You may have mixed emotions if you are flying with a pet. Of course, you are concerned with the safety of your four-legged friend, and your mind is probably going in all directions. A fact to put you at ease is that millions of animals fly each year in the United States alone. We often hear about tragedies from pet travel in the media, but most pets in cargo arrive safely. Follow our tips below to be better prepared for your flight with your four-legged friend.
- Consult your veterinarian. Schedule an appointment with your vet to ensure that your pet is in good health to fly. Some airlines require a health certificate issued within ten days of your flight.
- Is your dog breed allowed on the plane? Some airlines allow you to fly with your short-nosed pet in the cabin if they fit within the size and weight guidelines. It is best for you to check with the airline beforehand.
- To not wait until the last minute to book. Did you know that airlines allow a limited number of pets per flight? Book early to ensure you get your desired flight with your four-legged friend.
- Your dog must get used to a kennel. Purchase a kennel in advance and get your pet used to being in the space. Your goal is similar to crate training which allows your pet to think of the kennel as a safe space.
- Avoid sedatives. We do not recommend tranquilizers for pets during flights as they can interfere with a dog’s ability to control body heat at high altitudes. There are other ways that you can calm your dog. Speak with your veterinarian for tips.
- Have pet documentation readily available. Determine the documents your airline requires for your dog and keep them handy.
- Visit pet relief areas in the airport before takeoff. Before the flight, find the closest pet relief area for a potty break.
We understand that flying with our pets can be stressful. We want to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and safe. However, if you follow our tips, you should be able to eliminate some of that stress and have a safe flight to your destination with your dog. Happy travels!