All pet lovers have been there. You pack your holiday bags, grab your passport and get ready to drop off your pet at the kennels. Just as you’re about to get out the door, a despondent heap of fur lies at the front door, looking up at you with all the sadness of the world in their eyes.
Their eyes cry ‘don't leave me’, and has the power to make you feel like you are committing a crime against the whole animal kingdom.
SEE: #BeachDogs: SA Beaches that welcome furry friends
Some travellers cannot part with their furry loved ones, and are prepared to travel with them around the world to animal-friendly destinations. The animal lovers over at Compare the Market came up with a nifty guide that will help you choose the best airlines (coughNOTDELTAcough), pet-friendly destinations and even a list of the top jet-setting pets on the Interwebs that will leave you awwwww'ing for days.
In South Africa, you can fly with your pet domestically on airlines like Mango, South African Airways and Kulula, though with some you have to organise with the cargo hold department beforehand and cannot bring your pet to the check-in counter.
SEE: What you need to know about planning a flight with your cat or dog in SA
Here are some prep tips before embarking on a flight with your pet:
- Try and get your animal used to the idea of a small space beforehand, as it will have to be in a closed kennel container for the duration of the flight. Let it explore, sit in it and become familiar with the kennel it will be transported in. Never close the door and lock it in.
- Check with your vet and relocation company that your animal is suited to travelling.
- Depending on the temperament of your animal, do not heavily sedate or tranquillise your pet. Pets generally travel well and are required to be alert.
- Make sure there is a familiar item in their travel kennel to help them settle. Thing's like their blankets, towels or an item of your clothing will help them settle.
- Do not obstruct the ventilation of the kennel with excess or bulky items. Do not feed your pet for at least four hours before departure. Make sure it is well-hydrated. Make sure the travel kennel allows your pet to stand upright and turn around with ease.
SEE: United to issue special pet carrier tags after dog's death
Check out the infographic from Compare the Market below: