The idea of flying with your dog may sound daunting to most pet owners. The amount of preparation required and the journey itself may be dreaded by nervous pet parents. The fear is understandable. But if you are well-prepared, air travel with your dog could be a breeze. This list of dos and don’ts will help ensure that the journey is smooth sailing for you and your dog.
Flying With Your Dog 5 DOS
Go Through Airline Policies
What are the rules for flying with pets? This may be the first question on your mind. Several airlines out there will accommodate your pooch. However, each airline has a separate set of policies when it comes to entertaining canine passengers on board.
For instance, according to the American Kennel Club, Delta Airlines does not permit dogs below the age of ten weeks on domestic flights, while Southwest Airlines does not allow dogs in the cabin on international flights.
Some airlines do not allow short-nosed breeds like pugs, Boston terriers, boxers, some mastiffs, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, shih tzus, and bulldogs as they are more prone to respiratory troubles.
So, do your research, and find an airline that caters to your dog’s requirements and yours.
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Reach Out To The Airlines
Once you’ve found the most suitable airline, be sure to contact them before you book your flight. Since there is a limited amount of seats allotted to pets per flight and policies can change without warning, it is advisable to confirm with the airlines if they will be able to accommodate your dog on the given flight.
Do not forget to consult the airlines about the check-in fee for your dog. The fee varies from airline to airline, so it’s worth finding out. Remember that COVID-19 restrictions also apply.
Take Your Dog To The Vet
Before flying with a dog, it is a good idea to get them assessed by a vet. Your vet can tell you if your pooch is fit enough to fly.
Apart from this, many airlines require health certificates to prove that your pet has received all necessary vaccines. So, make sure your canine’s shots are up to date.
Whether you are flying with your dog or not, it is a good idea to have your dog vaccinated regularly since the benefits of dog vaccination are undeniable.
Take Necessary Precautions
If you are flying with an anxious dog, it will do you both good to take certain precautions. It is a good idea to ensure that your dog has a potty break before boarding to avoid any nervous accidents.
Try as much as you can to ensure that your dog is with you in the cabin. Since this is not possible for big dogs, make sure you remind the airlines to handle your dog gently in their kennel. Remember to label your dog’s carrier or kennel with all necessary details.
Feed Your Dog Much Ahead Of The Flight
Whether it is a short flight or a long one, it is a good idea to feed your dog at least six hours ahead of your flight. Since some studies show that dogs can handle long durations without food, it may be a good idea to increase the time gap to prevent your dog from getting sick.
You may be wondering What should I give my dog before flying? You could try feeding your dog something light and easy to digest to avoid any tummy upsets on the flight.
Flying With Your Dog 2 DON’TS
Yes, flying is stressful for most people. But how stressful is flying for dogs? Well, flying is pretty scary for dogs too. The change in air pressure can make them anxious. The lights, sounds, strangers, and the change in temperature are likely to make them feel stressed and uneasy.
While this is not what we want to hear, there are ways we can make flights less intimidating for dogs. The most important way is to try not to be stressed around our canine companions.
Noted dog trainer Cesar Milan advice pet parents not to be anxious for their dogs, as they quickly pick up on it and become anxious, in turn.
Reassure your dog with eye contact, praise, and positive reinforcement whenever possible when flying.
Travel During Peak Season
To avoid further stress while flying with a dog, try your best to not travel during peak seasons. Be it summer vacation or Christmas time, air travel can be a nightmare. The chaos caused by crowds in airports during this time could traumatize your dog. Try to choose dates where more seats are available on your flight to ensure that it is not a busy time.
What To Bring When Flying With Pets?
Keep the following handy when traveling with your dog.
Keep some in your carry bag in case your dog needs to pee in the airport or even on the plane.
Some people wonder, ‘Do dogs’ ears hurt when flying?’ It is most likely true since, just like human ears, dog’s ears pop due to a change in pressure. If your dog does experience ear pain, a chew toy could help provide some distraction.
Carry a small water bowl to keep your dog hydrated.
If your dog needs any medication, be sure to keep it with you at all times.
5 Tips For Traveling With Your Pet
Here’s a list of five quick tips that could further help you on your flight with your dog.
Board Earlier Than You Usually Would
Due to more check-in procedures, it is a good idea to board earlier than you usually would flying alone or with humans.
Get Your Dog Used To Their Carrier
Your dog will be inside their carrier or kennel for the duration of the flight and before and after it. So make sure that your dog is acquainted with and comfortable in their kennel or carrier. You can keep their favorite toy or blanket in it to make them feel more at ease.
Try Getting Them Used To The Airport
You could drive your dog to the airport on days when it is not very crowded to familiarize them with its surroundings. This may sound inconvenient, but it could actually help you on the day of your flight by making your dog feel more secure.
Place A Pee Pad In Their Carrier
Place a pee pad in your dog’s carrier in case your dog has any accidents on the flight or in the airport.
Keep The Receipt Handy
Keep the payment receipt from the airlines with you at all times to show airline staff that you are allowed to board the flight with your dog.
Flying with your dog will surely be a memorable experience for both you and your pooch. If you are well prepared, you have nothing to fear. We wish you a safe and happy flight. Bon voyage!