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How to Become a Flight Nanny: What to Know About Taking Care of Pets on the Go

corgi in carrier in an airport
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If you love pets and are looking for a fun and exciting career opportunity, becoming a flight nanny is the way to go! Flight nannies accompany pets on flights to ensure that they get safely to their destination.

As a flight nanny for pets, you’re helping a family or person who is welcoming a new pet into their home. It’s both a fun job and an important one because, after all, what can be better than connecting furry friends with their owners?

If you’re interested in how to become a flight nanny for dogs and other pets, here’s everything you need to know.  

Flight Nannies: Who They Are and What They Do

A lot of people haven’t heard of flight nannies, even though they do important work for pet lovers everywhere. Each day, pets—most commonly dogs or cats—need to be transported between their breeder and new home. This can be hundreds or thousands of miles, requiring the need for transportation by air.

A flight nanny has a lot of responsibility—getting the pet safely from one destination to the other. In this role, a typical day might look something like this:

  • Connect with the breeder at the airport and learn about the pet you are going to transport for them.
  • Fly with your furry friend to the destination, caring for their needs along the way.
  • Meet the owners in the arrivals terminal and hand over their new pet!

 

It’s a straightforward job, but an important one. It’s your responsibility to make sure everything goes smoothly, and the pet is calm, comfortable, and relaxed throughout the flight.

Becoming an air nanny for pets has a lot of benefits. It’s a flexible job where you can take on work as you want to. It’s also always different and interesting, plus you get to see some new parts of the country—or potentially the world! And, of course, you get to interact with amazing animals and their loving owners day after day.

There are challenges to becoming a flight nanny for pets, too. One is that you’re always working with a different pet, and some may not be used to air travel. This can be challenging for both of you and requires a lot of care, knowledge, and patience to know how to handle it.

dog in womans arms on airplane

How to Become a Flight Nanny

If you love pets and are a responsible traveler, you can become a flight nanny! Here are some things to do to get started.

Qualifications

As mentioned, there are no formal credentials needed to become a flight nanny. However, the specific company, breeder, or pet owner you work for may require some qualifications. Some examples include:

  • Previous experience with pets
  • Comfortable and knowledgeable flyer
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Knowledge about basic pet care

Job opportunities

If you’re looking out for how to become a flight nanny for dogs or other pets, you’ll probably start looking for jobs the way a lot of people do—online. Key search terms like “flight nanny,” “air nanny,” and “pet nanny” may all bring up relevant jobs.

You can also look for companies that handle transportation of personal goods. Citizen Shipper and Uship are two companies that handle animal and pet transportation and hire people to work as flight nannies.  

You can also go the private route and connect directly with families who are bringing new pets to their families. Word-of-mouth networking at dog daycares, a veterinary office or other pet-centric locations might help you find out who needs pet nanny services.

Insurance

Before you start a career as an air nanny for pets, consider getting pet taxi insurance.  Pet Care Insurance is a leading insurance provider in the pet care space and offers this liability coverage specifically tailored for those who transport pets from one location to the other. It will give both you and your clients peace of mind should anything happen while you are flying with their pet.

dog peeking out of carrier in an airport - travel dog

FAQs to Become a Flight Nanny

What types of pets can flight nannies assist with?

A flight nanny for pets can work with any kind of animal that needs to be transported and is allowed to be transported by air. The most common pets to fly with are cats and dogs.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines pets as “privately-owned companion animal not intended for research or resale.” They also provide a list of animals that fall into this category: dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, hedgehogs, reptiles, and birds.

Do I need insurance to be a flight nanny?

Some companies or employers may require insurance for flight nannies. However, even if they do not require it, we recommend purchasing pet taxi insurance to cover you for any incidents that may happen while you’re in transit. Having the right pet taxi insurance will give you peace of mind on your journey for how to become a flight nanny.

Do I need to know any requirements about pets flying?

The US Department of Transportation uses the above definition of “pet” for their rules and regulations of traveling with pets. It’s important to review this information and be familiar with what is and isn’t allowed.

Major regulations are that dogs and cats need to be at least eight weeks old and weaned for at least five days. They must also have access to food and water at specific times and their cages must meet specific standards. It is your job as a flight nanny for pets to know and comply with all airline rules and regulations.

You may also be required to get licensed by the USDA, and you can use their online tool to determine whether or not you need one.

How much can I get paid as an air nanny for pets?

Salaries as an air nanny for pets are not regulated or standardized. Typically, you will negotiate directly with the client and come to an agreement. The price is usually based on the number of hours flown (i.e., hours worked) plus the cost of airfare.

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Comparing Employee Dishonesty Coverage & Bonding

PCI’s employee dishonesty coverage is similar to a bond, but there may be some key differences to consider.

Employee dishonesty coverage:

  • Can be purchased in the same transaction
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  • Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage

Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:

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  • Many require you to reimbursement the bonding company after a claim is paid