, such as health issues, special habits, and if she bites.

The Days Before the Flight

If puppies or kittens less than 4 months old travel for more than 12 hours, they must have food and water. Older animals must have food at least every 24 hours and water at least every 12 hours. No matter how long the flight is, you should tape instructions for food and water on the crate, in case of delays. If your cat or dog may travel for a long time, send food (either dry food or canned food with a can opener); you can put it in a bag and attach it to the crate.

Reconfirm the flight at least 48 hours before departure.

Your dog or cat should be wearing a collar when he flies. Put your name and phone number, and the address where he will go, on a tag attached to his collar (or directly on the collar).

Do not tranquilize your pet without your vet's approval. If you plan to do this, give the animal a test dose in the days before the trip to see how it affects him.

Plan for your dog or cat to be picked up immediately after he arrives.

While your pet travels, keep a photo of her and copies of all of her travel documents with you.

You can ship a dog as cargo or fly with a dog in the cabinThe Day of the Flight

Several hours before your cat or dog flies, give him a light meal and a moderate amount of water. Don’t give him water less than two hours before the flight.

Give your pet a lot of exercise before the flight, so she will rest during travel. Walk your dog before you go to the airport, and again just before she gets on the plane. You may be able to do this after checking her in.

If you’re flying with your dog or cat and you have more than one flight, ask an airline agent about your pet when you’re changing planes.

Read about how to bring your pet to another country