When Dogs Fly; Flying With A Dog
If it’s time to travel by air flying with your dog may be the only choice, or perhaps your perferred choice to get from point A to point B. Preparation will help you to fly safely and mindfully with your best canine friend. If you take the right steps you can have an easy transition from one location to another with minimal problems. Traveling is already stressful for both you and your dog, so make sure you can minimize that as much as possible with these 6 easy steps.
Step 1: Within 10 days prior to traveling, take your dog to your local veterinarian for a wellness check and an update on his rabies vaccination if you are flying within the US. If you are flying outside of the country, further vaccinations may be required depending on where you are headed. Make sure you know all the health requires for your pup before heading to the airport, and have any health certificates the airport will need as proof that your dog is ready to hit the runway.
Step 2: Prepare for your dog’s individual health needs. If your dog has any type of health condition, such as diabetes or a seizure disorder, make sure that he has medications to go along with him as well as clear and obvious instructions attached to his crate so that personnel can aid him in case of an emergency. If your dog is small enough to ride in the cabin with you, be sure to keep those medications on hand. The last thing you want is for your dog to become ill with a serious condition thirty thousand feet in the air with no way to get him help!
Step 3: All the comforts of home in a carrier is what your pup will really appreciate during his flight. Bring a blanket or his bed if it will comfortably fit in his carrier, so that he not only has his own comfortable place to lay but so that he has all the smells of home. Don’t worry about adding in any toys or chew things for him, as he should spend most of his air time sleeping. Besides, a toy or chewie without supervision could lead to dangerous situations with choking and impaction. No matter where you go, always bring extra dog food along with you. If you’re traveling to a distant place from home, you don’t need to run out of dog food and not find any store that carries the brand or formula you need.
Step 4: Avoid online scams that claim to official make your best friend a service animal or emotional support animal so they can ride free in the cabin. Unless your dog is truly trained to mitigate your disability, it is illegal with a hefty financial consequence to claim your pet is a working dog. For most employees at an airport, it is easy to spot the fake service dogs from the real ones based on their behavior and can land you right back into the airport missing a flight. Buyer beware, don’t buy into those online service dog scams!
If your dog is too large to fly in the cabin with you, shop around for the highest rated airlines that provide humane and stress-free travel for pets in cargo. This will require digging on your part, but will better in the end for all involved!
Step 5: Don’t be tempted to tranquilize your pet because you think they will be more calm. Due to the high altitudes of the plane and temperatures in the cargo hold, the AVMA states that sedatives could actually cause respiratory illness in this situation. Instead, keep your furry one comfy with his own blanket and get his energy out of him before flying. Exercise him, feed him and let him eliminate as much as he can before taking off. You will see a great difference this little bit can make in your dog’s anxiety during a stressful situation such as flying!
Step 6: Always arrive early to the airport and let your pet have another chance to potty before loading into his airline approved carrier. This will prevent more stress of running to your gate to get there in time. Remember, your dog can detect your stress, which will further stress him out. If you get there early you both can relax a little!
Being prepared is the biggest and probably most important aspect of making sure that flying with your dog is a successful and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. You can can the steps needed to prevent any major obstacles that could prevent you or your dog from traveling, such as a lack of a health certificate, as well as make the trip comfortable and stress-free. Relax and enjoy your flight!
Images by: www.travelandleisure.com, www.travelwithcj.com
I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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