(WHTM) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provided some helpful tips when it comes to traveling with a pet.

If you are the owner of a small pet, your pet can travel with you in the cabin of the aircraft. Before this, the pet must be screened by TSA officers at the security checkpoint.

“Pets are often treated like family members and as such, sometimes travel with their humans,” says Robert Duffy, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Federal Security Director for LaGuardia Airport. “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.”

TSA officers state that you must remove your pet from their travel carrier at the security checkpoint and then send the carrier into the X-ray machine. You can walk through the metal detector while holding your pet.

TSA officers provided these steps to follow in order to make sure the screening of your pet goes smoothly:

  • Pets must be brought to a security checkpoint in a hand-held travel carrier.
  • You must remove the pet from the carrier prior to the screening process.
  • The empty travel carrier must be placed on the checkpoint conveyor belt so it can be X-rayed.
  • Never place a pet in the X-ray tunnel.
  • It is best to carry the pet through the metal detector, but if needed you can bring the pet through on a leash.
  • 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 screening, the pet should be returned to the travel carrier at the re-composure area away from the security checkpoint.

Other tips provided by TSA officers include:

  • Acclimate the pet to the process of traveling by familiarizing it with its travel carrier.
  • Be on the lookout for “working” canines and handlers at the airport. Consider taking a different route in the airport if you see a working canine.
  • Know the temperament of your pet and ensure that you are able to control it in a busy environment.
  • If your pet is skittish, request to have it screened in a private screening room.
  • When traveling with service animals and pets, it’s a good idea to contact your airline directly.

The TSA officers also state that becoming familiar with the pet relief areas at their departing airport and arrival airport is a good idea. Passengers are advised to look for signs in the baggage claim areas or ask one of the airport Customer Care Representatives for more information.