Dog lovers know that hassle of leaving town. You have to arrange a dog sitter or pay for expensive boarding. Then of course, you never know what you are coming home to? A dog traumatized by being boarded, a ruined sofa, or worse–a lost pooch.
But you can take your pet to fly the skies with you. Here are some helpful hints and tips to consider when flying with a dog. The most important thing to do is research before you book that trip.
Large pups have to ride in the cargo hold area but either way, you need to make a reservation with your airline. Be prepared to pay 100 bucks or more to travel with your pet.
You will need to provide proof of rabies vaccination to visit most countries and a special Rabies Titer tests to visit most island countries (and Hawaii). Your vet can perform the test, but it takes more than 30 days to get the results, so plan accordingly. You also may want to investigate getting your dog a Pet Passport for international travel. Do your research to find out what is required for the country (and state) where you and your dog plan an adventure.
Small doggos can ride in the cabin in an airline approved pet carrier. Your dog will appreciate having a safe space while you travel and it will be less stressful for you to have your dog contained before, during and after your flight.
Most airports have designated pet areas where you can take your dog to do their business. Unless otherwise posted, your pet will have to remain in the carrier. For dogs that are riding in the cabin of the plane, they will need to be processed by TSA. You will do your thing as usual (remove shoes, etc.) and then you will need to remove your pet from the dog travel bag and allow it to go through the scanner. Then you will be examined by a TSA agent rather than going through the scanner with your dog.
Boarding the Plane
Expect your boarding process to be roughly the same as if you were flying without your dog. Place your airline pet carrier underneath the seat in front of you and prepare for your journey. If you gave your dog a sedative pre-flight, this will probably be around the time your pooch will conk out.
Depending upon the duration of your flight, you will probably not need to feed your pet. For longer flights, provide a small snack and a small amount of water. Remember, what goes in must come out so don’t give your dog too much to eat or drink. Sometimes just putting a bit of water on your fingers for them to lick off is enough to keep them hydrated for shorter flights.
Things to Remember
Make sure to bring the things that will keep your pup happy and content during your journey such as favorite toys or snuggies. Make sure to keep them in a secure harness with a leash when you are out and about. In the rare case that your dog is lost, you will be very thankful that you have current contact information recorded in your dog’s microchip. Finally, even though it is not required for domestic travel, bring copies of your dog’s vaccinations and medical records. Most of all, make sure to plan fun outings with your dog–they want to see the sights too!