And make the entire experience as smooth as possible.
1. Booking the flight as early as possible should be done in order to book your dog’s travel and yours. Find a dog friendly airline and call them to make sure there will be space for your travel companion. It is best to get both tickets at once in this case. Also, flying direct instead of having layovers makes it easier for everyone, including the dog because of the length of the flight and the possible change in temperature outside.
2. A trip to the vet was necessary to ensure my dog’s health and to get the health certificate needed for the pup to fly, which needs to be dated within 10 days of the flight. If you are traveling internationally, be sure to contact the foreign offices of the country to obtain more travel info.
3. Taking a trip to the pet store was next on the list, so that I could grab a crate for the dog and a blanket for his comfort. Once the items were obtained, I labeled the crate with the dog’s name and my own information. The one rule about this is that airlines want the dog to be able to stand up and turn around in the crate, so make sure it is big enough for the dog to do so. Also, I took my dog around town while riding in the truck with the crate and he adapted to the crate well.
4. Before leaving for the airport, make sure your dog is well fed, but not super full, and uses the outdoors to do his business. Exercising my dog worked wonders before leaving, as he was tired and thus more likely to relax during the flight. Arriving early is important and checking in must be done at the counter with the dog. Do not give your dog any tranquilizers or sedatives before the flight because it can put them at risk for breathing and heart problems.
The Rules of Flying with Fido
Not wanting to leave my pet behind, I had to be sure to find an airline that would be suitable to my needs and my dog’s. I had to do research to find out the policies in airports as well, so that my travel experience would go as smoothly as possible. I found out there were three ways in order to fly with my dog, which were in the passenger cabin with me, as cargo, or they could go as checked baggage. This is based on weight and preference, but dogs over 20 pounds are generally not allowed as a passenger in the cabin area.
For example, American Airlines will allow you travel with your pet as cargo, checked baggage or in the passenger cabin but for no longer than 12 hours to or from the destination. They have various rules for flying in the United States versus flying to South American or Australia. If flying to a foreign country, special restrictions may apply from that country, so be sure to check with your destination country to see if your pet can travel there with you.