The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to start creating travel plans. While we’re going home to to our families, we can’t forget the most important member – our pet! Here are our tips and tricks to flying with dogs.
Finding an airline:
Find an airline that allows you to travel with your pet in the cabin. We do not recommend putting your pet under the plane if you can avoid it- it’s cold, scary, and uncomfortable. Having your pet in the cabin with you will give you and your four legged friend some peace of mind.
Before your flight:
Getting a pre-flight check-up is important for your pet, as it will confirm if they are physically able to fly. Your vet will be able to discuss any concerns over anxiety or health issues, and make sure the experience is as safe as possible.
Comfort is key:
There are a few ways to ensure your pet is as comfortable as they can be when flying. The first would be flying direct whenever possible. Too many take offs and landings are certainly not the most pleasant, especially for a furry friend!
Secondly, since your pet won’t be allowed to leave their carrier during the flight, you’ll want to cozy it up. A towel with your scent on it is recommended (and can come in handy in the case there’s a little accident!)
At the airport:
You’ll want to arrive at least 2 hours before boarding when flying with dogs. This gives you time to check in, and get your pet acquainted to the smells and sounds of a busy airport. Your pet should have had their last feeding 6-8 hours before takeoff, but giving them some water before their flight is recommended.
What to bring when flying with dogs:
You’ll need an airline approved carrier. Amazon has some great choices for those. Generally, the carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, while giving your pet some space to wiggle around. To keep your pet clean, you can consider packing waterless shampoo, disposable diapers, and some pet-safe wet wipes. To keep them entertained, forgo a squeaky toy (you don’t want to annoy everyone sitting near you!) and take a nice soft toy instead. Finally, don’t forget the treats!
Last but not least – sit back, relax, and enjoy flying with your dog!
For more on our travel series see our post on taking dogs on Amtrak.