Traveling with your pet should be a positive experience but sometimes not knowing the process or requirements make it difficult. This especially pertains to transporting a bird. Whether you’re traveling by air, ground or sea how do you make sure your bird arrives comfortably and with as little stress as possible? Where do you start? Will the airlines allow your bird? What documents are required? The good news is traveling with your bird is not extremely difficult but a stress free trip takes planning. The following tips will make traveling more convenient for both you and your bird.
• See your vet prior to traveling with your bird. If your bird is rare and/or exotic, additional permits must be done ahead of time. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES birds must get permits from the US Fish and Wildlife. The process for these exotic birds can take up to 7 months. If your bird is not on the CITES list, you may or may not need a health certificate and import permits depending on the country you are traveling to. Please contact Pettravel.com for additional details on immigration requirements.
• Transporting by air? Know the major airlines pet policies and which ones don’t allow birds. A few major airlines that don’t allow birds are Frontier Airlines, Jet Blue and Southwest. Also don’t forget that there is a limit to the number of pets allowed in cabin so reserve your spot early. You can find a list of airlines pet policies here.
• Provide the appropriate travel carrier or cargo crate. The travel carrier (for in-cabin use) or cargo crate (cargo use) should be spacious enough to allow for stretching, some climbing and wing-flapping. They both need to have room for food and water dishes, a perch and a toy. Your bird should always have enough room to perch comfortably. Click here an airline approved bird carrier. If your bird will be traveling via cargo, we strongly suggest that you contact the cargo department of the airline you are using and ask them about their crate requirements as they differ and are oftentimes not published online.
• Keep the routine. Minimizing changes in your bird’s day to day routine will help minimize stress and make the transport more enjoyable. If your bird is unfamiliar with their transport carrier or new to traveling, start off slow. Let them get accustomed to their new carrier surroundings and journey on short trips.
If you are planning a trip this summer and want to bring your feathered friends along, follow these tips for an enjoyable and stress free travel. So next time you have an urge to “fly the coop” don’t forget your winged companion. Bon Voyage!