Trips for Flying With Your Dog
If you’re boarding a plane soon with your furry best friend, and seeking some travel advice from an expert, you’re in luck. Emma Davis, a pet influencer, animal behaviorist, and trainer, owns a rescue dog and other pets she’s traveled with extensively. Here’s her practical advice for traveling with dogs of all sizes.
Vet your pet - with a vet
“Always check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet is healthy enough to fly--both in the passenger section and down below,” says Davis. “No matter where your pet is traveling on the plane they will need to be confined to a crate or carrier.”
Your dog should be comfortable and happy to get into their crate/carrier prior to your flight.
“Take the time during the weeks and days leading up to your flight to acclimate them to it. Feed them in it, give them toys and treats in it, and allow them to go in and out as they please,” says Davis.
The idea is, once they are acclimated to the crate, leave them in it for short periods of time to begin with, and then take them out. “As they get comfortable you can extend the time they are in the crate or carrier, both with and without you around.”
Leaving your pet alone in their crate, says Davis, will be very important if they are traveling beneath the plane.
Avoid any meds
“Never give your pet any sedatives prior to travel, especially when they are below the plane,” says Davis. “No one is there to monitor them, nor is anyone available to get to them during the flight.”
As for must-have pet travel items, these are Davis’s favorites:
The AVELORA Portable pet Water Bottle with food container. This sturdy bottle easily allows you to carry water and food for your pet. “The top of the bottle stores the food, which also doubles as a bowl for it or water.”
Tidify Dog Travel Bag allows pet owners to easily carry all the essentials you might need for your small or larger dog. It has room for food, toys, medications, bowls, blankets and more.
A Helios aero-inflatable dog bed is easy to transport. “It’s waterproof, lightweight, and durable. I always like my dogs to have a bed of their own while traveling because I think it helps comfort them---especially if you get them used to it before you travel.”
Also—try to calm down. Pets pick up on your anxiety—as a recent study from Queens University Belfast confirmed! Yes, it’s nerve-wracking to fly with your cuddly best friend, and we’ve all heard the horror stories about pets not making it en route. However, all over the world, every single day, most pets fly well and safely.
Prep with pride
Make sure you review the airline’s pet policies before booking your flight, and be sure to register your pet with the airline in advance. Each airline has their own rules when it comes to traveling with pets: some airlines require a health certificate issued within 10 days of your flight, and some ask for you to provide the name of a veterinarian in your destination city.
The more prepared you are before boarding the plane, the less anxious you and your pup will be. Enjoy the flight – and your vacation at your destination!