Some airlines allow dogs to travel in either the cabin or the cargo of planes, so you can travel through the skies with your furry pal. This can be good news for those going on long vacations or work trips—but it’s not that simple.
While the thought of flying with your pup may seem exciting, you must remember that being on an airplane can be stressful. It’ll be in a strange environment full of new smells and sounds, and if your buddy stays with the cargo, it’ll be away from you for hours.
So, what can you do to ensure your dog stays safe, healthy, and comfortable on the flight? Here are some tips:
What to Do Before the Flight
Here are some things to do as you prepare for the scheduled flight:
Study the Rules of the Airline and the Destination
Each airline has a set of rules outlining what you can bring on your flight, where the dog will stay, what type of crate you can bring, and even specific dog breeds you can’t take with you. To save you time, effort, and money, it’s best to read your airline’s regulations and contact them about your plans to bring your dog before you book a flight. In general, booking a flight ticket in person or over the phone is ideal.
Similarly, your destination’s government may require specific documents when you bring an animal with you; you must do your due diligence and read up on the rules. This is especially crucial for international flights.
Visit the Vet
Have your dog checked by the vet to determine if it’s fit for flight and isn’t carrying any illnesses. You may ask the veterinarian for a travel health certificate, which some airlines and governments need.
Acclimate Your Pup to the Carrier
After getting an airline-approved carrier that’s large enough for your dog, it’s best to get your buddy used to staying in it. Try placing your dog inside the carrier regularly—ideally, do so weeks in advance. You may also drive around with your dog inside it to simulate the plane’s motions.
To help your pup stay comfortable during the flight, you may place your dog’s favorite toy, a piece of your clothing, and a towel on the carrier’s floor.
What to Do on the Day of the Flight
On the day of the flight, follow these tips to stay prepared:
Check Your Documents
See if you have all the necessary documents, vaccination certificates, and labels on the carrier. Make sure to put your contact number on it as well in case it gets lost.
Avoid Feeding Your Dog a Few Hours Before Boarding
Your dog may experience issues if it boards a plane with a full stomach—don’t give it food around five hours before the flight. However, you may give it some water to keep it hydrated.
Don’t Be Late
It’s vital to be at the airport earlier than you normally would so that you can ask the airline staff about any concerns you may have. You can also take some time to walk around—this will help calm your dog down when it’s time to fly.
Flying with your dog requires adequate preparation, so keep this quick guide in mind as you get ready for a flight with your best buddy!
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