March 27, 2018
Dogs are part of our families, so it's only natural to want to bring your furry family member with you wherever you go. Taking your dog on an airplane requires some advanced planning—but all that extra effort is worth it when you arrive with your buddy by your side.
Each airline has its own policies for traveling with pets, which are usually found on the airline's website. Most will require a health certificate from your veterinarian. Many will not transport dogs during the summer months. Owners of large dogs typically pay higher fees and have fewer options available than owners of small dogs.
Be sure you understand all the airline's rules and fees before your trip, and follow these tips to make the most of your experience in the friendly skies.
1) Get packed early.
The airport is a chaotic and stressful place for everyone. Don't add to your dog's anxiety. Crate your dog before you arrive at the airport.
2) Time your breaks.
Even short flights will cause a major disruption to your dog's routine. Stop feeding your dog six hours before your flight to help avoid motion sickness. Reduce water intake two hours prior to departure.1 Make a pit stop as close to the time you board the plane as possible.
3) Fly nonstop.
If at all possible, fly nonstop. Even if it means paying a little extra or changing your schedule, it will be worth it to reduce the stress on your dog or avoid a heartbreaking mix-up at a layover.
4) Choose the right crate.
Whether your dog will fly under the seat in front of you or in the cargo area of the plane, use a sturdy and well-ventilated kennel. Your dog's safety and comfort depend on it.
5) Share your itinerary.
Attach a note to your dog's crate with your name, phone number, destination, flight numbers and any special instructions. It will help you reconnect with your dog if you are separated.
6) Talk to your veterinarian.
If you think your dog may be particularly anxious when traveling, discuss possible medications and the side effects with your veterinarian before giving them to your dog.