BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding people how to travel by air with their pets.

One important thing they want people to know is that pets should never be put through an X-ray machine.

“Pets are often treated like family members and as such, sometimes travel with their humans,” Robert Duffy, TSA federal security director for LaGuardia Airport, said. “That’s why it’s valuable to become familiar with the security procedures for pets and how to go through the checkpoint security screening process quickly and easily. One of the most important things to know is that pets should never be screened through a checkpoint X-ray unit.”

Here are the steps the TSA says travelers should take:

·       All pets should be brought to a security checkpoint in a hand-held travel carrier.

·       Remove the pet from the carrier just prior to the beginning of the screening process.

·       Place the empty travel carrier on the checkpoint conveyor belt so it can be X-rayed.

·       Never place a pet in the X-ray tunnel. The X-ray at the security checkpoint is used to screen passengers’ personal property and carry-on luggage only.

·       If possible, carry the pet through the walk-through metal detector during the screening process. Alternatively, a pet can walk through the screening process if the owner has the pet on a leash. Best to listen to the guidance that a TSA officer is providing.

·       A TSA officer will give the pet owner’s hands an explosive trace detection swab to ensure there is no explosive residue on the owner’s hands.

·       After the screening process is complete, owners should return their pet to the travel carrier at the re-composure area away from the security checkpoint. This location helps ensure the safety of the pet as well as other passengers.

The TSA is also asking pet owners to do what they can to get their pet acclimated to the airport environment. This includes familiarizing it with its travel carrier and being on the lookout for working dogs and their handlers.

It’s also important to check with your airline about their pet policies.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.