Published: Dec 20, 2011 10:36 PM EST
Updated: Dec 21, 2011 12:01 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. -The most important thing about the holidays is being able to spend it with the person you love. For many people, that means traveling with their pets!

Mary Nolan traveled from Minneapolis with her cat "Rose." "She is my little stray that showed up a year ago that showed up on my door almost dead. So I brought her in and I am her mother now."

Mary has never had a problem flying with Rose. Jan Glassman has never had a problem flying with her poodle "Juliet."

"This one? Not a peep out of her on the plane. She's tiny so she goes in a crate under the seat," said Glassman describing the travel arrangements.

But not every pet owner is so lucky.

Of the pets that traveled by air between May 2005 and 2010:

  • 33 pets were lost
  • 55 were injured
  • 144 pets died.

The Department of Transportation says that number is very small compared to the thousands that fly each year. Statistics show the majority of the pets with problems were short snout breeds like bulldogs and pugs.

The Department of Transportation says by talking with your vet and making good travel plans, both you and your best friend should arrive home safe for the holidays.

You should also:

  • Make sure your pet is accustomed to the kennel it is traveling in and that it latches well.
  • Not give your pet solid food 6 hours before flight and walk them before going into the airport.
  • Write your name and address on the kennel and make a temporary tag for your dog with your destination address.
  • Have a picture of your pet on you in case they get lost.

For a full list of recommendations for traveling with a pet from the DOT, click here.