Air Canada Travelling With Pets

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Traveling with Pets on Air Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to traveling with your beloved pets, Air Canada stands out as a top choice. At Air Canada, we understand the importance of keeping your furry friends safe, comfortable, and stress-free during their journey. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through all the essential information and guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for both you and your pets.

Preparing for Your Journey

Choosing the Right Pet Carrier

One of the first steps in traveling with your pet on Air Canada is selecting the appropriate pet carrier. Ensure that the carrier is well-ventilated, spacious enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably, and complies with Air Canada’s specific guidelines for in-cabin and cargo travel. 

Health and Documentation

Before you embark on your journey, it is crucial to visit your veterinarian to ensure your pet is in good health. Ensure that all vaccinations and necessary documentation are up to date. You will need to provide proof of these documents at check-in, so it’s essential to keep them readily accessible.

Booking Your Pet’s Travel

Reserving Space for Your Pet

When booking your flight with Air Canada, inform the airline that you will be traveling with a pet. It’s advisable to make this reservation as early as possible since there is a limited number of spots available for pets on each flight. By securing your pet’s spot in advance, you ensure that they will travel with you comfortably.

Choosing In-Cabin or Cargo

Air Canada offers two primary options for traveling with pets: in-cabin and cargo. In-cabin travel is suitable for small pets that meet the airline’s size and weight requirements. For larger pets, cargo travel might be necessary. Be sure to select the option that best suits your pet’s needs.

Preparing Your Pet for Travel

Familiarizing Your Pet with the Carrier

To reduce stress on the day of travel, familiarize your pet with their carrier well in advance. Allow them to spend time inside it and make it a comfortable space with familiar bedding and toys.

Feeding and Water

It’s essential to plan your pet’s meals and hydration carefully. Avoid feeding your pet a large meal right before the flight to prevent motion sickness. However, do provide small amounts of water to keep them hydrated during the journey.

Travel Day: Dos and Don’ts


Arrive Early: 

Arriving at the airport well ahead of your flight’s departure time allows you to go through security and check-in procedures calmly.

Keep Calm:

 Pets are perceptive to their owner’s emotions. Staying calm and composed will help reassure your pet.

Exercise Before Travel: 

Give your pet some exercise before the flight to help them relax during travel.

Label the Carrier: 

Clearly label your pet’s carrier with your contact information and a photo of your pet.

Follow Security Protocols:

 Comply with airport security regulations when going through security checks with your pet.



Avoid sedating your pet unless it’s recommended by your veterinarian and approved by Air Canada.

Opening the Carrier:

 Do not open your pet’s carrier during the flight, as this can be dangerous for both you and your pet.

Overly Emotional Farewells:

 While it’s natural to feel emotional, try to keep farewells short and sweet to prevent stressing your pet.

Arrival at Your Destination

After a safe and comfortable flight with Air Canada, you and your pet will arrive at your destination. Here are some important steps to follow upon arrival:

Inspect Your Pet: 

Once you’ve deplaned, inspect your pet to ensure they are comfortable and healthy.

Allow Bathroom Breaks:

 If possible, take your pet for a bathroom break as soon as you can.

Stay Calm: 

Just as during departure, stay calm and composed to reassure your pet in the new environment.


Traveling with your pets on Air Canada can be a rewarding experience when you are well-prepared. By following these guidelines and ensuring the comfort and safety of your furry companion, you can look forward to stress-free travel adventures together. Remember, Air Canada is here to make your journey enjoyable and memorable, both for you and your beloved pets.

 Exploring Pet-Friendly Destinations

Traveling with your pet doesn’t have to be limited to just the flight; you can explore a multitude of pet-friendly destinations across the globe. Many cities and towns offer pet-friendly accommodations, parks, and attractions that cater to both you and your furry companion.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

When planning your trip, look for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments are equipped to provide a comfortable stay for both you and your pet. Many hotels and vacation rentals offer pet-friendly rooms, so be sure to make your reservations accordingly.

Exploring New Places

While you’re at your destination, make the most of your trip by exploring pet-friendly attractions. Many parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces welcome pets on leashes. Research local pet-friendly activities in advance to ensure you and your pet can make the most of your trip.

Safety First

Safety should always be a top priority when traveling with your pet. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:


Ensure your pet has proper identification, including a collar with an ID tag and a microchip with up-to-date contact information. In the event your pet gets lost, this information will greatly aid in their safe return.

Leash and Harness

Keep your pet on a leash or harness at all times when exploring new places. Even the most well-behaved pets can get excited or distracted in unfamiliar environments.

Pet-Friendly Transportation

Research local transportation options that allow pets. Many cities have pet-friendly public transportation or even pet-friendly taxis or rideshare services.

Health and Hydration

Traveling can be physically demanding for pets, just as it is for humans. Ensure your pet stays hydrated during your adventures by carrying a portable water bowl and some fresh water. Pay attention to signs of fatigue, and provide rest breaks when needed.

Local Regulations

Familiarize yourself with local pet regulations at your destination. Some areas may have specific leash laws or restrictions on where pets are allowed. Complying with these rules not only ensures your pet’s safety but also helps maintain a positive image for traveling pet owners.

Special Considerations for International Travel

If you plan to travel internationally with your pet, there may be additional requirements and regulations to meet. These can include health certificates, quarantine periods, and specific vaccinations. Always check with the relevant authorities and your airline well in advance to ensure a smooth international journey for your pet.

Making Lifelong Memories

Traveling with your pet can be an enriching experience that creates lasting memories. Air Canada is committed to making this journey as comfortable and seamless as possible, and by following these guidelines, you can embark on your adventures with peace of mind, knowing that you and your furry friend are well-prepared for an incredible travel experience.

Whether you’re flying to a domestic destination or exploring international locales, remember that your pet is not just a companion but a cherished member of your family. Enjoy every moment of your journey together, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

 Pet-Friendly Travel Accessories

To make your journey even more comfortable for your pet, consider investing in some useful travel accessories:

Travel Carrier Accessories

For pets traveling in carriers, consider adding these accessories:

Comfy Bedding

 A soft, familiar blanket or bed can provide comfort during the journey.

Favorite Toys:

 Bringing along your pet’s favorite toys can help keep them relaxed and entertained.

Potty Pads:

 For longer flights or road trips, having potty pads on hand can be a lifesaver.

Pet Seat Belts

If your pet is traveling in a car, using a pet seat belt or harness can ensure their safety during the drive. These devices secure your pet in place, preventing them from moving around and potentially causing distractions for the driver.

Travel-Friendly Food and Water Bowls

Invest in collapsible or portable food and water bowls. These are easy to pack and use, ensuring your pet stays well-fed and hydrated throughout your journey.

Pet First Aid Kit

A small first aid kit tailored to your pet’s needs is an essential travel companion. Include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any specific medications your pet may need.

 Jet-Setting with Exotic Pets

Traveling with exotic pets, such as birds, reptiles, or small mammals, may come with unique challenges. Be sure to research and adhere to any specific guidelines and regulations related to your exotic pet’s species. Some airlines may have restrictions on the types of animals they allow onboard.

 Coping with Pet Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for pets to experience anxiety during travel. To help alleviate stress, consider the following:

Gradual Acclimatization

If your pet is not accustomed to traveling, take the time to acclimatize them to the carrier or mode of transportation gradually. Let them explore and get comfortable with the new environment beforehand.

Familiar Scents

Bring along items that carry the scent of home, such as a piece of bedding or a familiar toy. These can provide comfort and reassurance to your pet.

Calming Aids

Consult with your veterinarian about the use of calming aids or supplements for your pet. Some pets benefit from these products, which can help reduce anxiety during travel.

 Post-Travel Care

After a successful journey with your pet, it’s essential to provide post-travel care:

Rest and Recovery

Allow your pet some time to rest and recover from the journey. They may need a day or two to readjust to their home environment.

Health Check

Monitor your pet’s health after travel. If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms, consult your veterinarian promptly.

Quality Time

Spend quality time with your pet after your travels. Reconnecting and offering affection can help ease any residual stress from the journey.


Traveling with your pet on Air Canada can be a joyful experience, filled with adventure and unforgettable moments. By following the guidelines and tips outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for both you and your cherished companion.

Remember, your pet’s safety and well-being are of utmost importance. With careful preparation, a pet-friendly attitude, and the support of Air Canada, you can embark on journeys near and far, creating cherished memories with your furry friend.

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