Pet Transport

When it comes to travelling domestically in different parts of Australia, going by airplane for Pet Transport is the best option. 

After all, Australia is a huge country, and it takes days to move from one corner of the country to the other.

But things get a bit tricky when you want to transport your pet by air.

Are you also curious to figure out everything about going by plane with your pet? This post has all the answers.

This article will cover the following issues:

  • Is your pet eligible to travel?
  • What is pet travel policy?
  • How to get your pet ready for a flight?
  • and lots more

Let’s get started.

Is Your Pet Eligible To Travel?

Because of container restrictions, only cats and dogs are eligible for transport by air, accompanied by guests. 

You have to transport all other animals through a company that offers service of pet transport in Australia

You don’t need to worry about your pet because it will travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft that is as temperature-controlled as the aircraft cabin.

Your pet must fulfil the conditions below:

  • It should be healthy.
  • Must not be unduly aggressive.
  • Be over eight weeks old to cope with possible dehydration while travelling intercity.
  • The container has to be the correct size for your pet, and it should be according to the legal guidelines for the pet containers.
  • Your pet needs to be treated for the hydatids tapeworm before arriving if moving to Tasmania.

In case your pet has any of the following conditions:

It is compulsory to get a Veterinary Certificate verifying that your pet is fit to travel by air, dated within the two weeks of travel date. 

If your pet has any of the following conditions, it will travel at your risk:

  • Your pet is 12 years old or between 8 and 12 weeks of age
  • Has been sedated
  • Injured, recovering from surgery or sick
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What is a Pet Travel Policy?

Pet cargo companies have introduced a pet travel policy for brachycephalic (flat-faced/snub-nosed) breeds.

The policy has been presented to think over the inherent risks linked with transporting these types of animals and their cross-breeds to ensure their welfare at its best while travelling.

All the approved transport companies consider the safety measures for brachycephalic, including:

  • Crate sizes
  • Weather conditions
  • Number of flights per day
  • Assessments before travel
  • Time of travel

How To Get Your Pet Ready For A Flight for Pet Transport?

Don’t book travel for your pet during peak temperature, like amid daytime, to keep it from adverse temperatures that can be risky to your pet.

If the temperature is expected to be considerably humid or hot and/or you plan for a multi-sector journey, change your flight to a late afternoon/evening or early morning for your pet’s comfort. 

Unless your vet recommends, sedation is not recommended for your pet travelling by air. 


If you want to sedate your pet for air travel, get in touch with your vet for an expert opinion. 

You’d be required to get a vet certificate to sedate your pet for travel because no company will take the consequences on its shoulders due to sedation.

Your pet should be fit to travel, much like any passenger. 

Consider the following recommendations to prepare your pet for the trip:

  • Spend some time with your pet in the pet crate before transporting your pet. That will help your pet get used to being in a pet carrier and feel comfortable during the flight.
  • Before any air travel, see a vet for your pet’s health check-up. It’s to ensure whether your pet is healthy and ready to travel. 
  • Make sure a water container is fitted to the pet crate to keep your pet hydrated while travelling.

What Is The Right Flight

Most types of aircraft have limited space to accommodate pets in their dedicated pet cargo area, so book your flight beforehand. 

We highly suggest that you should book your pet ticket even before your ticket. 

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If you have already booked your ticket, check with the airline about your pet’s accommodation in the airline before scheduling your pet’s ticket.

Similarly, ask for your pet check in and pick up locations from the authorities before booking the flight. Because, some airports have passenger terminals and the pet check-in terminals much apart from each other beyond walking distance. 

You should have enough time to travel from the passenger terminal to your pet’s pick up location to pick it in-time.

What Airlines Accept Pets to Fly in Australia?

Virgin Australia, Regional Express (REX) and Qantas (including QantasLink) are the three main airlines and flights to fly your dog in Australia domestically. 

You can book your pet both directly and indirectly, depending on the freight route. Because, REX mainly operates flights from major cities and capitals to regional airports. 

On the other hand, both Virgin and Qantas have freight divisions that offer pet bookings directly.

In addition:

Jetstar, the discount airline operated by Qantas, does not accept pets to fly on its airlines. The same is the case with Qantas code-share flights run by Jetstar.

Several domestic small regional airlines that often run from just one airport don’t mention whether they just transport pets through Qantas Freight or they transport pets themselves.

Not all the Virgin and Qantas flights take pets on board. 

For instance, a couple of Virgin’s A320s mainly fly within Western Australia, and those airlines don’t offer the temperature-control needed for flying pets.

You also need to check first as a part of the booking process whether the freight terminal hours cover all flights. 

Also, make sure whether a small airport has the facilities required for transporting pets.

As far as transporting a large dog by air is concerned, you might face some issues because certain small planes don’t accept large crates. 

Though it will not be an issue if you are flying between the state capitals, investigate whether an airline accommodates the large crate in case you fly your pet in or out of a regional area.

Final Word

The process and conditions of transporting your pet by air might seem a bit complicated. 

However, if you follow the guidelines about whether your pet is eligible to fly, comply with the pet travel policy, and book the right flight at the right time, you can easily fly your pet to any part of Australia to enjoy your holidays together.

If you have any questions, please comment below now.


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