Petmate Helps Pets and Their Pet Parents Make Traveling Together Safe and Comfortable!

Arlington, TX (November 16, 2010) –Pets are a cherished part of the family, and this means they travel with the family too! As pet parents prepare to travel for the holidays, Petmate offers guidance to help make air travel safe and comfortable for on-the-go pets and their families.

Choosing the Right Flight

Familiarize yourself with the pet policies of the airline you are flying so there are not any unpleasant surprises on the day of travel. Are you allowed to take your cat and small dog in the cabin? Do they have any restrictions on transporting your pet below the cabin? Are there any immunizations required? What are the specifications and requirements for pet carriers?

When booking your flight, choose a non-peak time. Non-peak times are considered to be Monday afternoon through Thursday morning, and sometimes Saturdays. Avoid holidays if you can. When you fly at non-peak times, the flight will not be full and will therefore provide more room in the cabin. This will help ease potential stress for your pet. Also, use direct flights whenever possible because changing planes may create additional stress on your pet.

If traveling during the summer or winter months, choose flights that will accommodate the temperature extremes that might occur in the cargo holds, particularly if your pet is traveling below the cabin.

Before You Leave

Before your trip, take a trip to the vet for a check-up and to make sure your pet is current with all vaccinations. Talk to your vet about your plans to travel by air to make sure your pet is suitable for this type of travel. Ask your vet to issue a health certificate for your four-legged family member. This typically needs to be dated within ten days of departure. Carry this with you at all times during your travels.

Leave early for the airport to allow plenty of time to deal with normal air travel as well as your pet's needs. Keep yourself calm before the flight, as pets sense your stress and anxiety, which in turn will only make them more anxious.

Select the right pet carrier. Be sure that the carrier you choose complies with the standards of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As the company that pioneered airline-approved carriers, Petmate offers kennels that will ensure ultimate safety, comfort and convenience. From the Vari Kennel and Pet Porter which are both IATA and USDA approved to the Cabin Kennel and Soft-Sided Kennel Cab that are specifically designed to fit under airline seats, Petmate offers a variety of styles and sizes that are perfect for any pet. Once you select the right style, make sure that you choose the right size. The proper size carrier should allow your pet to be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. If the kennel is too big, it won’t keep the pet safe during turbulent air travel; and on the other hand, if the kennel is too small, the pet won’t be comfortable during the flight. For pets that don’t normally use a kennel or carrier, help them adjust to it before your flight by placing them in the carrier along with a treat or toy. Start with short periods of time and then slowly increase the time. Also, be sure to remove a pet’s collar before placing them in the kennel, so they don’t get it caught.

An optional Plastic Kennel Wheel Kit from Petmate makes moving the kennel a breeze.  Easy-to-install mounting brackets give pet parents a handy “quick disconnect” lever to attach or remove wheels – a clever solution to the IATA and USDA requirement that wheels come off for air travel.  The kit comes with a sturdy nylon tug strap that helps maneuver bigger kennels through busy airports.

Tips for Travel

  • When you board the plane, notify a flight attendant that your pet is traveling with you and whether your pet is with you or below the cabin.  
  • Do not place pug-nosed dogs or cats such as Pekingese, Chow Chows, and Persians in the cargo hold. These breeds have short nasal passages that leave them vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke in cargo holds.
  • Make sure that your pet has identification tags – one tag should have your current address and phone number and a temporary travel ID with the address and telephone number where you can be reached.
  • Place a travel label on the carrier with your name, permanent address and telephone number, final destination, and where you or a contact person can be reached as soon as the flight arrives. Petmate offers an Airline Travel Kit that includes food and water cups, live animal stickers, pet ID labels and a disposable floor liner.
  • Have a current photograph of your pet, and keep it with you for identification purposes.
  • Do not give your pet tranquilizers or a sedative unless they are prescribed by your veterinarian for this specific trip.
  • Do not feed your pet for four to six hours prior to air travel. Small amounts of water can be given before the trip. Freeze the water in the water tray attached to the inside of your pet's kennel. This will provide nourishment without the possibility of a messy spill.
  • Carry a leash with you so that you may walk your pet before check-in and after arrival. Do not place the leash inside the kennel or attach it to the outside of the kennel.
  • Once you arrive at your destination, open the carrier as soon as you are in a safe place and make sure your pet is okay. If anything seems wrong, take your pet to a vet immediately.

Happy travels!

Committed to the wellbeing of pets and the world they live in, Petmate is the trusted authority in smart solutions for devoted pet parents and discerning retailers alike. Sound advice and high quality products that are innovative, safe, practical and fun are Petmate hallmarks, as shown in our complete lines of: kennels, dog houses, bedding, litter maintenance, feeding and watering solutions, toys, collars and leads, and pet accessories. We, at Petmate, have pets too and are driven to create a healthy, happy life for your pets and ours. Petmate products can be found at pet supply stores nationwide. Call 1-877-PETMATE or visit for more information.



Contact:  Sarah Julian

Director, Corporate Communications