Teacup Maltese puppies are just like people who sometimes become anxious when
they don't travel frequently. This leads some owners and veterinarians to
question whether administering sedatives or tranquilizers to dogs or cats prior
to flight is a good idea. According to national and international air
transportation organizations, as well as the American Humane Association and the
American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases the answer is "no"!
How to Transport Your Pet by Air
There are a number of ways to transport your pet by air.
First, some airlines will allow you to travel with a small Teacup
Maltese puppy or pet in the cabin of the plane if your pet will
fit in a carry-on kennel or approved carrier under a passenger
This method is a safe and humane way to transport your
Teacup Maltese Puppy. Contact your airline directly to determine
the best option for you and your Teacup Maltese.
Questions to Consider When Your Teacup Maltese Puppy
Travels with you.
Is your pet old enough to travel?
APHIS requires your Teacup Maltese puppy or pet to be at
least eight weeks old and fully weaned before traveling by air.
Which flights are easier on your pet?
Whenever possible, book a direct, nonstop flight and avoid
holiday or weekend travel. Consider schedules that minimize
temperature extremes. For example, try to avoid travel during
excessively hot or cold periods. Morning or evening flights are
preferable during the summer.
Is your Teacup Maltese puppy healthy?
Check with a veterinarian to be sure that your Teacup
Maltese puppy is fit to travel. Some species Ė for example,
pug-nosed dogs (e.g., Boxers and Boston Terriers) Ė simply do
not fly well because they may have difficulty breathing even
under normal conditions. You will need a health certificate,
provided by your veterinarian, in order to comply with the rules
of most airlines, as well as state and federal rules. To be
valid for your trip on most airlines, the certificate should be
issued no more than seven to 10 days prior to departure. Be sure
to check with your airline to get the exact amount of time they
require before your petís trip.
Should you sedate your Teacup Maltese puppy or pet?
Most veterinarians advise against sedating your puppy since
the effects of tranquilizers on animals at higher altitudes are
unpredictable. The decision to prescribe a tranquilizer for your
Teacup Maltese puppy should be made by you and your
veterinarian. If you believe that some form of sedation might be
helpful, be sure to obtain and follow a veterinarianís advice.
Prepare in Advance
Do you have the proper kennel for your Teacup Maltese puppy?
You and the airlines must follow APHIS regulations on
the size of kennel for your puppy. The kennel must be sturdy,
properly ventilated and large enough for your pet to freely be
able to stand, turn around and lie down. The kennel must close
securely with a mechanism that requires no special tools to
operate. APHIS regulations require that the kennel have
projecting rims or spacers to ensure that the kennelís
ventilation slats cannot be blocked by adjoining kennels or
cargo. Appropriate kennels are available at pet stores and from
most airlines. Remember to check with your airline because
airline policies can vary.
Is your Teacup Maltese puppy or pet comfortable in the
As far in advance of the trip as possible, let your Maltese
puppy get to know the travel kennel. Veterinarians recommend
leaving it open in the house with an old sock or other familiar
object inside, so that your pet will spend time in the kennel.
It is important for your Teacup Maltese puppy or cat to be as
relaxed as possible during the flight.
When your Teacup Maltese puppy travels, the kennel
Clearly display your name and address
Use arrows or other marking to indicate the top of the
Include food and water dishes (both empty), which are
secured inside the kennel and accessible from outside
Show a food and water schedule and, if any food is
necessary, include an ample supply in a bag attached to the
outside of the kennel
Contain no more than one adult dog (or puppy between
eight weeks and six months old that weighs more than 20
lbs.) or one cat per kennel. (Two puppies or kittens that
are between the ages of eight weeks and six months old and
under 20 lbs. each may share the same kennel if they are
personal pets of comparable size and are socially compatible
with one another)
A general rule of thumb is that your pet must be able to
stand comfortably in the kennel and be able to turn around
while standing in the kennel
Contain absorbent material or bedding, such as newspaper
Display labels on top and on at least one side with the
words LIVE ANIMALS printed in 1-inch-high letters
Have you made advance arrangements for your pets?
At the time you book a trip on which you plan to transport
your pet, advise the airline directly that you will be traveling
with a pet either in the cabin with you, as accompanied baggage
in the cargo hold on your flight, or as cargo. Be sure to
contact your airline again 24-48 hours prior to departure to
reconfirm your petís transportation plans. This is important
since airlines will transport only a limited number of pets on
Please note that advance arrangements do not guarantee that
your pet will travel on a specific flight. Airlines reserve the
right to refuse to transport a pet for reasons such as illness,
poor kenneling or extreme temperatures at origin, transfer or
Ready for Flight
Acceptance of Pets and Teacup Maltese puppies
An airline cannot guarantee that it will
accept a Teacup Maltese puppy or pet that it has not seen. Since
an airline cannot transport a pet that is violent or dangerous,
important considerations for acceptance of pets include the
petís health and disposition. A health certificate will help
to address any concerns. An airline must also determine that
all paperwork is in order and that the kennel meets all
Food and Water for your Maltese puppy
USDA requires that you offer your Teacup Maltese puppy or
pet food and water within four hours before check-in with the
airline. Do not overfeed your Maltese at this time. A full
stomach is not good for a traveling pet. When you check in with
the airline, you must sign a certification of the time when you
last offered food and water to your pet. (Do not leave food or
water in the dish in the kennel. It will spill and make travel
unpleasant for your pet.)
Arrival and Check-In
Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare so that
there will be no rush. If your Teacup Maltese puppy or pet
is traveling as unaccompanied baggage or by special expedited
delivery service, check-in will usually be at the passenger
terminal. If your pet will be traveling through the cargo
system, you may need to go to the air freight terminal, which
typically is located in a separate part of the airport. Be sure
to check with your airline for the acceptance cutoff time for
your flight, and the location from which you can retrieve your
Teacup Maltese puppy at the destination airport. Note: You
may not give Teacup Maltese to the airline more than four
hours before flight time (six hours by special arrangement).
Security Screening of your Pet
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations
require physical screening of all pets and their kennels whether
transported in the passenger cabin, as accompanied baggage or
If your Teacup Maltese puppy or pet is traveling with
you in the passenger cabin or as unaccompanied baggage, TSA
will likely require your Teacup Maltese puppy to
accompany you through the passenger screening equipment at
the security checkpoint. You will usually need to remove
your pet from its kennel to allow for TSA screening of the
kennel or pet carrier. In most cases, the kennel will be
subject to the same security procedures as your carry-on
luggage or checked bags.
It is a good idea to carry a leash or harness with you
on a trip so that you may walk your Teacup Maltese
before check-in and after arrival, and so that you can
secure your pet during security screening. (Do not keep the
leash with your Teacup Maltese puppy, either inside or
attached to the outside of the kennel.)
Do not take your Teacup Maltese out of its kennel inside
the airport unless TSA personnel ask you to do so. In
keeping with airport regulations and out of courtesy for
other passengers, you should let your pet out of the kennel
only after you leave the terminal building. Some airports
offer special pet relief areas. Check with your airline or
the airport information desk when you arrive at the
You should clearly mark the kennel with your petís name.
In addition to showing your name and address as required
by APHIS, you must mark the kennel with the telephone number
of a person at the destination who can be contacted about
your pet. This is especially important if you are sending
your Teacup Maltese puppy unaccompanied through the cargo
system, because you will not be at the airport to claim your
pet upon arrival. It may be helpful to contact a pet travel
service to handle an unaccompanied pet, since these services
manage pick-up and delivery and can advise on quarantine
requirements for international travel.
If your Teacup Maltese puppy is traveling in the cargo
system, remember that there is a processing period for cargo
after arrival, which may vary depending on the airline, the
airport, and whether your Teacup Maltese puppy is arriving
from a domestic or international location.
If you have questions, be sure to contact your airline.
Remember: Even under the best conditions, air travel can
be stressful on your pet. Be sure to talk to your
veterinarian before transporting your pet by air to make
sure that your pet is sufficiently healthy to withstand the
stresses associated with air travel.