Are aircraft cargo holds heated and pressurized?
All jet aircraft that fly at high altitudes are pressurized. However, not all aircraft are heated. Within Canada there are certain aircraft types that operate with insufficient heating in the cargo holds. These aircraft include the CRJ, ERJ, A319, A320, and A321. The aircraft cargo temperature will take on the outside temperature at ground level prior to closing the aircraft cargo door. For every one hour of flight, the cargo hold will become 1°C.
It is not recommended to transport small dog breeds, puppies, kittens, or cats on non-heated aircraft during winter months. During extreme cold winter temperatures, it is recommended that you do not transport pets on non-heated aircraft at all.
Are dogs and cats placed in quarantine on arrival into Canada?
Canada does not quarantine dogs or cats that arrive healthy and have the required entry documentation. For Canada’s import requirements, we suggest you visit the CFIA website.
Are there any other regulations?
Many countries require your pet to have a microchip. Legislation can vary greatly from country to country. Please plan your pet’s travel well in advance, and note that some countries require blood tests that have to be done up to six months prior to departure.
Are there any vaccinations my pet should have?
Most countries require a rabies vaccination, which should be given at least 30 days and no more than one year before the start of your journey. Some countries recognize rabies vaccinations as valid at 21 days and honour vaccinations that are licensed for 3 years.
How can I prepare my pet for the trip?
Preparing your pet ahead of time will add to your pet’s comfort. Take time in advance to crate train your pet, allowing them to get accustomed to the new environment.
Should I feed my pet before travel?
Ensure your dog has had a long walk and your cat has had access to a litter box before traveling. The last meal prior to departure should be given roughly six to eight hours before takeoff, and only small drinks of water should be given up to 2 hours prior to departure.
What about sedation?
Sedation is not recommended, although some animals do react sensitively to traveling. The effect sedatives have on your pet are multiplied several times at high altitudes and can be a big risk for your pet. Many airlines will not accept sedated pets. We suggest you consult your vet to discuss the use of alternative/natural products that may calm down your pet.
What can I do to make my pet more comfortable on the trip?
A personal item that reminds your pet of someone or something will help pacify your pet. Adding a scented article of clothing or a favourite toy to the travel crate will certainly add to your pet’s comfort. Keep in mind that different airlines have different rules about what is allowed inside your pet’s crate.