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Everyone dreams of bringing their four-legged family member on all of their trips with them, right? This dream isn’t always pawsible for jet-setting pawrents, but for humans with small pups, flying can be a reality.
If you’re lucky enough to travel with your pooch, there are a few things you should keep in mind for your dog’s safety and well-being.
Here are a few of our best tips on flying with your pup in-cabin with you:
1. Make sure your dog is the right size to fit under the seat comfortably.
Typically dogs around 15 pounds or less can fit comfortably in the mandated size of the airline-approved pet carrier.
2. Make sure that your dog has the right temperament to fly.
While I’d love to say that any dog can travel easily, it’s just not the case. High-stress dogs or dogs with high anxiety levels might not be the right choice to take with you on a plane. The reason for this? It’s simply not worth the stress for your poor pup.
Not to mention, some airlines require your pup to be well-trained, or quiet to fly. Vocal dogs might not be the best choice for a small aircraft. If you think your dog would be particularly scarred by taking flight, do him a favor and keep all four paws on the ground. There are wonderful doggy resorts or dogsitters available to take great care of your pup while you hit the beach.
3. Find a pet carrier that your dog is comfortable in.
Also, an important thing to note is that your dog’s carrier will now become your carry-on. That means that you are only allowed to bring one other personal item in the cabin. You will have to stow the other carry on to keep your dog by your feet, try to choose a carrier with extra pockets on the side for your book, magazines, etc. that you might want to keep handy.
4. Pack all your dog’s necessities.
While baggage often gets lost in translation, it’s important to make sure you have enough food, toys and treats to get your pup through a few days when you land. Make sure to bring a non-spill water carrier, and maybe a bone to keep your furry friend occupied during the long flight.
Don’t be alarmed if your pup doesn’t touch his favorite rawhide that he usually devours. This could just be due to travel anxiety. Similar to when humans get butterflies when they lift off!
5. Call ahead to reserve a space for your dog.
6. Be prepared to pay extra fees.
Bringing your best furrrend on your trip is definitely not cheap. Depending on the airline, flying just one way with your dog can cost over $100. Budget your trip and see if there is room to bring your pup on board with you, or if he should stay back for a special week with Grandma and Grandpa.
7. Make sure that you have a health certificate for your dog from the vet.
8. Line your pup’s carrier with DryFur pad.
9. On the day of the trip, take your dog for a long walk before leaving.
10. Don’t feed your dog that morning and take away water bowl two hours before departure.
11. During the flight gauge the water you give your dog.
12. Be prepared to not allow your dog out in the airport, except when going through security.
13. Be prepared for the plane’s environmental conditions.
Some planes have floor air conditioners, in which case your pup might get cold. Pack extra blankets to keep him warm and comfortable during the flight. Another great idea is to line his carrier with one of your t-shirts. The familiar smell will keep your pup at ease while he can’t jump up into your lap.
14. If you have a layover, look for a “pet relief station.”
15. Only use sedatives as a last resort.
Again, know your pup and be honest with yourself. If you think the experience will be too traumatizing for him. If you think it will, then find a responsible doggy nanny to give him his own four-legged vacation.
16. Enjoy exploring new territory with your furry friend.
Featured Image via Old Town Manor