Posted May 2, 2017 in Tips
With summer time around the corner, traveling is more common than ever. You probably don’t want to leave your dog at home when you head out on your adventure. But flying with a dog can be challenging and possibly traumatic if not done right. Here are some tips to make your pup’s first flight run smoothly, from start to finish.
Unfortunately, there are usually restrictions on how many dogs are allowed on each flight. Only one or dogs can fly at once, so you need to book early to get your dog a spot. Before you book your ticket, call your airline to check that their is availability for your dog. When they give you the okay, purchase your ticket and reserve your dog’s “seat” while you’re on the phone.
Obviously we all would prefer flying direct rather than having a layover. But when you’re with a dog, it will make things a whole lot easier. You should also consider flying on a weekday because the airports are less crowded.
Getting the right carrier for your type of dog is very important. The first choice you will make is whether you want a hard-sided or soft sided carrier. If you will be taking your dog as a carry on for under your set, choose a soft-sided option. If your dog will be in the cargo hold, go for a hard-sided carrier. Look at the size restrictions for your airline before you purchase your carrier. You want your dog to have enough space to be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down. Write your dog’s name and identification on the carrier, along with your address and phone number.
If your dog has experienced traveling in their carrier before, it will make the flight much less stressful. A few weeks before your trip, put them in the carrier and drive around town. Increase the length of the trips little by little to get them accustomed to the feeling of spending a long time in their carrier.
The night before or day that you leave, make sure your dog has gotten a lot of exercise. If they are tired, they will be less hyper on the flight. As for food, feed your dog 4 hours before the flight. Too full of a stomach could cause discomfort. Give them water up until right before the flight. If you are checking your pet, leave a water dish in the carrier in case of a long delay. This allows the airline employees to give your dog water or food if it were going to be a long wait. Let your dog go to the bathroom right before you enter the airport or in the airport if they have “doggy stations” and allow pets to be out of their carriers.
Questions? Feel free to contact us by filling out the form, giving us a call, or sending an email.