A Strange New World: All About Airline Regulations for Pets

New airline regulations for pets can make traveling with pets safer.Flying isn’t what it used to be. What was once a luxurious and enjoyable experience has turned into the human equivalent of a cattle drive. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford first or business class, the skies certainly don’t seem as friendly as they did in the days of yore.

Some of the biggest changes are around airline regulations for pets. In an effort to avoid tragic situations (like the ones that have recently tarnished the reputations of certain major airlines), companies have stepped up to create safer environments for their animal passengers.

Airline Regulations for Pets

Airline regulations for pets vary widely between companies, so be sure to make thorough research part of your trip planning routine. Some of the new rules and regulations you may encounter include:

  • Cargo restrictions – The cargo hold is the most dangerous place for pets to travel. Due to recent pet deaths, some airlines have tightened regulations considerably in this area. Short-nosed breeds (such as pugs and bulldogs) and strong-jawed breeds are no longer allowed in the cargo hold on certain airlines due to safety and health risks.
  • Temperature concerns – On some airlines, pet travel is restricted depending on heat safety concerns. United Airlines, for example, no longer allows pets to fly to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix, or Tucson from May 1 to September 30 due to dangerously high temperatures.
  • Layover limits – Many airlines limit the number of layovers a pet traveling in the cargo hold can undergo, especially during the summer months.
  • Service/comfort animals – Although service and emotional support animals are allowed on most flights, new restrictions may apply, such as where the animal is allowed to sit, how much space they can occupy, whether or not documentation is required, or whether a fee is charged.

Don’t Forget About Us!

Before booking a flight for your pet, schedule an appointment with us at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital. All pets should have a wellness exam prior to flying to ensure they’re healthy enough for the trip. We will also review any necessary immunizations, parasite prevention, and microchipping (highly recommended for pets who travel). Please give us a call to get started!