Flying with Furry Friends: A Comprehensive Guide by Relopet International

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At Relopet International, we understand that your pets are family. Flying with them requires careful planning to ensure a smooth journey. Here’s your go-to guide based on Canadian recommendations for a stress-free travel experience with your furry friends.

In an Airplane: Understanding Airline Requirements

Most airlines, including Air Canada, have specific regulations for transporting animals. It’s crucial to contact the airline well in advance to inform them about your pet and understand any pre-requirements. This may include purchasing a special pet carrier or obtaining a health certificate from a veterinarian.

Traveling with pets: Airline requirements

Dos and Don'ts at Security Screening:


  1. Remove your pet from its carrying case for screening.
  2. Hold your pet in your arms during the metal detector process.
  3. Take your pet out of its cage or carrier if transported in the belly hold. The cage will be screened separately.
  4. Be responsible for your pet’s behavior during the screening process.
  5. Contact your air carrier or travel agent in advance to understand the airline’s pet travel policy.


  1. Hand your pet to a screening officer.
  2. Put your pet on the conveyor belt.
Traveling with pets: security screening

Air Canada Animal Travel Specifics

In-Cabin Travel

Air Canada allows cats or small dogs in the cabin if they can stand, turn around, and lie down in their carrier under the seat. Advance notice is essential, and restrictions apply for certain passengers or seat types.

Baggage Compartment Travel

If your pet can’t fly in the cabin, they can still travel safely in the pressurized cargo compartment on most flights operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge.

Pet Travel as Cargo

For pets unable to fly in the cabin, Air Canada provides a secure cargo compartment on most flights. Key regulations include:

  • Pets can travel as cargo on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, or Air Canada Express flight by Jazz.
  • Ensure pets are in an IATA-approved travel crate, allowing them to stand, turn, and lie down comfortably.
  • Air Canada Cargo adheres to stringent safety measures, ensuring pets travel securely in a pressurized and temperature-controlled environment.
Traveling with pets on a plane

Tips for Smooth Traveling With Pets on a Plane

Traveling with pets can be a smooth and positive experience with careful preparation. Here are a few tips for flying with pets on a plane:

1. Plan Well in Advance:

  • Research airline pet policies, requirements, and restrictions.
  • Contact the airline early to ensure there is space for your pet on the desired flight.
  • Schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure your pet is fit for travel and obtain any necessary health certificates.

2. Choose the Right Carrier:

  • Use an airline-approved pet carrier that provides ample space for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
  • Ensure the carrier is well-ventilated and secure, meeting the airline’s specific requirements.

3. Familiarize Your Pet with the Carrier:

  • Introduce your pet to the carrier well in advance of the trip to reduce stress.
  • Place familiar bedding and toys inside to make it a comfortable and familiar space for your pet.

4. Pack Essentials:

  • Bring sufficient pet food, treats, and a collapsible water bowl.
  • Carry necessary documentation, including health certificates, vaccination records, and any required permits.

5. Exercise Before the Flight:

  • Allow your pet to exercise and relieve themselves before heading to the airport.
  • A tired pet is more likely to be calm during the journey.

6. Stay Calm and Comforting:

  • Remain calm and composed, as pets can pick up on their owner’s emotions.
  • Offer reassurance and comfort to your pet during the journey.
Tips on traveling with pets on a plane

7. Avoid Sedation Without Veterinary Approval:

  • Consult with your veterinarian before considering any form of sedation for your pet during the flight.
  • Sedation can affect pets differently at high altitudes, and it’s essential to prioritize their safety.

8. Follow Security Screening Guidelines:

  • Adhere to security screening guidelines provided by the airline.
  • Cooperate with security personnel and follow dos and don’ts for smooth screening.

9. Consider Direct Flights:

  • If possible, choose direct flights to minimize travel time and reduce stress for your pet.
  • Avoid layovers or connecting flights, which can be more challenging for pets.

10. Post-Flight Care:

  • Allow your pet time to recover from the journey.
  • Gradually reintroduce them to their normal routine and surroundings.

11. Research Pet-Friendly Accommodations:

  • If you’re staying overnight at your destination, ensure your accommodations are pet-friendly.

12. Know Local Regulations:

  • Familiarize yourself with local regulations regarding pets at your destination.

By following these tips and planning ahead, you can ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your furry friend when traveling by plane.

FAQ About Traveling with Pets on a Plane

People fly their pets to relocate, travel together, or for specific events. It ensures pets stay with their owners during significant life changes.

The registration process varies. Contact your airline well in advance to understand specific requirements and timeframes.

Follow dos and don’ts provided by airlines. Screeners will guide you through the process, ensuring safety and compliance.

Restrictions exist for safety and comfort. Certain passengers or seat types may limit in-cabin pet travel. Cargo travel is available for larger pets.

Contact Relopet International

For seamless and stress-free pet transportation services, rely on Relopet International.

Relopet International simplifies the process of shipping pets worldwide, aligning with Air Canada’s regulations for a secure and comfortable journey. We understand the importance of your pet’s safety and comfort, and our expertise ensures a smooth travel experience for both you and your furry companion. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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