Traveling, or more specifically flying with dogs or other pets can be a stressful experience for all parties involved. Being apart from your pet while they sit in a different compartment of the plane can be heart-wrenching, especially if you know that they are easily anxious. Both of you are overjoyed to be reunited on the other side, but there are actions you can take to make flying with dogs less daunting.
Make Sure You Get an Expert Opinion Before Flying with Dogs
It is never a good idea to get your pet on a plane without receiving advice from a professional veterinarian. They will be able to approve flying with dogs considering their age, weight, general health and other crucial factors.
In dogs, breed can be an important factor too. For example, flat-faced dogs such as pugs or bulldogs might have a much harder time breathing properly on a plane.
Don’t Forget Any Important Documents When Flying with Dogs
A visit to a veterinarian might also equip you with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or Official Health Certificate which you will need to enter some US states with your pet. If you are flying with dogs across Europe, you can get a handy EU Pet Passport which allows your pet to travel with you through all EU member states.
In the case of a medical emergency with your pet, it might also be a good idea to save screenshots of your pet’s medical history documents on your smartphone for reference.
When Flying with Dogs, Ensure Your Pet Will Be Comfortable on the Journey
Before and after flying with dogs, you can help your pet feel more secure with a carrier that is comfortable for the pair of you. There are carriers suitable for dogs of all sizes which can be used not only in the airport, but after the plane has touched down and you are embarking on outdoor adventures together.
During the flight, your pet will likely need to travel in a crate that is large enough for them to stand, turn around and lay down. You can prepare your pet for traveling at home before the journey by helping it associate the crate with positive feelings.
Before flying with dogs, encourage your pet to view the crate as a safe space and introduce treats that will make them see crate time in a positive light. This way, they are much less likely to feel anxious in their crate during plane travel.
Fortunately, if your pet weighs around 20 pounds or less, flying with dogs is typically not a problem as they may be allowed to travel in the cabin with you. They will be able to sit on your lap and won’t need to be separated from you during the flight!
When flying with dogs, help your pet with its in-cabin experience. Try offering some water just before take-off and landing. Swallowing also helps animals to deal with the uncomfortable difference in air pressure.
Although we do not condone flying with dogs in the cargo hold, if you must do so, try to pick a flight during cool weather (avoiding the summer months) and a flight that is direct to your destination. Flying with dogs in the cargo hold is likely to be anxiety-inducing for both of you, so take as many precautions as possible to make your pet’s journey as comfortable as possible.
Extra tip: To take the edge off post travel anxiety, SPOIL YOUR PET WITH A DOG GIFT BOX OF BARKARONS!