In light of recent incidents, many airlines are freshening up their policies when it comes to handling service animals on flights. Due to the recent tragedies involving pet transportation, pet owners are being encouraged to do their research, before flying. While the jury is out on the need to take an average household pet, many service animals owners are unable to travel without them. Here are some tips for soaring the skies with your pet by your side.

Preparedness

Service animals who assist their owner’s physically, are well-trained and have the discipline to act appropriately on flights. When it comes to emotional support animals, the standards of behavior may not be set as high. Research is a key factor when it comes to traveling with your furry friend. Airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, cater to your pets travel needs to the highest degree. This U.K. based airline even gives your pet their own frequent flyer program. Figuring out which airline will best suit the needs of you and your pet is the crucial first-step when it comes to travel.

Once you’ve found the flight that provides the best travel environment for your pet, custom and immigration laws must then come into play. If traveling internationally, owners might need to obtain a passport for their pooch. Collecting necessary documentation from your vet, is something many international destinations require. Luckily, PetTravel.com provides a full range of the immigration laws when it comes to pets.

In the Air

When all boxes of your pre-flight checklist are marked, there are many aspects to take into consideration for your time in the air. Consulting with your vet beforehand might have brought you to the conclusion of sedating your pet. Giving the medication enough time to kick-in is key to a calm experience for your animal, whether they be with the cargo or at your feet.

Communicating with airline officials before, during, and after the flight plays a major role in maintaining the well-being of your pet. Letting as many people know specific needs and behaviors of your pet is strongly advised. For emotional and physical support animals that stay with passengers, there are other varying factors. While there are no universal rules for service animals, checking with the airline every step of the way, will avoid confusion and conflict.

Most experts do advise visiting every alternative avenue before flying with your pet. For service pets, this isn’t always feasible. This being said, extensive research is highly recommended before take-off. Creating the best possible outcome for you and your furry flyer can prevent serious incidents, such as those seen in headlines recently.