How to Take Your Dog on an Airplane

For us, animal lovers, the joy of being able to take a pet on an airplane with is a blessing, but without proper planning, it can be disastrous.

dog planeMany people often wonder what is necessary to take their pet on an airplane. It can be a very time consuming and difficult task without proper preparation. The number one thing a pet owner should remember is that every airline has its own set of rules. Be sure to contact the specific airline for the specific rules that pertain to its operations. That is priority number one. Also, be sure to give yourself plenty of time before the flight to get the necessary information. The airlines have given a lot of thought to safe travel, both for you and for your pet.

canine flyingNow, let’s examine some of the basic things that we pet owners should think about now that we know the airline we are traveling on and its specific rules. We should make sure that our pet is not sick, in distress, or violent. Some pets can be sedated for travel, but it is not recommended, especially for very young pets. If you feel that could be a problem, your veterinarian is the best source of information on that subject. Also, make sure your pet has the appropriate and necessary health documentation from your vet.

Small pets can travel in the cabin with you provided they are in a pet carrier that fits under your front seat. There are many great pet carriers on the market that will provide comfort for your small pet. Large pets must travel in the cargo compartment. You should not worry though. Experience from my first profession gives me the knowledge that the cargo compartment is safe and kept at a comfortable temperature for your pet. The air carriers will not allow any pets back there if that system is not functioning properly. Your dog crate or other pet crates should be clearly marked with “Live Animal” and “This Side Up” tags. You should also have your name, address, telephone number, and telephone number at your destination clearly marked on the crate. When looking for a crate for your pet, an industrial dog crate that is approved for air travel will be necessary.

A few general things to consider are: putting your pet’s favorite blanket and toys in the crate, booking a nonstop flight, and not feeding your pet just prior to departure. You don’t want your pet to get airsick, lost, or stuck out on the hot tarmac for a long time. Give your pet frozen water or ice cubes in his or her dog crate or pet carrier. It will melt slowly, keep your pet hydrated, and not spill so easily. Above all, enjoy the company your pet can give you during your travels. Hope to see you in the air.