Travel Instructions & Advice for Pet Owners

All animals, no matter what size, must travel in a leak proof, International Air Transport Association specification carrier that allows the animal to stand, lie down and turn around unhindered.

All requisite entry documentation should be affixed to the carrier and it is advised that you maintain extra copies of all of your paperwork and carry it on your flight with you.

Be prepared, airport security agents will most likely request to look at your pet (outside of its carrier) and search its container and bedding for any breach of security. Sedating your pet is not allowed, as this can stop them from being able to regulate their body temperature. No food should be put in their cages, only a water container which the airline will check prior to departure and at any transit point.

It is also best to use a VetBed type of lining for the carrier, although crumpled up newspaper with a towel on top may be sufficient. Ideally, you should familiarise your animal with the carrier before it travels. Animals behave perfectly fine when accustomed to the kennel or crate they are being transported in. Placing their bedding and toys, and feeding them treats or meals in the crate, will help them to associate it with a positive and comforting experience.

Certain airlines allow small dogs and cats in the aircraft cabin, but most airlines transport them as special cargo in a temperature-controlled and ventilated hold. Do not worry, cats and dogs actually travel better this way because it is quieter and they will rest in a dark environment. Contact your airline 48 hours prior to your departure to confirm that they will accept your pet and inquire how soon before the flight you will have to check in.

Pets become stressed in bustling airports, so keep any waiting around to a minimum. If your pet is allowed in the cabin, check in as late as possible. If it is going in the hold, check in early so that it can go to the baggage area and be put somewhere quiet and dimly lit in order to relax. To prepare your pet, reduce the quantity of their food the day before, give it enough water and take your dog for a walk before leaving for the airport and again before check-in. A light meal, two hours before tendering the animal to the carrier, will help to calm them and is a legal requirement in the United States. Visit www.iata.org for information on international pet travel and enter ‘Pets’ into the search box.

On arrival in Cayman, you will need to go to the ‘Goods to Declare’ counter and hand over your paperwork for the animal. They will ask you to take the animal out of its carrier to inspect and check its microchip. All dogs staying in the Cayman Islands for longer than 30 days must be licensed with the DOA.