by KYW’s Nan Talleno —

Air travel can become quite a concern if you plan to travel with your pet. The Humane Society of the United States recommends that you do not transport your pet via air travel unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must board a plane with your pet, here are a few guidelines.

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First call your airlines. Always travel on the same flight as your pet and make sure your pet is on board the correct flight. Take ONLY direct flights.

Don’t take pets with short nasal passages (the Brachycephalic breeds) like Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese and Persians, etc. They can become especially vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke.

Take only early morning or late evening flights in summer to avoid severe temperature changes.

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When purchasing a crate for travel, it’s imperative that it’s large enough for your pet to stand, (without touching the top of the cage), also enough room to turn around, and lie down. Make sure that the crate has proper ventilation. Be sure to cover the bottom with plenty of absorbent material.

Clearly label the crate with all the vital information necessary including your name, phone number, address, and destination contact numbers.

Make sure to label where crate needs to be in the correct upright position at all times.

Make sure your pet becomes familiar with the crate well in advance to provide security and comfort.

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Do not feed your pet prior to the flight. Give small amount of water and place ice cubes in water tray of crate. And most importantly, make sure your pet arrives safely.