How to Prepare Your Dog for Airplane Travel?

dog waiting for the plane
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Some people may fly by themselves or with their families, so they only think about the seats they buy, their comfort and if the airport car parking will be available. But flying with your furry friend can be someway challenging. It is possible, but there are some preparations. A flight with dog isn’t that easy, especially if it is for the first time. There are several things you can do before the flight to make the trip less stressful for you and your friend. In this article, I will outline everything you need before putting your furry friend on a plane.

1. Research your options

Airline policies aren’t the same. Some offer cuddle class while others will not allow you to travel with your dog. Airlines like Frontier, US Airways, Jet Blue, Southwest, and Virgin America don’t fly dogs in cargo. Some airlines are restrictive on breed, age, health condition, and weight.

puppy in plane

Dogs that aren’t friendly to strangers are not good candidates to fly with for a small bite can land you in trouble. Some dogs such as bulldogs aren’t fit for flying. Do not risk your furry friend’s safety by flying with him if it can affect his health.

When booking your ticket in the preferred airline, make sure to include your dog.

2. Introduce your dog to the carrier

Get your dog used to the crate some days before the flight. Put the dog in the carrier several times and leave it there for some time. Make it used to be left alone in the carrier.

Once it is comfortable staying in the carrier, help it adjust to motion by taking a ride while it is still in the carrier. Play some recordings of the airport sounds to make it used to them and prevent it from packing when it gets to the airport.

Line the bottom of the carrier with a blanket to absorb in-flight accidents and keep your dog warm.

3. Travel health certificate

To fly your dog to international destinations or check it in as cargo, you’ll need a vet clearance. A vet check should be 45 days before the flying day. Rabies vaccine takes 30 days to be effective. If your dog doesn’t like traveling, ask your vet whether the dog sedative for flying is safe or not.

4. Get your dog microchipped

Airports are busy and your dog can escape. Microchipping your dog makes it easy to locate it. Microchipping should be a few days before flying.

5. Take your dog for a walk

Before leaving the airport, allow your dog to stretch before getting it into the carrier.

6. Feed your dog regularly during the flying day

Before leaving your home stick the dog’s regular meal schedule. Don’t give it food when you have three hours remaining to fly. Also, make sure to clip the food dish and bowl of clean water to the carrier and tape a bag of food to the carrier.

7. Take your dog to the pet relief area in the airport

Take your dog to the relief area after checking in and before going through the security check. If you don’t know where the pet relief area is, ask the airport employees. After security check, take your dog to the cargo loading area for large carriers.

Author: Carolyn Mason