I love a good car ride. Just stick your snout out the window and read the daily news off the breeze. But this time of year humans seem to need to travel extra long ways to see loved ones. That means we need to join them on buses, trains, and even flying ships. It can be hard finding information on which companies allow fur-baby travel, how much it is, and what the restrictions are. That’s why I’m here! Intern Stella, at your service, to sniff out good pet travel information and wish you a happy holiday excursion!
Almost every airline allows pets to travel in either the cabin or the cargo hold. Small dogs and most cats in approved pet carriers can ride along in the cabin with you. Approved carriers generally have to be soft-sided and able to fit under the seat in front of you. Bigger pets also need an approved carrier for cargo travel, which humans can buy from many airlines and pet shops. As much as possible, try to book the most direct flight and avoid layovers. If you (as a person) get anxious on layovers, just think how we feel! Most airlines require a check-up with the doggy-doc before flying to ensure your furry one is healthy, so be sure to bring all of that paperwork with you, too. Each one also has specific web pages that outline their pet rules and how to make in-cabin or cargo arrangements. Here are some links to information about air travel with pets:
- Delta Air Lines: Delta Pet Policy and Other Information
- American Airlines: American Airlines Pet Travel Information and Policies
- United Airlines: United Airlines Travel for Pets Information
- JetBlue Airways: JetPaws Program
- Southwest Airlines: Southwest Pet Policy and Pet Reservations
- Spirit Airlines: Spirit Rules for Pets Onboard
NOTE: Unlike travelling by car, we don’t recommend sedating pets for air travel. Altitude + Sedation = One Sick Puppy. Also, always remember to bring a leash! During security checks you will need to take your pet out of the carrier case and you don’t want any panic-induced escape chases across the terminal!
All service animals and more petite pets (20 lbs and under) are welcome aboard Amtrak lines for as low as $26! Some routes require fur babies ride in a special pet car, but most of the time you can ride together in the same cabin. More information available at: https://www.amtrak.com/pets
While inexpensive, long distance bus travel for pets is rather difficult. Ironically, Greyhound buses do not allow dogs to ride unless they are legitimate service animals. Note that, “Emotional support dogs, which help people who suffer from emotional conditions such as fear and anxiety, are permitted on many airlines in the U.S. The Americans with Disabilities Act does NOT consider emotional support dogs to be service dogs, thus these animals are not permitted on Greyhound buses.” (www.greyhound.com) Bring copies of any laws pertaining to service animals with you in case you run into any resistance on your trip. Plenty of local buses will allow smaller dogs in carriers to ride along, but every municipality is different. Be sure to check them out before planning your trip. Here is a link to lots of information about various lines across the North American continent: www.pettravel.com/passports_pubtrans.cfm
Check out the laws, bring a leash, and Happy Tails!
Peace & Paws,