Traveling with a pet? TSA advises the best way to get through airport security

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently reminded travelers about the proper procedure for going through security checkpoints with pets.

The agency did so last week in a press release, noting small dogs and cats have been mistakenly put through X-ray scanners at airports in recent months.

A TSA spokesperson told FOX Business the agency has "seen an increase in the number of pets that have been placed and sent through the X-ray."

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Travelers queue up at the south security checkpoint at Denver International Airport as the Labor Day holiday approaches Aug. 30, 2022, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski / AP Newsroom)

"While it is relatively rare and the number of pets who have come through the X-ray in the last five months is in the single digits, it does expose the pet needlessly to the X-ray process," the spokesperson said. "And we have seen it more recently than in prior years."

Earlier in March, while a cat and its owner went through a checkpoint in Norfolk, Virginia, the feline was left in its carrier, and it went through the X-ray unit, according to a tweet from TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein. 

Fox News also reported about a dog that took an unintended trip through a Wisconsin airport’s X-ray machine. 

TIPS FOR HOLIDAY AIR TRAVEL FROM TSA

In another incident in New York in late November, a checked suitcase was found to have a cat hiding inside. The pets were OK in all instances.

Just "prior to the beginning of the screen process," owners should withdraw their small, furry travel companion from its carrier, the TSA said in last week's press release. Then, while the carrier is being fed through the X-ray machine, they should either hold or take their furry friend via leash through the screening process. 

Travelers make their way through a TSA screening line at Orlando International Airport ahead of the July 4 holiday in Orlando, Fla., July 1, 2022. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The owner’s hands will get swabbed for explosive residue, according to the TSA. The pet, upon the screening process's conclusion, should immediately be returned to its carrier.

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Another option available to people traveling with pets is a private screening, according to the TSA.

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