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Airlines may refuse to transport a pet if: it cannot be shipped within a 24-hour period; ground temperature is below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees at either origin or destination; or, it is not in an FAA-approved kennel with proper identification.

Know your destination state's pet entry laws and regulations. Some states have border inspection and other states rely on individual compliance with the law. Airports normally have officials present to inspect animals arriving by air.

Crates and Carriers

A proper container should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around and lie down. It must have adequate cross-ventilation and a leak proof bottom with layers of absorbent lining. It should also have a secure lock on the door and should be able to withstand bumps, jostles and falls.

Most airlines have travel kennels available for you to buy. These kennels meet all FAA requirements for pet transportation. Pet stores may also have acceptable containers for sale.


Car travel is probably the best way of transporting your pet to his or her new home. It provides a feeling of security for both you and your pet, and it is less expensive.

If your pet isn't used to car travel, take it on short rides before the trip to help accustom the pet to the motion of the car. Some pets may never become accustom, so you might want to consult your veterinarian about medication to reduce or eliminate motion sickness, obsessive crying, etc.

If you're planning to stop at a motel along the way, be prepared. Find out which motels accept pets. Consider using a leash, kennel or carrier to move your pet from car to motel.

On leaving, make certain you have all your pet's required documents. Dogs or cats should be wearing collars with ID and rabies tags.

Take along an ample supply of food, fresh water and a dish for each; a leash and grooming brush; medications, extra towels and newspaper; a favorite toy or two; your pet's blanket; and, a room deodorizer for motel rooms.

By Car Travel Safely
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