Pet Transportation – Get Your Questions Answered By The Experts
Pets are placed in “hold 5”, at the rear of the plane. It is part of the cargo area underneath the cabin, but it is separated and it is heated. It is kept at the same temperature and pressure as the cabin, since the captain is notified of animals on board.
“What will my pet be traveling in on the flight?”
Your pet will need to fly in a flight kennel made to IATA specifications, with enough room inside for the pet to stand up, turn around and lie-down in. Boxes can be made out of plastic or the appropriate kind of wood, and will need a water bowl and funnel for pet travel. Move One Pet Transportation can supply you with a flight kennel or if you have your own, and it is suitable, we can fly your pet in that crate.
If you are traveling regularly with your pet then we would always recommend a plastic pet carrier – these are the easiest to store and the easiest to clean. However, for big dogs these are just not suitable and you can get in touch with us and we will put a price together to include an appropriately sized wooden crate. We employ a master carpenter who will make this for you.
“Can I take my pet in the cabin?”
Pets are not allowed in the cabin with the passengers. This may be possible with internal flights in other countries but all pets entering the UAE must travel as manifest cargo- some airlines may allow pets in the cabin or as excess baggage on flights out of the UAE.
“Can I take my pet as excess baggage?”
Few airlines operate this procedure, which involves the owner checking their pet in with their luggage at the terminal. Basically the box with the pet will be treated like a surfboard or bike and will be charged solely at a per kilo rate for excess baggage. This is normally arranged by the person on the flight, although we can help with supplying a flight kennel if required, or delivery to the terminal. Pets traveling as excess baggage also travel in the hold of the aircraft.
“Does anyone look after the pets?”
Pets are kept separate in an AVI room which is temperature controlled at Cargo Village to keep them calm, and once they are put in the aircraft no-one is able to monitor them, since the hold is inaccessible. Pets are treated as a priority and are put on last and taken off first. In the case of the long-haul flights with transfers the pets are checked at any refuel/transfer points and their water bowls are replenished. The pets are not taken out of their kennels, not only because they could run away, but also due to quarantine regulations. If the pets appear unwell they will be looked after and assessed but only as a last measure to allow veterinary access.
“Is it stressful?”
Whilst the initial part of the trip, the arrival at cargo village, separation from the owner, vet examination, X-ray and delivery to the airline is undoubtedly somewhat stressful for the pet, once they are in the aircraft and used to the noise, they will just tend to sleep through the flight. They will realize that not only can they not get out, but nothing can get into their crate, so they are safe. In the absence of stimuli the pet will “shut down” and sleep for the flight. Cats especially will not be bothered by the flight.
“Should I sedate my pet?”
Sedation is not allowed as the pet may wake up in the hold if not sedated properly for the duration of the trip, and that would be very stressful and it dehydrates the pets. There are some homeopathic sprays that can be used in crates to calm the animals, but the client should check with their vet to be supplied with one as the pet may not like the smell and it is imperative that it should be tested on the pet prior to travel in case of any side effects.
“Will the X-ray harm my pet?”
The X-ray used for security screening is less powerful than hospital machines, so it will not harm the pet. It is unavoidable as all pets must be x-rayed.
“Can I put a litter tray in the flight kennel?”
It will not be possible for your cat to travel with a litter tray as this could cause damage to both the flight kennel and your cat. As you know, cats are very clean animals. If they must go in the box they will, but they will aim to sit in a different area.
Food and drink
We would recommend that you skip your pet’s meal prior to the flight for your pet. If they are flying in the evening then we would recommend that they only have a light breakfast. They will be fine for the flight, even if it is a long one. They will be provided with water for the flight in the form of an ice block in their water bowl (attached to the front of the crate). This avoids them drinking all of the water on one go, and means that the water will not spill during check in, transit to the plane and take off.
Collars and leads
Please do not put your best lead with your dog. Please note collars are not allowed during transit.
You are welcome to put bedding in with your pet, as long as it’s not too bulky. He/she will need 3-4 inches clearance above its head to be allowed on the flight, including the bedding. Their own bedding will help to calm them down, or you could put a t-shirt or pillow case in with them with your scent on- this makes them feel at home during pet travel.
If possible, we recommend taking your dog for a long walk prior to travel. With evening flights, we might be able to fit this in with your check-in schedule, so please discuss this with a member of our staff.
“Can my pets share a box?”
Firstly it depends on the destination and if the airline actually allows 2 pets in 1 cage. Only pets that are used to cohabiting may be allowed to share a flight kennel, and each pet cannot exceed 14kg.