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Pre-plan everything well in advance! This can eliminate the possibility of anything from minor annoyances like unexpected costs to your pet being denied on board or even flown back to your place of departure.
Do not sedate your pet before travelling even though it seems like a good idea to keep them calm. All you have to do is leave the carrier open in the house so your pet can spend time in it and eat inside. If it’s a comforting space, your pet will want to be in it during travel and will therefore be calm without being drugged.
Most likely your pet will not travel in the airplane cabin with you so get a comfortable cargo carrier and make sure it meets the requirements for air travel established by the International Air Transport Association. Have your pet get familiar with the travel crate well before traveling and don’t forget to put water in there for the journey.
Get a clean bill of health by checking that your pet’s blood tests and vaccinations (such as for rabies) are current and have been administered within the proper time frame. Also, check that it has received an appropriate tapeworm treatment.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination help your pet get comfortable with the new setting. Just don’t leave them alone for at least the first 24 hours so they feel that “this is home and you’re coming back.”