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What to Know When Flying with Your Dog

Posted By leila coe On @ 12:48 am In Airlines, Pet Travel Tips | 4 Comments


Being Patient With His Humans In Poland

Being Patient With His Humans In Poland

What To Know When Flying With Your Dog

Flying with your animal is a stressful experience for everyone involved. It is best to prepare for your trip as early as possible, and use common sense when deciding if your pet is capable of flying. It is not recommended for some animals so consult with your veterinarian if you have any doubts. However, sometimes its inevitable, such as in the case of moving overseas – which I did twice with two different dogs. 

 - Make your flight reservations as early as possible. Airlines only have a limited amount of room in the pet cargo area, and they only allow a certain number in the cabin on each flight. Also be aware that there are embargo periods depending on the weather (i.e. no summer travel in hot areas, no winter travel in very cold areas).

- Have the following information ready when making a reservation with an airline: Dog Breed, Age and Weight; Size of Kennel (L x W x H); Combined Weight of Kennel and Dog.

- Research your destination(s) and make sure you have the proper documentation for your pet. Most countries require a Health Certificate dated within 24-48 hours before departure. Some countries also require a USDA stamp from your state’s USDA department. Make sure you know the return destinations requirements also.

- Get your dog used to the kennel that he will be flying in. And make sure he/she can stand fully and have room to turn around or you could be denied boarding at the airport. Put blankets, toys, treats, and any other familiar items in the kennel to get the dog used to going in it. During the flight, put comfy pillows/blankets in the kennel along with any other security-blanket type items (but only if you are sure your pet won’t choke on them). Keep treats handy for giving to your pet at the airport.

-Get 2 bowls that will clip onto the inside of the kennel – one for food and one for water. Don’t fill the water bowl until they come to take your pet onboard (some people also suggest freezing the water in the bowl overnight so it will melt during travel). The water will spill so try to find a deep bowl (I also put a washcloth down under the bowls to soak up the spills so it doesn’t get on my dog’s blankets). It’s recommended to not feed your pet within 24 hours of departure (especially for long-haul flights), but to put a bit of food in the bowl. Also attach a ziploc bag to the top of the kennel with extra food and feeding instructions in case of delays, etc.

- Put clear labels on all sides of the kennel with your contact information including the pet’s name and type, destination address, phone number(s), and flight information including your flight and  reservation numbers. Also put signs on the outside (writing should be a minimum of 2 inches high) with an arrow up and “Live Animal”. Some airlines have their own stickers, but its good to be prepared just in case.

- Once onboard, if your pet is flying in cargo, ask the flight attendant to confirm your pet is onboard. They will call the captain who can call the ground crew to confirm. Live animals are the last items loaded, and it’s always a relief to know your pet is onboard.

With a little preparation, a lot of the stress of flying with your dog can be eliminated. The first time is always the worst, but just try to remain calm for the sake of yourself and your pet. The flight will be over soon enough, and you can once again enjoy one another’s company! 

Happy Travels!

If you have any questions about flying with your pet, please don’t hesitate to email Leila@worldclasstvl.com [1]. I have flown with my dog multiple times and can answer any questions you have, plus help you book your flight and vacation.

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