NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — With holiday travel coming up quickly, TSA is expecting to see a lot more pets being brought through the airport.

According to a news release, traveling can be easy, when you know what to expect.

“TSA recognizes that for many pet owners, their animals are an extension of their family and they want to travel together,” said TSA Deputy Federal Security Director for Colorado Anne Cross. “Becoming familiar with the screening procedures and how to clear security quickly and easily is the first step to embarking on a great trip with your pet.”

Small pets should be in the cabin of the plane with their owner. And TSA will screen pets at the security checkpoint.

Here is what pet owners can expect:

  • All pets should be brought to a security checkpoint in a hand-held travel carrier, remove the pet just prior to the screening process.
  • Place the empty carrier to be x-rayed.
  • Do not place the pet in the x-ray tunnel.
  • The owner can either carry the pet through or the pet can walk through as long as it’s on a leash.
  • A TSA agent will give the owner’s hands an explosive trace detection swab.
  • Once the screening is over, owners should put the pet back in the travel carrier.

Other tips to make sure going through security is easy are:

  • Acclimate the pet to the process of traveling by familiarizing it with the travel carrier.
  • Be on the lookout for working K9s and their handlers. If you encounter one, make sure to move to a different checkpoint.
  • Know how your pet interacts and make sure you can keep control in a busy place.
  • Make sure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations, and make sure you have those records with you.
  • Book a direct flight if possible.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped, wearing a collar and tag, and make sure that information is up-to-date.
  • Buy a pet-friendly travel carrier big enough for your pet to stand, sit, and turn around.
  • Make sure you have fresh food and water.
  • Take your dog for a walk and let them use the bathroom before the flight.
  • If traveling with a cat, make sure there’s a small space in the carrier for them to use the bathroom or be mindful of feeding schedules.
  • Make sure you let airline personnel know you are traveling with a pet.

Pet travel restrictions may vary by airline, so make sure to check with our air carrier before traveling with the pet.