Taking your dog along with your travel is a worthwhile experience - the one you and your dog will never forget. However, before you take your pet on the next plane trip, here are some things you should know for a stress-free air travel.
Get a Carrier
To be able to get your dog on a plane, they should be in a carrier. Small, medium or large dogs, no airline would want a leashed dog.
One of the most important considerations when taking your dog in a plane is to find the perfect pet carrier. With so many options and airline regulations, how can you find the right one?
Here are some tips in choosing a pet carrier:
The height of the case should be to your dog's shoulders and not to the top of the head. It should be as small as possible but still allow them to turn around completely.
Check your airline's size and weight limits. If your pet is small, they are likely to go to the cabin. If your dog is large, they are likely to go into the cargo.
Choose a soft-sided carrier if they are likely to be with you in a cabin and a hard-sided one if they are to be in the cargo hold.
Train Them in the Carrier
Animals are less worried or anxious if they know what they are up against. If your hasn't been in a carrier before train them first before going on a plane ride. Weeks before traveling, get your dog accustomed to the carrier as often as you can.
ID Your Dog
Your pet should have a means to be identified like a dog ID or a pet microchip.
Your carrier should also have a luggage tag with all your contact information and paperwork required by your airline.
Visit Your Dog's Vet
Days before the flight, make an appointment to your dog's vet. This gives you a peace of mind and keeps your dog's vaccination up to date. It would also help if you obtain a health certificate as airline require one that is at most within 10 days of departure.
If you plan to travel abroad, additional health care requirements are needed. Check the requirements of the country you are visiting for more information.
Book a Direct Flight
Book for a direct flight whenever possible. This is because direct flights are less stressful to your pet as opposed to connecting flight.
Also, it would be best to fly with a few people as possible. Book a flight on weekdays, not weekends nor holidays. This will lessen the chance of your pet to be in the cargo hold.
Since the airport will inspect your dog before the flight, it's best to arrive around 2 hours in the airport. Self-service check in is not allowed, so you'll have to check-in your pet at the counter.
Don't arrive too early or your dog might get stressed.
When You Arrive at Your Destination
Instead of directly going to the hotel, take your dog for a walk first. Your dog will be more comfortable this way as they are able to grasp his entire surroundings and understands that same rules apply to the new place too. By the time you arrive at the hotel, your dog will feel right at home.