Sunday 20 June 2021

How to Travel With Animals: Pets on a Plane

dog-table_1QCOSTARICA TRAVEL  via NatGeo – When pigs fly? It might happen more than you think. Over two million U.S. pets and other animals travel by air each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

One of them, a meowing cat on a recent flight, led Saturday’s Weird Animal Question of the Week to ask our own question: How do pets handle travel, and what can owners do to make it go smoothly?

Be Prepared

- Advertisement -

Just like us, “some pets are very good travelers and others become very uncomfortable or afraid,” says Monique Udell of Oregon State University.

[su_pullquote class=”H2″]TO BRING YOUR DOG OR CAT INTO COSTA RICA the dog or cat must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. The dog/cat and supporting documentation will be inspected/reviewed upon arrival to Costa Rica.[/su_pullquote]Acclimating a pet to traveling while they’re young can help, but if the animal seems stressed for instance, leaving them home “with a trusted caretaker” is likely the better option, Udell says. Panting and vocalizing are signs of stress in cats and dogs.

Some airlines allow small pets in carriers in the cabin with you and some will take animals in cargo —the U.S. Department of Transportation has more information, and you can check your airline for their policies and specifics on conditions of holds, like temperature, humidity, and presence of other animals. However Nicholas Dodman, an animal behaviorist at Tufts University, cautions that such holds are often “far too scary” for pets.

So if your animal is too big to travel with you in the cabin, or doesn’t travel well, it’s “best to leave it at home with the proper care,” Dodman says.

- Advertisement -

Carlo Siracusa, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, agrees that though the holds are safe, it’s preferable for a pet be with you on the flight so you can monitor them.

Siracusa also advises telling the airline in advance if you’re flying with your pet: They may allow only so many animals per flight. (See “Traveling with Pets Overseas: A Guide to Some Quirky Rules.”)

Read this from The Real Costa Rica: Moving Cats, Dogs, Birds, and other Animals to Costa Rica

Try Before You Fly

Get your pet acclimated to their carrier well ahead of travel. Putting a blanket and some treats in the open carrier to invite them inside can help, Siracusa says.

[su_box title=”How to transport your pet” box_color=”#f7ebeb” title_color=”#141212″ radius=”0″]Accoding to the Embassy of Costa Rica to the Kingdong of Belgium website, it is recommended to declare the pet as part of your personal luggage or passenger’s hand luggage, regardless of where the animal travels (with a passenger under the seat or in the luggage compartment at the bottom of the plane), because in this way the passenger will not have to deal with the procedure of obtaining a health import permit.[/su_box]Once your pet has ventured inside, close the carrier for increasingly longer periods until it feels comfortable—and make sure it’s well ventilated.

- Advertisement -

So can using pheromone spray, a natural substance “that cats use to mark something as comfortable,” Siracusa says.

Siracusa doesn’t recommend tranquilizers, but if you think they might be needed, consult your vet and try them in advance: Cruising altitude is no place to test medication on a pet. Don’t give them to pets in cargo holds because you won’t be there should anything go wrong.

“There are nutritional supplements that have anti-anxiety effects,” she says—another item to vet with the vet and try before flying. (See video: “Plane Full of Sled Dogs.”)

Also know that taking your pet out of a carrier to go through security can be tough, “because many cats get very scared” in the noisy, crowded airport. Hang onto them: Siracusa has seen animals dash outdoors in the hubbub.


Riding in Cars with Dogs

If you’re traveling by car, the Humane Society of the United States advises having your pet secured in a carrier, ideally in the back seat, though Siracusa adds there are beds, hammocks, and other comfortable devices available for their safety. Pets on long trips “should not travel outside of a car, and definitely not on the roof,” Siracusa says. (Yep, we asked.)


You can also plan breaks for your pet for snacks and exercise, not to mention stop whenever you need to, Oregon State’s Udell says.

Overall, traveling with pets usually goes well, Sircusa adds, but these tips should help owners “avoid bad surprises.”

Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Original aritcle by Liz Langley,, with editing and additional comments by the Q.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 20: only “EVENS” can circulate

Today, Sunday, June 20, only vehicles with "EVEN" ending plates CAN...

Internet speed decreases during peaks in service

QCOSTARICA - Ever wonder why your surfing on the Internet slows...


Vaccination commission endorses J & J vaccine, says no to Sinovac

QCOSTARICA - The Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología (CNVE)  - National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission - endorsed the use of Johnson and Johnson...

Should the vaccination against covid-19 be opened?

QCOSTARICA - Six months after the start of vaccination against covid-19, will it be time to open the campaign to those who want to...

OIJ investigation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

QCOSTARICA - The prestige of the company of some of the richest men in Costa Rica hangs by a thread. For many, the MECO...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 15: 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate

Today, Tuesday, June 15, vehicles with plates ending 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

Construction companies that paid alleged bribes would be disqualified for ten years

QCOSTARICA - If it is proven in a final judgment that they did pay bribes to Conavi officials, several companies could be disqualified from...

Fifth tropical wave precipitation will be heavier in the north of the country

QCOSTARICA - For this Wednesday, the arrival of the fifth tropical wave of the season is expected, thus reinforcing the rainy activity mainly to...

“Caso Cochinilla”: Name arose when comparing parasite with hidden corruption

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) moved to the raid, seize and arrest of their investigation into corruption of public...

Companies covered up defective asphalt

QCOSTARICA - The judicial file of the Cochinilla Case, on alleged corruption in road works, exposes how three companies would have covered up the...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.