Read About Reptile Air Travel Safety Requirements

Air travel with reptiles can be quite a challenge, but meeting reptile air travel safety requirements will help both your state of mind and your pet’s. Many people are accustomed to seeing and occasional dog or cat on a plane, but how do you go about travel with your exotic pet?

First, contact the airline you intend to travel, since you will need to ask them what their policies are. If you have a small pet or one that can make himself small, you can use a small pet travel bag and if allowed, carry him on the plane and stow him under a seat. If the airline will not allow this they will likely allow him to be placed in the cargo hold. There may be restrictions on flying cargo as well. Cargo holds can become very hot and extreme heat is dangerous for many animals. If shipping an animal in the cargo hold, you will likely need to place him in a hard-sided crate for everyone’s safety, provided he cannot escape from it. Each airline may have slightly different rules so make sure you have what you need. If your paperwork, pet and equipment are not in order, expect you pet to be denied access to the plane.

Safety standards also require proof of health from a veterinarian. Tests will need to be done on a specific timeline, with some taking weeks and others just a few days. Your veterinarian will be a great resource, knowing which tests and certificates you will need to provide. Also for safety, the vet may recommend a tranquilizer. Trips to the vet will also give your pet a chance to familiarize himself with his carrier. He will become more comfortable in the space and will recognize its scent as he spends more time in it.

Prior to your flight date, you will need to write out a plan of action should an emergency occur during travel, and attach it to the carrier. It will need to be easily visible. Airline personnel may have to handle your reptile and the only way to ensure his safety if you are not available is to have those instructions ready. It will take some time, but will be incredibly valuable if an emergency does occur. Also, pack ay special equipment, food, water, dishes, medications, and maybe even a toy or favorite item in the carrier along with instructions for their use; they will often have special compartments or pockets for an animal’s essentials. The most important part of this step is making sure that you label everything with your name, your pet’s name, your cell phone number and address in the event that it is lost. You will want the contact information of your veterinarian and a close friend who can make decisions for the animal.

Keep stress to a minimum on travel day. Stress is awful for animals and for the animal’s safety because they may react badly in unusual surroundings. Stress also causes illness, so be ready to spot sickness. Ask your vet for warning signs and have the name of a vet in the area of your destination just in case. Feeding should not take place on travel day, although water should be made available.

Keep your travel day stress-free and you will up the safety for your pet. Reptile air travel safety requirements are not in place to be a nuisance; they are there for your pet’s safety.