Some pets are too big to fit underneath your in-flight cabin seat and you have to check them as cargo. Airlines are specific on their requirements for pet carriers.
About Checking your Animal Cargo
Pets are put into a special area of the cargo department that is pressurized and temperature controlled. If it will get below 45 degrees F the airline will let you know, and have you sign papers (called the Acclimation Certification) that your pet is acclimated to lower temperatures. Airlines require veterinarians to sign the Acclimation Certifications for dogs and cats; the cost for this paperwork is $7.95 (at the time of this article’s publication).
Your pet will be safe as animal cargo. By federal law airlines cannot have animals in temperatures lower than 45 degrees F for more than 4 hours while in animal holding at the airport, and exposure to temperatures lower than 45 degrees F is limited to 45 minutes while transferring animals between aircrafts and holding areas. Airlines don’t board animals if the runway temperature is higher than 84 degrees F for the safety of your pet.
Airline Approved Pet Carriers
While airlines allow 2 animals 30 lbs or less to ride in 1 pet carrier, I recommend shipping only 1 animal in a crate. This if for your pet’s comfort and general wellbeing. By federal regulation the crate you use for your pet to fly in should be large enough for the animal to sit, stand and turn around. There should be ventilation on all 4 sides of the crate. Use a crate made of sturdy plastic, with live animal stickers on it. Your pet should have a water and food dish attached to the door of the crate, and a pet ID sticker on the create listing the pet’s destination and owner’s name and contact information.
The airline pet carrier I most recommend for checking your animal is Kennel Aire. The wire used on the kennel doors is of the highest quality, and coated with zinc-electro plating ensuring durability and long life. The plastic used is the sturdiest, and there are a variety of color choices available. Your pet will travel in comfort and style with the right pet carrier.