RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you’ve ever wondered how to correctly take your pet through the airport’s security checkpoint, keep reading. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has released guidance detailing just how to get your furry friends through one of the most dreaded parts of traveling.

Traveling through airport security with your pet doesn’t have to be daunting, familiarize yourself with these TSA tips ahead of time for the best chance of getting through the checkpoint screening quickly and without too much hassle.

One of the most important things the TSA wants travelers to know is that your pet should never go through the checkpoint X-ray unit with luggage. Instead, pets should be removed from the carrier and brought through the walk-through metal detector. Pets may be held or walked through on a leash. Empty travel carriers should be put through the X-ray unit with luggage.

Pet owners can also expect a TSA officer to swab their hands to check for traces of explosive residue.

After screening is complete, owners should put their pets back inside travel carriers at the re-composure area away from the security checkpoint. TSA says finding a less crowded area will ensure the safety of the pet and other passengers.

Pet travel restrictions vary by airline and airport, so make sure to check out the rules specific to where you’re flying in and out of, or contact your airline directly for policy details ahead of time.

Acclimating your pets to the travel processes ahead of time will help make sure your pet is more relaxed when travel time comes. TSA says familiarizing your pet with its travel carrier, being aware of your pet’s temperament and becoming familiar with pet relief areas at your departing and arrival airport are all helpful in providing the best possible experience for your pet.