There’s nothing better than a vacation, but it’s not always easy to take time away from your normal life when you have pets in your home. Even though you could board them at a local facility or leave them with another friend or family member, you can also opt to bring them along in many cases. Taking your dog with you is inevitable sometimes, whether you’re traveling for pleasure or moving to another location. Follow along for everything you need to know about airplane travel with a pet.
Plan in Advance
Planning in advance is one of the best practices when it comes to traveling, but it’s especially important for a smooth trip with your dog. If you plan in advance and train them accordingly, your airplane travels should be relatively relaxing and enjoyable.
Check With Your Vet
The first step for planning your trip is to check with your vet. Suppose you buy plane tickets and plan to take your pup, but your vet says it’s not a great idea. Changing your plans or finding other arrangements for your four-legged friend may be difficult. Your vet might have to give your pup a physical check-up to ensure their health is good enough for travel. Furthermore, they might be able to offer solutions to keep them calm or asleep during the flight.
Ensure They’re Used to Their Kennel
Traveling by plane can be very restrictive for dogs, as they have to be in their kennel during the flight. If your pup isn’t familiar with being in their kennel for extended periods, airplane travel can be traumatizing for them. That said, you should work on proper kennel training for several weeks prior to the flight.
Your pup is more likely to behave well and be comfortable on an airplane when they are comfortable in their kennel. Additionally, a foldable dog crate is a great investment when it comes to travel, as it’s much smaller than a traditional kennel.
Consider Airline Restrictions
Even though you want to bring your dog on a flight, you must check with the desired airline first. Most airlines allow animals to fly; however, they may have various restrictions. Some examples of these restrictions might be:
- Kennel use
- Leash use
If you’re unsure whether a specific airline will allow your furry friend on the flight, reach out to them in advance to ensure your travels will go smoothly. There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport with your dog and realizing they can’t accompany you on the flight.
Understand Your Dog
Understanding your dog is one of the most important factors when it comes to any form of travel, especially by airplane. For instance, if your pup is old and has medical conditions, flying isn’t the best choice for them. Furthermore, dogs who don’t behave well in the car might not do well on airplanes either. Believe it or not, some dogs are anxious about traveling—don’t push it if your pup doesn’t seem open to traveling long distances.
Find Pet Relief Areas
Most airlines have designated pet relief areas to make it easy for owners to take their pup for a potty break during layovers or before boarding the plane. Consider mapping out these areas before you begin your travels to ensure your dog always has a place to go to the bathroom. Also, consider using puppy pads during travels to make them more comfortable during potty breaks.
At the Airport
Preparing in advance is important when planning a flight with your pup, but getting to the airport is a different story. Continue reading to learn more about navigating the airport to make it to your flight on time.
Try CBD Oils
CBD oils are incredibly useful for humans and dogs. If you tend to stress out when traveling, consider using CBD oils to calm down. Furthermore, you can also use it for your pup’s anxiety. While it’s generally a great idea for most people, it impacts every human and animal differently. That said, you and your furry friend should try it in advance to ensure it works the way it’s supposed to and you don’t have a negative reaction.
Keep Your Pet’s Documents With You
You should carry your dog’s vaccination records and other important documents with you in case of emergencies because many airlines require documentation for animals. That said, don’t keep it in your suitcase or another spot that’s difficult to access. Instead, keep your pet’s documents with your ID, passport, and plane tickets. These are important and should be easily accessible.
Try To Board the Plane Early
Because dogs might get excited or cause a commotion when boarding, you should try to board the plane early to prevent any issues. Simply ask the airline if it’s possible because you’re traveling with your pet. In many cases, they’ll allow people and their pets to board early; however, it’s not a guarantee.
Stay calm—that’s right, take a deep breath! Flying with your dog isn’t the easiest thing you’ll do in life, but it’s nothing to stress about. You probably already know that dogs can read human emotions, which also applies to stress. With that in mind, if your pup sees you are anxious, it may give them a reason to feel the same way. If you stay calm throughout the entire process, your dog is more likely to remain calm and behave appropriately for the airport and plane.
It Takes Practice and Solid Training
If this is your first time flying with a pet, you shouldn’t expect it to be a perfect, smooth, enjoyable experience. Even though you’re taking the time to learn more about the process beforehand, you’ll learn more about what to do differently to suit your personal needs and circumstances when you actually do it. Like anything, traveling with your dog takes practice! Additionally, it’s a new experience for your furry friend—they might not know what to do in this unfamiliar situation, so give them some grace. Obedience and kennel training are important focuses before the flight.
After learning everything you need to know about airplane travel with a pet, you know what to expect when planning your trip. Even though it’s not always necessary to fly with your dog, learning how to go about it is an important part of being a dog owner.