I want to send my pet as cargo but am worried about the flight and wondering how my pet will travel in the plane?
- Pets that are transported as cargo sit in a separate room in the cargo area of the plane that is built specifically for animal transport. The room is pressure and temperature controlled. The walls are soundproofed, so the animal does not hear more noise than we do when we travel in the cabin. The travel crate is properly fastened to stay in place even during turbulence.
How is my pet loaded onto the plane?
- After check-in, your pet will go through x-ray while sitting in his/her crate. When this is done, the airport personnel wait as long as possible to load your pet so that he/she does not have to spend unnecessary time in the plane or on the tarmac. Your pet is then placed in a special part the cargo hall during the waiting period.
- The pilot knows that there are live animals on the flight and will ensure that they are unloaded immediately after landing. Cargo personnel will transport your pet to a sheltered place indoors, pending transit or customs clearance.
Where and how should I check in my pet?
- Check-in usually takes place 3 hours before departure, but for some Airlines (eg. Emirates) it can be up to 5 hours before departure. At Arlanda, the check-in location is either Cargo Center or Spirit, both located in Cargo City behind the terminals. The easiest way to get to Cargo City is by car, as it is not possible to walk from the terminals. We will e-mail you more information closer to the departure date.
I have been told that my pet will spend the night at Frankfurt/Amsterdam/Dubai Airport on the way to his/her destination. How will my pet be taken care of?
- If your pet flies with Lufthansa, the routing usually includes one night in Frankfurt. For KLM the overnight stay is in Amsterdam and with Emirates it is in Dubai. During overnight or longer transit at one of these airports, your pet is transported to the airport’s Animal Lounge, which is a building specially designed for accommodating dogs, cats and other animals, like a boarding facility. The facilities are protected from weather and wind and the temperature is regulated. There, your pet gets to leave their travel crate and stay in a separate room where they can stretch their legs and have their needs fulfilled. Trained staff is available around the clock, taking good care of the animals and making sure they are well. All animals get fresh water, food and their travel crates cleaned if needed.
What should I send with my pet on the trip?
- A nice blanket with a familiar scent that your pet can lie on in the crate, and possibly a soft toy. For the sake of safety, we advise against sending hard or edible items in the crate. The pet should not wear any collar or leash during the flight, but we can attach them to the top of the crate if you wish.
- We will provide you with a “to bring” list for the trip with other things that are important to bring to the airport.
Should I feed my pet before travel?
- Yes, the pet should be fed, but it may be good to reduce the amount of food a day or so before departure to avoid nausea and stress from needing to go to the bathroom. Adult animals should not receive any food at least 6 hours before departure.
How do I know what size the travel crate should have?
- Your pet should be able to sit, stand, lie down and turn around in the crate without touching the ceiling or walls, but it is also not good if the crate is far too large as the pet usually feels safer if he/she has a cozy “den” to lie in. If you are unsure what crate size you need for your pet, feel free to mention this when you make your inquiry and we will help you find the right one.
- The crate must also be IATA approved, clean and in good condition for use in air cargo.
I have a dog / cat with a short nose and have heard that this can pose special risks when traveling, is this correct?
- For short-nosed dogs and cats, air travel can be more strenuous than for others, especially when the air temperature is high. Therefore, it is important to plan well in advance and be aware of the ground temperatures both in Sweden and in the destination to where you are sending your short-nosed pet. Look up what months of the year are the coolest. Many airlines stop shipping short-nosed dogs and cats during the summer and early autumn months (for example from May to September) and do not receive these as air cargo during that time. Another thing that applies to short-nosed pets is that they must be sent in a crate one size larger than what is generally needed in order to reduce the risk of overheating and lack of oxygen. That being said, it is extremely unusual for any accident to happen, thousands of animals are sent as air cargo around the world every year and involved personnel do their best to keep the animals as safe and comfortable as possible.
Should I give my pet sedatives before the trip?
- We strongly advise against using sedatives before the trip, as it may involve risks such as lowered blood pressure or dehydration, and there is no one to monitor the animal during the flight itself. There are some supplements on the market that have a calming effect on dogs and cats without being sedative. Have a discussion with your veterinarian if you think this may be an option for your pet.
- How you prepare your pet for the trip ultimately has the biggest effect on how calm he or she feels. Things like getting used to the travel crate (see below) and exercising your dog properly the days before the trip helps to avoid unnecessary stress and worry. Also remember that your pet is very sensitive to how you feel inside. Therefore, do him / her a favor and do your best to be organized and radiate calmness.
How do I get my pet used to the travel crate?
- The goal is to associate the crate with something positive – a quiet place where your pet can lie down and relax. Put a comfortable, well-used blanket and some of your pet’s favorite toys at the bottom. If your pet seems hesitant to enter the crate, you can try to throw in some treats, or the crate may be the place where the food bowl stands. The best thing is if your pet can enter the crate him-/herself as opposed to being lifted or dragged in. Start by always having the crate door open so that your pet can go in and out without feeling trapped. When your he/she is in a restful state, you can try to close the crate door for short moments which are then extended, but never so long as the animal shows nervousness.
- For some animals it also works to first leave the crate in the home without a roof, so that the bottom part becomes like a kind of bed or den. Once the bottom has been approved as a resting place, the roof can eventually be placed back.
- If you have the opportunity, it can also be a good idea to carry your pet around in the travel crate or even taking a ride with the car, so that this also becomes a known and safe experience.
- If you do not already have a travel crate and intend to buy one of us, contact us if you want the crate delivered to you in advance.
I would like to travel with my pet as excess baggage, how do I make a booking?
- We work primarily with pets traveling as cargo, not excess baggage. For you who wish to travel with your pet as excess baggage, please contact the airline you intend to travel with for more information.
I would like to send my pet to a destination in Europe and am interested in using Scandipet’s services for this
- We can definitely help with shipping inside of Europe, but the cheapest option is to travel together with your pet and book him/her as excess baggage (with the exception of the UK, that does not accept pets as excess baggage, only as cargo). Your flight ticket there and back, including the cost of the pet’s ticket, is almost always cheaper than sending the pet as cargo because the freight rates are of their own league. Scandipet’s expertise is to transport animals as air cargo. If you think air cargo is what you would like help with, just contact us and we will get back with costs and more info.