5 Things Not to Forget When You're Flying with a Dog

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Having a dog as a pet is much more than cute TikTok videos and daily cuddles. You have to take good care of it, go to the vet for regular checks, vaccinations, etc. Whether you want to make your pet famous or just have a good time with it, every pup deserves proper care. And if you plan to go on a vacation with your dog, there’s a lot to do.

We’ve created a dog checklist of 5 main things not to forget before boarding onto that flight. Starting with medical checks and finishing with the breed specifications and if it’s allowed to fly at all, there’s everything necessary.

Don’t underestimate the importance of official guidelines, pet passports, other documents, etc. One wrong piece of paper may make it impossible for you to travel with the dog. As a responsible pet owner, check every aspect below off your to-do list.

1. Check the Dog’s Health Condition Before the Flight

Flying, especially for the first time, may be very stressful for your little friend. Imagine coping with that when you’re ill. It may be not only strenuous but life-threatening as well, depending on the condition.

Prior to flight, go to the vet and notify them you want to fly with your dog. Ask for all tests and checks necessary for a comfortable trip. The specialist may also consult you on the things to pack and take to the cabin for your pet.

2. Check All the Official Animal Travel Guidelines

For example, according to the USDA, you have a right to take a dog on a flight with you only if it’s been 5+ days from the day you weaned them. The minimum age is 8 weeks old. Depending on the age, breed, health condition, etc., the guidelines may change. Take full responsibility for your pet’s comfort and life while on the plane (and anywhere else).

You should know all the intricacies of traveling with an ESA (emotional support animal) as well. More documentation may be needed in such a case, including the doctor’s letter, testament of good behavior, etc. You can find more on pet blogs from guest posting service articles where professionals research relevant topics and explain the rules and guidelines briefly. Be knowledgeable on all emergencies and your rights to avoid misunderstandings.

3. Check and Pack Pet Necessities

“It’s a 3-hour flight, nothing bad will happen” isn’t an excuse not to pack a suitcase for your dog.

The list of dog travel supplies must include:

  • Waste bags, just in case;
  • Toys the pet is very familiar with to calm it down;
  • Its favorite bedding to offer more comfort;
  • Leash and harness or collar;
  • Favorite treats to calm down and have a meal on the place;
  • The carrier the dog is familiar with.

Make sure your pet knows all the things you take with you. It’s wise to familiarize it with the carrier a couple of weeks before the flight. Anything new nearby will make your little friend even more stressed out.

4. Check How Brachycephalic Your Dog Is

Another medical factor preventing certain breeds like pugs and bulldogs from air travel is their very short breathing pathways. They have difficulty breathing even after a run in the park.

Such pets may have problems when flying due to pressure changes. Take-off and landing are the most difficult. If the vet says it’s not recommended to fly together, maybe it’s better to find a sitter for the time of your vacation or a comfortable dog hotel with proper care.

If you choose one of these ways, help the friend get used to the people who will take care of it.

5. Check if the Plane You’re Taking Allows Dogs on the Board

Before booking the flight, read the airline’s guidelines on pet travel. If there’s no information, contact customer support to find out whether there are limits in weight and what recommendations they have for you to avoid problems.

Usually, pets that weigh 20 lbs and less are allowed if you place them under the seat in a secured carrier and/or harness. You should also pay attention to the dog’s condition during the flight and ask if you can take them out or place the carrier on your knees during the flight to comfort the animal.

There’s Lots of Supporting Materials Online

Fortunately, many people go on vacation with their dogs without issues. Make sure you have the basic list of essentials and know what to do in common situations when the pet is making noise, needs to eat, drink, etc.

There are many travel blogs online where people share their experiences and describe unusual cases. Every passenger should prepare beforehand for their journey by reading about airplane safety rules. Do the same for your pet; it deserves as much comfort and safety as you do.

About the Author: 

Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English. Meet him on Facebook and Twitter.

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