There is nothing better than traveling with your pet, going globe-trotting with your best friend. But, there can be a great deal of stress involved in traveling with an animal, especially if you’re not prepared. Safety, documentation, your dog's anxiety levels, all of this needs to be accounted for. Here we’ll provide some solid tips and tricks on how to make flying with your dog as easy as possible.
Speak with the professionals
First things first, you need to talk to your vet. The professionals know what they are doing, and they are much more qualified than even the best, highest quality website (unless other vets and professionals are running the said website). Your vet will do a check-up, he or she will confirm whether your dog can fly or not. Furthermore, some airlines, or countries, might require a health certificate and a clean bill of health for your dog to travel.
See if you can board early
You might be able to board early if you are traveling with your dog. Since it takes time to get onto the aircraft, and since your goal is all about keep ing your pet safe, there is no good reason why you can't simply ask. Most airlines will accommodate you, and some might even require this.
Is your breed restricted?
For reasons that some would call unfair or unscientific, certain airlines place restrictions on specific dog and cat breeds. Boston terriers, bulldogs, and boxers are the most likely targets. However, some of these restrictive airlines might let your dog fly if he or she meets certain weight and size restrictions.
Get your pup used to the carrier
If you haven't already, we suggest you buy a comfy carrier for your dog as soon as possible. You want to acclimate your dog to the carrier, and you want to get him or her used to it as quickly as possible. The point here is that your dog needs to look at the carrier as a safe place, a den. And this goes for any pet that might be flying with you – getting a suitable rabbit carrier for your pet bunny, a nice transporter for your cat, etc. Acclimate your pets by feeding them in the carrier or crate for days and weeks up to your flight. Put their beds in the carrier, their favorite toys and maybe something that smells familiar or comforting.
Keep an eye on pet relief areas
A nice addition to airlines and airports in recent years are pet relief areas, places where your pet can stretch the legs, relax, get some energy out of his or her system, and get ready for the remainder of the trip.
Try to lower your pet's anxiety
Never give your pets medication that hasn't previously been approved of by your vet. That means over-the-counter tranquilizers, pills, and supplements. Calming drops and CBD treats might be what you need, but even these should be brought up to your vet first.
Put toys and your dog's favorite blanket in the carrier when you're traveling. Toys aren't there just for fun. They are great stress relievers, and let your dogs get some extra energy and anxiety out during a trip. You also want to line your carrier to be as soft as possible, and to even place some puppy pads (just in case an accident happens).
Keep all your pet's documents at hand
Airlines vary in their demands when it comes to flying with your pet. Still, most of them will ask for your pet's passport or at least some kind of proof of vaccines and meds needed. We suggest you check with your airline, as well as keep all relevant documents with you at all times. It's best if you keep them at hand to not slow down the boarding process.
Flying with your pet can be stressful, but keep your eyes on the prize and the destination. Everything will go much more smoothly if you work on lowering your pet's anxiety through a comfy carrier and some toys. Always keep your documents at hand and listen to your vet. Do your homework – see if your dog can fly, if your dog's breed is restricted, and if you can board early. Stay safe, don't give your dog anything that hasn't been prescribed by your vet, and you should be good to go.