Air Travel with Your Pet

Pets are important to so many people in our community. I was not surprised when Krys Bart, CEO of Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, remarked that they are “welcoming increasing numbers of four-legged, furry passengers” at the airport. Her staff was kind enough to share some advice about airline travel with your pet.

Their first tip: check with your airline as regulations differ. Most limit the number of pets in the cabin for each flight, so book pet reservations early. Temperature restrictions may apply for pets traveling in the cargo compartment and some airlines will not allow snub-nosed breeds (such as pugs or Persians) to fly in cargo.

The airline will likely require a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel or proof of vaccinations. Traveling oversees or to Hawaii requires additional preparation. The USDA provides valuable advice online at

Your pet will need a suitable carrier. For travel in the cabin, it must fit under the seat (and counts as a carry-on bag). Write your name and cell phone number on the carrier and be sure your pet is wearing an identification tag. Add a towel or blanket to provide comfort during the trip.

Pets are subject to security screening. TSA staffers will visually screen your pet rather than put them through the x-ray machine. If you have a cat, request that your pet only be removed from the carrier in a secure room. (I know two people who have had cats bolt when the carrier was opened for screening.)

One of the most common questions people ask is about sedating their pet for the flight. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises against sedation, because it can affect the animal’s sense of balance and equilibrium.

We are blessed with some special pet-friendly features at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Their Gate K-9 Bark Parks are fully fenced and offer fresh water, clean up bags, and even a fire hydrant. One park is located north of baggage claim; the other is on the south side of the ticket counters. The airport also provides a unique climate-controlled pet holding area where pets can wait in comfort prior to being loaded into the cargo compartment.

“We work closely with the airlines and TSA to provide a safe and pleasant journey for your pet, said Bart. “Pets are part of our families, too.” 

Events that Help Homeless Pets

Adopt a Certified Pre-Owned Pet at Nevada Humane Society. 100,000 purr or tail-wag warranty, standard 4-paw drive. Great low adoption fees! Open for adoption 7 days a week at 2825 Longley Lane, Reno, 11 am to 6:30 pm, 10 am on Saturdays. For more info, call 775-856-2000.

Purses for Pets & Kitty Glitter October 14, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Benefits Pet Network Humane Society. Purse donations are being accepted at locations throughout the area including Nevada Humane Society. For more info, call 775-832-4404 or email


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