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How To Take Your Ferret on a Flight [Ultimate Guide]

If you’re a ferret owner who is interested in taking your ferret on a flight with you – you’re in luck!

Although it isn’t as common as dogs or cats, some airlines do allow ferrets on their aeroplanes.

I’m not going to lie to you, taking your ferret on a flight will require some planning. However, I’ve put together this ultimate guide with step by step instructions to help you with the process.

    1. Selecting a ferret-friendly destination
    2. Choosing a ferret-friendly airline
    3. Getting your ferret’s pet passport
    4. Getting the right carrier
    5. Preparing your ferret for travel

Let’s jump straight in!




Selecting a ferret-friendly destination

Although ferret owners know that ferrets make wonderful pets, they unfortunately aren’t accepted as pets in all countries, cities, states and territories.

Some towns and cities in the US and regions in Australia have even passed local laws that ban owning ferrets as pets!

For example – unfortunately California in the US, Hawaii, and the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico, do not allow ferrets to enter the country as pets. 

The UK’s PETS scheme allows owners to bring their pet ferrets into the UK without having them go through a six-month quarantine. However, you will need to follow their strict requirements, particularly when it comes to rabies vaccinations.

In addition, ferrets are only permitted to enter the UK via certain approved air carrier routes. Therefore, you will need to check the routes listed, before buying your flight tickets.

Before booking flights, ensure that the destination is ferret-friendly.




Choosing a ferret-friendly airline

Okay, so, this is the hard part.

Unfortunately, not that many airlines currently allow ferrets on their aeroplanes.

Even the select few that do allow ferrets on their aeroplanes, sadly don’t usually allow them to travel in the cabin with their owners.

The airlines that do allow ferrets in the cabin with their owners impose strict rules that you must follow.

Aegean Airlines allows ferrets in the cabin, and states the following:

Each passenger is allowed to travel with only one (1) pet in cabin, carried within a special box/container. The maximum permitted weight for a pet, combined with its container, is eight (8) kilos.

If you wish to travel with more pets, they must be of the same species, familiar with each other and carried within the same special box/container. They should also not exceed the maximum weight of eight (8) kilos (including their container).

In case you are travelling with an infant, you are not allowed to travel with a pet in cabin as well.

Check out their website for more information. 

Additionally, Aeroflot also allow ferrets to fly in the cabin with them, and states:

Other animals such as polecats, ferrets, meerkats, fennec foxes, lorises, pygmy hedgehogs, mini-lop rabbits, marmosets etc. will only be accepted for carriage if they are tamed.

Only animals/birds whose weight together with the skipper does not exceed 8 kg may be carried in the aircraft cabin.

Check out their website for more information.


Unfortunately, most of the time, ferrets have to fly in the cargo hold of the aeroplane.

Don’t freak out! This actually isn’t as scary as it sounds.

The airlines that accept ferrets in their cargo have a pressurised, temperature controlled compartment that is separate from luggage.

Additionally, most of them will also use an air-conditioned/ heated van for transporting pets to and from the planes.

The following airlines currently allow ferrets to fly in cargo:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Thai Airways
Each airline has different requirements and restrictions, so check their individual policies before booking flights.




Obtaining your ferret pet passport

Once you know where you and your furry friend are heading, you will need to obtain your ferret’s passport.

A pet passport is a little booklet which contains records of all the vaccinations and treatments that your ferret has had. In addition to that it contains your name, your pet’s name, address, physical traits, and an optional (but adorable) pet photograph.

It proves that your ferret is fit and healthy enough to travel with you.


Where to get your ferret’s passport?

You can get a pet passport from certain veterinary practises. Not all practices are permitted to issue ferret passports.

Give your local vet a call to check if they are able to complete the forms for you.

If they aren’t, they should be able to refer you to a nearby practise that is able to help.


What are the requirements to get your ferret’s pet passport?

In order to obtain a pet passport for your flight, your ferret MUST be (1) microchipped and (2) up to date on it’s rabies vaccinations.

a) Microchipping

If your ferret hasn’t yet been microchipped, you can get this done at your local vet or a charity.

Vets will charge you for a microchip, however, charities sometimes do it for free.

Not only is it essential in the process of getting a pet passport, it is in your best interest, in case your ferret went missing whilst you were abroad.

The microchip will have a number unique to your ferret, so if he/she is found, then they can find their way back to you.

It is important that your ferret is microchipped BEFORE getting it’s vaccinations, otherwise they may not be valid. 




b) Vaccinations

If you want your ferret to join you on your flight, it is essential that your ferret is vaccinated against rabies.

Most countries require that your ferret be vaccinated a minimum of 21 days before travel.

However, this differs between where you are flying to and from.

For example – if you are visiting the UK from a EU country or listed country, your ferret must be vaccinated against rabies within 1 year, but longer than 21 days ago. If you are visiting from a unlisted country, then your ferret must also have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.

Check the requirements for the country or territory you are planning on visiting, before visiting the vet – to ensure that your veterinarian is vaccinating your pet within the required time frame.





How long does it take to get a pet passport?

Obtaining your ferret’s pet passport should take no longer than a week.

Often it is a lot quicker than this, sometimes even within 1 day. Vets normally quote a week to buy more time.

The appointment with the vet should take no longer than 30 minutes. They will do a quick health check on your ferret, administer the microchip and vaccines (if necessary) and fill out the forms.

However, as mentioned earlier, it is important to be aware that certain countries have specific time-scale requirements when it comes to vaccinations.

When you know where you and your ferret will be flying, check the country’s requirements to ensure that your ferret gets their vaccinations within the correct time-scale.

Try getting your ferret’s passport a month before the date of intended travel, to allow enough time for the vaccinations.




Obtaining your ferret carrier

As mentioned earlier, different airlines have specific requirements when it comes to carriers. In addition, specific aeroplanes may have different requirements, and these will also vary depending on whether your ferret is flying in the cabin or the airplane hold

The airlines often state certain size restrictions for the carriers and requires that the carrier is leak-proof.

Aegean Airlines states the following:

Special box/container for pets in cabin

  • Pets should be carried within a special box/container which is the passenger’s responsibility to provide.
  • The container must not exceed 55cm length x 40cm height x 23cm width. For DH8-100, DH8-400 and ATR aircraft, the following maximum dimensions apply: 40cm length x 25cm height x 25cm width.
  • If you do not have your own container, we will give you a disposable one, available in domestic airports.
  • The container should be leak-proof and pets must be kept there during the whole flight.
  • If pets are kept in a soft bag, the bag may be partially open during the flight.
  • Pet owners should ensure that pets have enough food and water for the whole flight, including possible transfer times, if applicable.

Aeroflot Airline states the following:

Special box/container for pets in cabin

  • The sum of all dimensions on length, width and height must not exceed 44х30х26 cm for rigid skipper. The sum of all dimensions must not exceed 126 cm for soft pet carriers of the closed type for transportation in the aircraft cabin.

The container will need to contain the following:

  • Sleeping area
  • Place to mount a litter box
  • Food dish
  • Water dish

A carrier with a deep basin is also ideal, to avoid spillage.

Additionally, it MUST be escape proof, so check that there are no gaps bigger than 1-2 cm. Ferrets are masters of escape and you certainly won’t want your ferret to be wondering around the plane unattended.

Some ferret owners purchase small dog crates and drill holes in it to mount a hammock, food bowl, and litter box. You can also mount a water dish on the wire door of dog crates.

Shop around to find the right one for your ferret, that also is within the airline guidelines.

Before purchasing a carrier for your ferret, check the requirements with your chosen airline.
Drip water bottles are not recommended as they could chip your furry friend’s teeth. Alternatively, small feeding bowls, like the ones designed for parrots, can be hooked onto the side of your ferret’s carrier instead.

Highly Rated Ferret Carriers

BUDGET

FERRET CARRIER

PRICE

LOW AmazonBasics Pet Carrier Medium

  • Mesh panels for ventilation; top and front zipper closures
  • Carrying handles and seatbelt/luggage strap; adjustable shoulder strap
  • Machine washable fleece pet bed; spot-clean carrier
CHECK HERE
MEDIUM PetsFit Pet Carrier With Expandable Side

  • Strong and sturdy steel frame to keep your pet safe
  • Several mesh windows ensure plenty of ventilation for maximum airflow
  • Expandable areas of Petsfit pet carrier give your pet a comfortable place to play, eat, and take a nap during trip
  • Adjustable shoulder strap with stainless steel buckle create easy and convenient opening
  • Pockets are ideal for storing toys or treats.
  • A padded floor mat is also included for added comfort and is removal for easy cleaning
CHECK HERE
HIGH Mr. Peanut’s Double Expandable, Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

  • Designed with multiple breathable mesh windows for proper ventilation
  • Removable fleece travel bed for extra comfort and easy cleaning
  • Expandable areas on both sides of the carrier to provide your dog with extra space
  • Long and short straps, padded for your comfort
  • Storage compartments ideal for travel documents, treats or meds
  • Lockable zipper




Preparing your ferret for travel

You want to ensure that the journey is as stress-free as possible for your ferret.

Let them get used to the carrier so that they feel a little at home in there.

For a few days before your trip, let your ferret play and sleep in the carrier.

You could even pop some of their favourite toys in their carrier, for extra comfort and security.

Be sure to give your ferret a light meal around 2 hours before the flight, and make sure you give him/her an opportunity to go to the toilet before putting it in its carrier.


Packing Checklist

To ensure that you have everything for your trip, I have put together a checklist for you:

  • Pet passport
  • Your veterinarian’s phone number
  • Phone numbers for ferret vets near all places you will be on your trip
  • Travel carrier approved by airline
  • Food, treats and water
  • Mountable food dish
  • Water dish
  • Toys
  • Blanket
  • Hammock
  • Harness / leash
  • Mountable litter box
  • First aid kit
    • Saline solution for wound cleaning or flushing eyes – you can make your own with 1 teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of cooled boiled water
    • Meat-based baby food puree for emergency food + syringe
    • Nutrigel, corn syrup or honey to be rubbed on the gums in case of hypoglycaemia
    • Lectade in case of mild dehydration
    • Small bandages




Conclusion

Okay, so as you have now learnt, flying with your ferret does take some planning. However, it is worth it to ensure your flight is as stress-free as possible for you and your ferret.

Be sure to select ferret-friendly destinations and airlines, and ensure your ferret is fit and healthy for the trip.

In addition, give yourself around a month to obtain your ferret’s passport, just to be safe.

If you are concerned about anything, or if your ferret has had some problems travelling before – ask your veterinary for advise.

Hope you have found this helpful.

Happy travels!




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