Ultimate Guide on How to Travel With Dog on Plane
Traveling may sound fun but when you are with your four-legged companions, you might run into more issues than what you normally do when traveling with fellow humans.
However, there are ways to address the hitch on the road or in this case on the airport. With the right preparation, you can look forward to having an easier time going through the security procedures and you won’t be stressed about your canine’s travel accommodations.
Here are some of the most factors that you need to address if you plan to bring your dog on a plane.
Do Your Paper Works Ahead of Time
Taking care of the paperwork may be the last thing you want to hear if you want a stress-free trip but doing the grueling task of preparing the necessary papers ahead of time can save you from bigger problems later on.
If you are unsure on what needs to be done, call your vet and ask for pointers. You can also phone the airline and ask for the necessary papers and required forms, if any if you are going to take your buddy with you. You may also be required to present a health certificate for your dog, so visiting the vet to get this document would be in your best interest.
Traveling with a pet will require some paperwork and you should be prepared to hand those in when you arrive for your flight. If you don’t have these papers you may not be required to fly with your pet and when you are all set and ready to go, the last thing on your mind is begging authorities to allow you to board or rushing to complete the required documents.
The kind of document you will need would depend on the place where you are going. There could be some state specific and country specific requirements that you have to meet to bring your pet with you. In some cases, certain vaccines may also be required. In some instances, your pet might also need a microchip.
You also need to get a pet passport for your canine. This document must contain the details of your ownership, the description of the animal, any identifying marks, proof of vaccination for rabies and other required condition. There could also be other requirements based on the country you are visiting.
If you rush to meet requirements, you might still be out of time so planning a trip with your dog two months in advance is one of the best things that you can do.
Get Your Dog Used To a Crate
When you are planning to fly with your pet, remember that there’s a strict requirement that your pets be placed in a crate. This means that you will need a crate that meets the specific standards of the airline. While shopping for a crate for your dog, make sure that it is leakproof and that it has an absorbent lining. The crate should also be made of hard plastic and it should be sturdy enough for your canine.
Aside from that, the crate should be large enough so that your dog would be able to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably. The crate should also have good ventilation so your pet won’t feel suffocated.
One good way to prepare your dog for traveling on a plane is allowing him to get used to the crate. Your canine should feel at home inside a crate for several hours. Before you go on a trip, allow your dog to spend a few hours in the crate every day. This way, your canine won’t feel that anything is wrong when he needs to stay in a crate on your trip.
Check Flying Requirements with the Airline
Giving the airline a call is a must when you have a pet with you. Although there are guides that you can read on websites and brochures, direct contact with airline personnel is still a must especially if you have specific concerns that need to be addressed.
If you have traveled with another airline company before, never assume that the requirements are the same. Giving the airline company a call will save you from tons of inconvenience. The USDA requirements dictate that only healthy dogs of at least eight weeks old will be allows traveling and they should be fully weaned.
As previously stated, requirements would differ depending on your airline. There are some airline companies that will allow pets in the cabin but only up to a certain size. If your pet exceeds that size, you may have to check in the animal in the cargo section of the plane. If your dog has to travel in the cargo section, be sure to mark it off as a live animal and choose a direct flight. Connecting flights can be quite a hassle since you have to check your pet in and out, not to mention the fact that if you are traveling with another airline they could have different requirements.
If you happen to have a guide dog, there are some airline companies that will allow your pet to come with you. However, there are still certain criteria that your pet should meet before they admit your canine in the cabin.
Food and Meal Preparation
If you have your dog’s papers and crate ready, don’t go rushing off to get your car keys. There’s still stuff you need to pack including your dog’s food, water, and other essential pet supplies. Traveling with a dog is just like traveling with a child. You should be prepared to haul additional stuff since there are things that you might need on the trip including toys.
Dog food and water are two of the most important pet supplies that you should bring with you. You can get the smallest bag of dog food if it is available and try looking for a brand which has a resealable pack. If not, you need to look for an appropriate storage for your dog’s food to keep it fresh. You also need to bring water for your pets and a leash.
Four hours before the flight, you need to take your canine for a walk and give it food and water. So, you need to make sure that you have the necessary supplies on hand. This way, you won’t have a hard time looking for the things you need at the airport.
Towels and blankets are also great to have on hand. Plus, dogs can get motion sickness too, so prepare for any possible sickness and stress associated with flying. Always pace yourself that you have a pet with you. Pets can be harder to handle than human companions, so enough preparation is required to make the travel less stressful for your dog and for you.
When you decide to travel with a pet, you should be prepared to a challenging and stressful time. However, this should not discourage you from planning a trip with your dog. If you have always dreamed of flying with your canine, then do so by all means.But, be sure to make the necessary preparations ahead of time.