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Read About Airline Approved Small Pet Carriers

Depending on where your pet is traveling there are several options for small pet carriers. You will have to check with your airline before purchasing however, because not all FAA approved carriers are approved by a particular airline. Carriers can be expensive, confirm the size allowed with the airline before purchasing.

If your airline allows you to bring your small pet aboard the flight, your pet must be in a carrier small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. The size will be different depending on the aircraft equipment you are flying. Call your airline to get exact dimensions. Not only must the carrier be small enough to be stowed under the seat, but it must be big enough for your pet to travel in comfortably. The rule of thumb is can he stand, turn around and lie down; if this amount of mobility possible, the carrier is a good fit. Make sure that there is plenty of ventilation. Take your pets personality in to account when choosing a carrier. Will seeing more ease him or make him more nervous? Remember, your pet must stay in the carrier throughout the duration of the trip. This includes inside the airports as well.

If your pet is flying in the baggage hold, your choices will be more limited. Most airlines have very explicit rules for the safety of your pet. Your small pet carrier must be solid and non-compacting (plastic, metal, wood). To transport your pet in the baggage area, you must use a shipping kennel approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1. The kennel must have enough room for your pet to stand and sit erect without the head touching the top of the container and turn around and lay in a natural position. 2. Your pet carrier must be labeled with the words “Live Animal” and also have arrows pointing to the upright position. 3. Make sure there is proper ventilation and a handle. Ventilation holes need to make up at least 14% of the total wall space. 33% of the openings must be on the top half of the carrier and there needs to be a rim around the carrier. This rim ensures that nothing can be placed so close to the carrier as to block the holes. It is also important that the door be sturdy and that it closes securely. 4. Do not get a carrier with a locking door; it may be necessary for the carrier to be opened. 5. Choose a carrier with strong bolts. Before you leave on your trip check to make sure the bolts are tight.

Always call your airline before doing anything regarding your pet’s trip. Check and double check with them to make sure everything is being done properly and that you have purchased an acceptable carrier. Do not just buy a carrier because it says airline approved. This means little to nothing. Each airline has their own set of rules that they follow in addition to FAA and USDA guidelines. It is better to be safe than sorry.