By Aurus Sy
Published: 02/23/2022, edited: 02/23/2022
Flying with pets has never been a walk in the park, but COVID-19 has made it even more challenging. Since the coronavirus hit, pet parents have had to deal with additional, and often changing rules and restrictions. As we enter into the third year of the pandemic, some pet parents may have already adapted to the new normal of traveling with their furbabies, while others may be just starting to pick up where they left off two years ago.
Traveling with your pet may never return to what it was like pre-pandemic, but knowing the current rules can help make planning less stressful. Keep reading to learn how to travel with your pet on a plane in 2022!
COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into our travel plans and turned the travel industry upside down. A lot has changed in the past two years, from fewer airlines accepting pets as cargo to emotional support animals no longer being recognized as service animals.
For dogs in particular, restrictions put in place last year by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made international travel trickier. You may have held off on your travel plans with Fido following the temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for canine rabies. According to the agency, this was done in response to the uptick of fabricated health documents from international pet importers, as Americans adopted countless dogs during the pandemic.
But beginning December 1, 2021, US dogs once again can re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit as long as they have the following requirements. If you and your pup will be traveling to a high-risk country and back to the United States, make sure they:
If you’re not traveling to a high-risk country, then you’re not required to present a rabies vaccination certificate or CDC Dog Import Permit. Your dog will be allowed to enter the US at any port of entry, but they must be healthy upon arrival.
For more information about bringing a dog or other animals into the United States, see the CDC website.
Different countries have different travel restrictions, so whether your dog needs to quarantine or not depends on where you’re going. To check your destination country’s requirements, see the United States Department of Agriculture website.
The following major US-based airlines welcome pets to fly in 2022. However, only Alaska, American, and Hawaiian will transport companion animals in cargo. Delta and United, which accepted pets in cargo prior to the pandemic, suspended the service in 2020 due to staffing shortages and changing schedules. Other airlines such as Spirit and Southwest never transported pets in cargo.
If you’re traveling internationally, there will likely be different rules and requirements, so be sure to check your airline’s policy before booking your seat.
Doing your homework and preparing for your trip as early as possible can help you avoid bumps in the road. Here are some final tips for traveling with your pet on a plane in 2022:
When traveling internationally, check the requirements for your destination country and for your return to the United States.
When traveling domestically, check the requirements for your destination state.
Always check your airline’s pet policy, and confirm your pet’s spot before you book your seat. All airlines have a limit on how many pets can travel in the cabin or cargo for each flight.
Consider going on a road trip and driving instead of flying.
Air travel can be stressful for some pets. Sometimes, it may be best to leave them behind. Consider booking a pet sitting or pet boarding service with Wag!. Your furry friend will receive one-on-one care in the comfort of your home or a trusted Pet Caregiver’s home.
Got questions about your pet’s health? Chat with a vet expert to make sure they’re healthy enough to travel, and more!
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