Flying with A Dog

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 | 

Flying with A Dog

Flying with a dog can be fun. At the least, you will be the center of attention, as everyone will want to see your furry, four-legged companion. As great as the idea of flying with a dog sounds, as responsible pet owners, we will want to make sure that we have done all the necessary planning ahead of time to ensure that the journey is a great one for all involved.

Tips for Flying with A Dog

When flying with a dog, here are some important tips to add to your preflight to do list.

  • Airline Choice – Most people prefer to have their pet travel with them in the cabin of the airplane as opposed to the cargo hold, down below. Before you make your reservations, make sure that the airline that you choose can accommodate your travel preferences. Not all airlines allow animals in the cabin with their owners due to issues with noise, allergies or pet created smells. So before you plunk down your hard earned money for some tickets, be sure to understand the airline’s policy on animal travel.

  • See The Vet – Regardless of the type of trip you are taking with your pet, a preliminary visit to the vet is always in order. Not only will your vet want to do a physical examination of your beloved animal, but she will make sure that he is up to date on and has tags for all the needed shots and vaccinations. No airline will let you fly with an animal unless you have proof that they are up to date on all required vaccines. To be super safe, it is also a really good idea to get an official letter from the vet stating that the animal is in good health and able to fly. Some animals might benefit from a mild sedative prior to the flight. Your vet will be the best person to advise you on this.  Be sure also to have adequate identification tags and ID’s at the ready for your pet too. 

  • Off Peak Travel Times – Flying with a dog is definitely more stressful than traveling with people as your companions. Everything you do during the trip is most likely going to take more time, like navigating the airport or boarding the plane.  In light of this, try and book your flight times during periods where there will be fewer passengers and people at the airport. Lighter crowds when you take your journey will be worth its weight in gold. 

  • Dog Carrier or Crate That Is Airline Approved – Very few airlines if any will allow you to hand carry your pup onto the plane without her being in a dog carrier or crate that is airline approved. Picking a carrier depends on your dog’s size, so it’s important to select from airline approved dog carriers for small dogs or large dogs. It’s very important to make sure your dog has the ability to move around freely and comfortably while being transported. Your airline’s website is a great place to learn about how to best pick a dog carrier or crate that is airline approved. The Government’s TSA is also a good resource on this topic as well. 

  • • Answering The Call & Other Logistics – When your pet gets to the airport, she will most likely need to eat, drink water and of course, go to the bathroom. Before you arrive, go onto the airport’s website and familiarize yourself with the amenities that they have for flying with a dog. You’ll be surprised how many creature comforts modern airports have for furry travelers.

  • • Staying Happy On The Flight (both of you) – Once it’s time to actually fly, do everything you can to keep your beloved pet calm and serene during the journey. Bring some of their favorite toys or stuffed animals with you to put in the carrier. Talk to your pet with soothing and encouraging tones. If your pet starts to bark or cry, you can ask the flight attendants for any tips for flying with a dog. Your pet will not be the first one they’ve ever had on the plane. You might be surprised; you could be in the presence of an experienced pet whisperer.

Flying with a dog can be a wonderful experience. Most people love to see a cute animal coming on board with them for the journey. The key to a successful trip for you, your four legged buddy, and the rest of the plane’s passengers is proper planning and remembering to use these tips for flying with a dog. Bon voyage!