How To Fly With a Pet? The Most Important Things You Need To Know

by PBJ Staff / Jun 27, 2022

Are you wondering how to fly with a pet—and whether you should? Flying with a pet on a commercial flight can seem more trouble than it’s worth. Often, there’s a plethora of restrictions and paperwork. It can also be an unhappy and distressing experience for your pet, as they will usually be alone in a crate in the noisy, chilly cargo hold of the plane. 

However, when you charter a private jet, your pet can have the same luxury, bespoke flight experience that you enjoy!

Taking Your Pet on a Private Jet Flight

Here are our tips for ensuring your pet travels safely and comfortably on your private jet flight.

Check the Requirements of Your Destination and Operator

The operator supplying your jet, crew, and airport amenities may have their own regulations and restrictions, and some may charge a small cleaning fee. Regulations may also differ if your pet is a more exotic animal.

Your private jet charter professional is the best source of information about operator restrictions. They can also advise and tell you everything you need to know about how to fly with a pet to a specific or less well-known destination.

Flying With Your Pet Abroad

Every country has its own regulations regarding pets arriving at its airports, so before flying with a pet, check what these are or ask your private charter professional. Your pet may also need to be microchipped and have specific vaccinations. Some countries may require your pet to be quarantined for a period of time. 

Paperwork to confirm your pet’s identity, ownership, and vaccination record will usually be required, often in the form of a ‘pet passport’. Dogs and cats must also be at least eight weeks old and weaned when traveling within the U.S., and this is a common requirement for other countries too.

If you’re wondering how to fly with a pet to the UK, ask a flight charter professional about PETS (the Pet Travel Scheme). This innovative program allows pet dogs, cats, and ferrets to be brought into the UK providing they have:

  • been microchipped
  • have a pet passport or health certificate
  • have been vaccinated against rabies (they may need a blood test if you’re traveling from a country, not on the UK’s extensive list of countries
the cat sits in an airplane on the background of the window

Arriving Back in the US

Cats and Dogs

Cats aren’t required by CDC to have a rabies vaccination certificate to enter the US, but most states require them for cats, and the CDC does recommend vaccination. 

Dogs that haven’t traveled to a high rabies risk country in the past 6 months don’t need a rabies vaccination certificate or a CDC Dog Import Permit. They can enter the United States at any port of entry, but they must be healthy upon arrival. Vaccination against rabies is still recommended.

Since December 1, 2021, dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian have been allowed to re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit providing they:

  • are at least 6 months old and healthy upon arrival
  • have a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate
  • have proof they’ve been microchipped
  • arrive at an approved port of entry

Other animals

Different requirements apply to other animals, so always check regulations. You should be aware that some animals, including monkeys, apes, and African rodents, won’t be allowed back into the United States. This applies even if they originally came from the US.

Flying With Your Pet Within the US

In the US, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the air transportation of pets, and its regulations must be followed by law. It’s worth noting that flights to Hawaii come under the USDA’s international travel regulations rather than their state-to-state rules.

To fly within the US, your pet must be at least eight weeks old, fully weaned, and show no signs of illness, distress, or violence. All pets crossing state borders, except for guide dogs, must have a rabies immunization and valid health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of travel.

Consider Comfort and Safety

Make the plane your pet’s home from home:

Take your pet’s favorite toy or blanket along on the flight to keep your dog amused and make them feel at home. Don’t forget any medications they need, or a supply of any favorite or diet-specific food, if it may be hard to obtain at your destination.

Keep them safe from danger

Unusual smells, sights, and sounds may alarm your pet—or make them very curious and keen to explore! Either way, this can make them more likely to run off, even if they’re usually calm. Dogs should have a sturdy lead or harness, and dogs and cats should have a collar with an identification tag that includes your contact details. Even if microchipping isn’t required by your destination or flight operator, it’s a good idea to get this done before traveling. Cats and smaller animals are best transported from the plane in a crate to prevent accidental escapes.

Travel sickness

If your pet suffers from travel sickness, ask your vet for advice before you travel. They may be able to prescribe medication to help. It’s always best to avoid feeding your dog for a few hours before you fly. Make sure they a drinking bowl on the flight and provide plenty of cold water.

Be prepared

It’s a good idea for your pet to have a health check-up before a long trip. It’s also wise to ensure you find the number of an emergency vet near your destination, just in case.

Finally, before you consider flying with a pet…

Ask yourself if taking your pet on your trip is the best decision for them. Think about the security and comfort of the accommodation in which you’ll be staying. Also, consider the temperature at your destination. It can sometimes be better for your pet to miss you for a week or two rather than be with you but stressed or feeling unwell.

How To Fly with a Pet in Comfort and Safety

Flying by private jet isn’t just the most comfortable and safe way for you to fly—it’s the best choice for your pet, too. Traveling in a crate in a commercial plane’s noisy cargo hold can be lonely, frightening, and cold for your pet. When you fly privately, we can help you charter a flight that ensures your pet can stay in the cabin with you. There, they can have all the treats, affection, care, and reassurance they need. And you can have the reassurance of knowing they’re safe, happy, and warm.

To ensure you and your pet can have the flight and amenities you want, contact the Paramount Business Jets team to discuss your requirements. Just call +1-877-727-2538 ext. 1 or email them at charter@paramountbusinessjets.com, and they will arrange a trip that’s perfectly tailored to suit all your needs—and your pet’s needs too!

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