Are you looking to take a vacation soon and want to fly with your dog?
We are no doubt a nation of dog lovers with around 63.4 million households owning a pup. It’s therefore understandable that we want to take them traveling with us wherever we go. After all, we see dogs as members of the family.
Having somebody look after your dog while going on vacation is rather expensive. You could be looking at several hundred dollars a week. Plus, if you hire a dog sitter, you have to provide their meals as well.
So taking this into consideration, it may be cheaper to actually take your dog with you.
You may be a little worried about them flying, especially if they’ve never experienced it. Also, you may have heard horror stories from people about flying with pets.
But you really shouldn’t worry, as it can be a stress-free flight for both of you if you do a few simple things.
In this article, we’ll share 6 things you need to know about flying with your dog. Read on for more information.
- Ensure Your Dog Is Fit to Fly
Before you even start making plans to fly with your dog, you should first assess whether they’re up to it. Even though some dogs seem to take it in their stride, other pups can find it rather too much.
Airports are busy places with lots going on at once. Plus, jet engines aren’t the most soothing sound in the world. Most dogs will become slightly anxious during a flight, so if your dog suffers daily from anxiety, you may not want to take them.
Also, if your dog has any kind of medical condition, you should get your vet’s opinion first.
- Research the Laws of Traveling With Dogs
The last thing you want to happen is to turn up to the airport and be denied boarding. You also don’t want to arrive at your destination and be refused entry. Both of these scenarios will cost you a fortune, as well as a lot of stress.
You should be ok flying domestically in the US, but you should always check with the airline first. Also, be aware that certain breeds may not be able to fly, so check the restricted breed list first.
Traveling internationally is a different story and you will need to do your research. When you arrive, you will need documents that show your dog’s medical records, including all vaccinations.
This is a kind of pet passport that has to be obtained from your vet. Ensure you make several copies beforehand and don’t keep them all together.
You also need to know that some countries may require your dog to quarantine for a certain period.
- Choose Your Airline Carefully
Airlines have different policies about traveling with pets so you should do your research before booking.
You should also be aware that some airlines are more pet-friendly than others. Read reviews online about other pet owners’ experiences to help make your mind up.
Choosing a pet-friendly air transport airline will set you up to have a great trip.
- Decide on Cabin or Cargo
In some cases, this will be decided for you due to the airline and your dog’s size. Support dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin for obvious reasons but airlines can differ on others.
Usually, dogs under 20 pounds can also travel in the cabin but larger canines have to travel in the cargo.
Traveling in the cabin is normally cheaper, as the dog will be classed as carry-on luggage. You won’t be able to buy a seat for them and they will have to stay in a pet carrier the entire flight.
- Choose the Best Pet Carrier
If your dog is able to fly in the cabin with you, purchase a pet carrier in advance.
They will have to stay in the carrier and it will be placed under the seat in front of you. Before buying the carrier, check with the airline about the dimensions under the seat. Ask whether certain rows have more room than others and whether you can reserve one of those seats.
When choosing your pet carrier for air transportation, be aware that your dog has to be able to stand up and turn around in it. If not, they won’t be able to fly in it.
Leading up to the flight, you need to get them used to being in the carrier. You could place them inside it and go on short drives. You could also play games in which they get a treat if they stay in it for a certain length of time.
Beware that some airlines may require you to use their own pet carriers. Yet you should still get them used to them beforehand.
- Tire Them Out Before the Flight
Ideally, you want your dog to sleep for most of the flight to help prevent any issues.
The days leading up to the flight, take them out for extra long walks and try to get their heart rate up. You could take them jogging or just play a nice game of fetch with them.
If you can help burn off that excess energy, then they’ll be less likely to be anxious or wanting to get out of the pet carrier.
Use These Tips on How to Fly With Your Dog
We hope you have enjoyed reading our article and it has been useful to you.
As you can see, there’s a bit of preparation you have to do before you can fly with your dog. It’s very important that you do all your research carefully and you ensure you have all the right documentation with you. If you have any worries, make sure you discuss them with your vet first.
By being organized, you should have many great flights with your dog.
Finally, check out the rest of our blog for more great pet tips.