Flying sounds like fun until you have to go through crowded airports and squeeze into tiny seats for hours. It can be stressful. Here our 6 Tips for First-time Flight with Your Dog.
Now, imagine how stressful flying can be for your dog.
Ideally, your pup shouldn’t have to go through the hustles and bustles of flying. He(she) is happier in familiar territories. But sometimes flying is the only way to get to where your dog needs to be so, you bite the bullet.
How can you make it easier and ensure you and your dog have the best possible experience flying?
This article will give you some valuable tips and save you a great deal of time, money, and stress.
6 Tips for First-time Flight with Your Dog: How to Have Stress-free Travel
Amid the Covid 19 pandemic, high costs, paperwork, and a gazillion of rules and regulations varying from one airline to the other make traveling quite a task. Add your furry friend into the picture, and it only gets worse.
Still, In the US, the travel business is booming and the biggest consumers are pets.
How are these dog parents doing it?
Here is a list of 6 things you can do to enjoy your flight with Fido anyway:
1. Do Your Research
Having all the necessary information will save you a lot of money and time when you decide to bring your dog along on your next trip.
Different airlines have varying requirements and pet policies. So, don’t rush to make any assumptions.
Your dog will only fly in the cabin as a carry-on if his(or her) weight combined with that of the crate does not cross the 20 pounds limit. Otherwise, your he (or she) will fly as cargo.
Some airlines, do not fly dogs at all.
Most airlines will not fly your dog if it’s a breed with a snubbed nose like bulldogs due to possible breathing challenges in the cargo section.
There will be all these conditions and more and you will only get to know them if you do your research. Contact the airline you plan to travel with in advance to gain full clarity.
The more you know, the better you can prepare for your flight and avoid incidences of the airport turning you away when it’s too late.
So, Before you book that ticket, research.
Here is a list of things you need to find out the moment the idea strikes your mind:
- Does your airline accept pets onboard?
- Is there any breed of dogs restricted,, and is yours safe?
- How long before your flight should you book your dog?
- How much will it cost to fly with your dog?
2. Plan ahead of time
Flying with a dog is not as easy as going solo. You are not going to just pick your pup and hop into the next flight. There are rules and regulations that you will need to observe, and they require proper planning:
As you work to meet the requirements of the airplane you prefer to travel with, here is a list of minor things you may forget but are important as you plan for your flight:
- Make reservations for both you and your dog in advance since airlines limit how many pets can board a plane per flight.
- Confirm that your dog’s tags are in place and possess your contacts.
- Confirm that you have all your dog’s documents as required by the airline
- Ensure your dog’s crate is IATA- compliant
- For a long flight, ensure your dog has sufficient water to drink.
- Mark your dog’s crate with as much necessary information as possible, e.g. his(her) name, parent’s name, contact, destination, ,and anything more that you find appropriate
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) can help with entry requirements for your destination country, which you should also know in advance and plan accordingly.
3. Pick Your Flight Carefully
From your research, you will find out that not all airlines are created the same — some are more pet-friendly than others. Choosing to fly with a pet-friendly airline may call for you to dig a little deeper into your pocket, but it will be worth it.
Here are some tips on choosing the best and most comfortable flight for you and your pooch:
- Go for the shortest and direct flights.
- Avoid flying during holidays when airlines and airports are busiest
- If flying in summer, pick an early or late flight to avoid the excess heat during the day. If in winter, take a mid-day flight.
4. Check-In With Your Vet
The vet should confirm that your furkid is in good health and fit to travel.
For international flights, airlines require a health certificate issued not earlier than ten days before your flight.
Confirm with the airline any other documents they require and have them ready by your next appointment date closer to your departure date.
5. Get a Custom Made Crate
This crate should have great airflow and be bigger than the regular one your pup uses at home. Ensure that it’s also IATA-compliant.
Let your dog familiarize with it in advance to help him(her) to remain calm when the time comes.
During the flight, line the crate with a travel bed or optimal comfort for your pup. Top it up with a puppy pad in case of any accidents during the flight.
A chew toy in the crate during the flight might help keep your dog busy and distracted from all the unfamiliar things happening around him.
6. Map Out The Pet Relief area Before You Board
You may not have a lot of extra time during your departure, so, it will help to know where your dog can relieve him(her)self both at your departure and destination airports in advance.
When you get to your destination, you will also know where to head.
Checking out the terminal map can help you out here.
The Big Picture
Flying with your dog can be a stressful activity for you and your furry friend especially if it’s your first time.
However, proper preparation is key and can save you time, money and a lot of back and forth.
This article, offers you pointers into how you should prepare and subsequently enjoy flying with your dog.