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The Omlet Blog

Super Pet… Up Up and Away

dog travellingLet’s start by stating the obvious… Australia a BIG place and sometimes you don’t want to drive the 10 hours to Melbourne, you want to fly, because it’s quicker, easier and much less stressful! However what about if you have a pet that you want to take with you, how do you do it?

  • Strap a pair of wings to their arms?
  • Smuggle them onto the plane in your hand luggage?
  • Dress them in human clothing and pretend they are your baby (note this is only for small pets :))

Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to do any of the above on planes… unless you have a service animal (e.g. guide dog) they need to go in the hold with the bags. There is one exception – charter a private jet (like Johnny Depp) and you can have them wherever you like!

Won’t the Hold be chilly? Uncomfortable?

No, not when in the air, first up they have to be in a pet carrier suitable to their size and that complies with the IATA and the airlines freight requirements, usually this is a PP20 or PP40 crate. In the hold the temperature will be the same as it is in the cabin, the noise will also be the same… So, you need to consider your pet’s health before popping them on a plane – if you are worried check with your vet.

Also be aware of the outside temperature when flying them and try to avoid flights in the extreme temperatures, eg the middle of the day in summer or the early morning in winter. Your pet may be in the hold for a while before take off and after landing.

Inflight service?

Your pet gets water, but no food – but let’s face it they are probably better off without food as who knows what airline pet food is like 🙂  Seriously though there aren’t any hosties in the hold, no pet cuddles available.

You need to make sure that your pet is used to the container they are in before they fly, so that it can be as stress less as possible. I think that you need to think of your pet like a baby, they have no idea what is happening and are potentially going to get a bit upset 🙁

Can I pop any pet on a plane?

No, unfortunately not, these are the animals that you can fly…

  • Dogs (excluding racing greyhounds), if you are travelling into Tasmania, your dog must be treated for the Hydatids Tapeworm prior to arrival
  • Cats
  • Rabbits, but you can’t take rabbits into Queensland
  • Guinea pigs
  • Domestic fish that don’t need aerated air
  • Domestic birds that do not need a permit to travel
  • Reptiles
  • Rats

Also if your pet is over 12 years old you will need a vet certificate stating that they are healthy enough to fly.

flying catHow do I Fly my Pet?

There are lots of companies in Australia that can help you, or you can go direct to the airline. In Australia these are the domestic airlines you can pop your pet on…

  • Qantas offer a service where you can put your pet on the same flight as you – which makes life much easier if you are travelling with them
  • Virgin offer a service just for cats and dogs – no other animals, and they limit the number of cages per flight to 2

Plus there are lots of pet transport companies that will also offer a door to door service.

Finally be aware that flying your pet, may seem like the easiest and quickest option to you, but it may not be like that for him or her. You need to be especially careful with short faced breeds, such as pug dogs as they can get into respiratory problems. The RSPCA have some guidelines on flying pets, but if you are worried at all check with your vet.

This entry was posted in Pets


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