The bond we share with our furry little buddies is without a doubt something special. It is, therefore, no wonder that so many dog owners opt to take their pets along with them even on long distance trips.
However, if you have ever taken your dog on a flight trip then you know better than anyone else that it is not exactly a walk in the park.
Technically speaking, having a dog or any other pet on board is legally acceptable. However, when deciding whether or not to bring your dog with you, there are a lot of factors that you must take into consideration. Some of these include things like airline policies as well as international border regulations. Below are tips, guidelines and things you should know that should help make the right decision and take all the necessary steps.
1. Find out the airline’s pet policy
The first and most important thing for you is to get in touch with the airline and find out more about their pet policy. Most airlines allow dogs and puppies on board. However, they have different policies and restrictions that you should know about before you book a spot.
One of the most important of these is the onboard or shipment option. Some airlines allow you to have your dog with you on the main plain. However, there are restrictions mainly based on size. Most airlines, on the other hand, offer the dog a spot on their cargo carriers. You may have to pay a little extra to ensure that the dog and kennel get handled more carefully and not stacked in with other luggage on the plane.
2. Get your certificates and permits in advance
Airlines are not the only ones that are strict as far as flying with dogs is concerned. With international flights, in particular, you might need to get special permission to move in and out of different countries with the animal.
In this case, special certificates and permits are issued as proof that the pet meets the specific country’s standards and regulations. To avoid last-minute hustles and delays, make sure you get this paperwork ready early.
3. Ensure that the dog gets a health checkup before the trip
More often than not, veterinary health checkups are a requirement before you get permits to travel with your dog. But in addition to this formal requirement, a trip to the vet’s office should help you determine whether or not it is safe for the dog to tag along on your plane trip.
4. Consider the dog or puppy’s personality and temperament
This applies whether your puppy is coming on board with you or it is traveling alone in the cargo hold. Different dogs have different personalities and respond to stress in different ways. To determine whether or not yours is up to the task, it is important to consider their temperament.
Calm and friendly dogs usually pose no problem and tend to fly without a fuss. Aggressive and anxious ones, on the other hand, might prove to be very problematic. If yours is aggressive, consider leaving them behind. If this is not an option, talk to your vet about different options especially sedation.
5. Invest in a comfortable pet carrier or kennel
A comfortable carrier for your dog will make their trip a lot more enjoyable and yours peaceful by extension. With dogs traveling on board, in particular, it is important to get carriers with absorbent material and deodorant properties in case nature calls. With cargo traveling dogs, on the other hand, getting a spacious, well ventilated and comfortable kennel is the best move.
6. If the flight is long, carry snacks
This applies mainly if the dog is traveling on the main plane with you. A few snacks and treats should help keep them calm and relaxed throughout long flights. It is also important to carry some water for them. Just make sure to feed and water them with moderation to avoid many unnecessary poop and pee breaks.
7. Wear out your furry friend with workouts before the trip
If your furry buddy is a ball of constant energy, you should probably make sure that they are tired before boarding the plane. Take them on long walks or play energy consuming games to ensure that they are too tired to make a fuss during the flight.
8. Make a list of doggie tools, treats, and toys
The last thing you want is to get to your holiday destination only to realize that you left your dog’s favorite chew toy or walking leash. Just as you would for yourself, make a list of important things you need to carry to ensure that you pack everything.
9. Clearly label the carrier as well as the dog
This is the case especially when the dog is traveling in the cargo airplane. As with other luggage, there is always a risk, however small, of the package being shipped to the wrong destination. It is therefore important to include your contact information and useful travel details to ensure that your puppy can be safely returned to you.
10. Consider the season
Finally, before deciding to take your puppy with you, consider the weather. It is especially a bad idea to have the dog stuck in a kennel several thousand feet above ground and for several hours in the heat. In fact, some airlines do not even allow pet boarding during the summer due to the risk of overheating and related health complications.
After all is said and done, information and preparation are the two secrets to success as far as dog flying trips are concerned. The information highlighted above should, therefore, come in very handy ensuring a smooth and non-eventful trip. Therefore, whether it is a puppy you’re taking with you on vacation or a fully grown dog tagging along on your business trip, you have enough information to have a great trip.
About the Author
June is the founder of TobysBone, where she shares her passion for writing and love for dogs. She wants to help you deal with your dog’s behavior issues, grooming and health needs, and proper training. Through her blog, you can find informative and reliable posts, tips and tricks, and a lot of interesting reads that will help you maintain a close bond with your furry companion.