Travelling with animals
All animals, including cats, dogs, exotic pets and reptiles, must be kept safe from harm and injury when they are travelling by land, air or sea.
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It is always a good idea to check the health of your pet before any long trip to make sure it is fit to travel. Health certificates or other documentation may be required when taking your pet on an airplane or to another country, including the United States. Find out what is required in advance.
Pet carriers must be large enough for the animal to comfortably lie down, turn around and stand in its natural position. The carrier should be secure so the animal cannot escape or be injured, but still provide adequate ventilation.
The carrier for your pet should be appropriate to the species of animal you are transporting. For example, snakes and other reptiles require a different type of carrier than a cat or dog. Speak to your veterinarian if you are unsure about what type of carrier you should use for your pet.
In your vehicle
Contain your pet
Animals that could distract the driver should be contained. Some animals, such as cats, are more comfortable in a vehicle when they are in a carrier.
Pets should not be allowed to roam freely in the back of pickup trucks or be exposed in any way to flying debris.
Watch the weather
Animals should not be kept in parked vehicles for long periods of time, especially in hot or cold weather. Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly rise or fall to levels that could cause your pet to suffer or even die. If you must leave your pet in a vehicle for a short period of time in hot weather, ensure it has fresh water and leave windows open a little on either side of the vehicle to create a cross-breeze.
Provide food, water and rest
On long trips, make sure your pet has food and water and that you make regular stops so it can rest or get out and walk around.
In an airplane
Most airlines have specific requirements for transporting animals. It is recommended that you contact the airline well in advance to let them know you will be bringing your pet and to find out if you need to do anything before arriving at the airport, i.e. purchase a special pet carrier or obtain a health certificate from a veterinarian.
Dos and Don’ts when bringing your pet on the plane
- Remove your pet from its carrying case and send the carrying case through the screening equipment.
- Hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector.
- Take your pet out of its cage or carrier if it is being transported in the belly hold of the aircraft. A screening officer will screen the cage or carrier separately.
- Be responsible for your pet and its behaviour throughout the screening process.
- Contact your air carrier or travel agent in advance to determine the airline’s policy on passengers travelling with pets.
- Hand your pet to a screening officer to hold while you go through security.
- Put your pet on the conveyor belt.
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