How to Fly With Your Pet ~ 10 Tips for a Stress-free Trip

Last Updated on July 8, 2022 by Alice Benny

Sometimes it’s scary to fly with your pet. Your furry friend requires documentation and orientation for the flight, among other important considerations. You realize that whenever you want to travel with a dog or any other pet, their safety will be what will concern you most. Here are a few tips for how to fly with your pet that will guide you to prepare for the flight and get to your destination with your animal with less stress.

Due to the unknowns, some people even decide to drive to the destination to avoid the stress of having to take a flight. However, if you want to get there fast, and especially when you’re visiting faraway places, then there are some best practices.

Millions of people travel with their animals every year. And, apart from the few mishaps and accidents you might have heard on the media, the majority get to their destination safely.

How to Fly With Your Pet

Flying with pets starts with you. The preparation should include researching the airline and talking to their staff so you can know what to expect and make the trip easier on Fluffy or Fido.

Learn Airline Pet Restrictions and What is Permitted

First things first, find out which airlines allow pets. Then, learn the airline pet restrictions and travel information. You will find information such as the types of pets that can travel by plane, the weight limit, if they allow flying with dogs in the cabin, and more.

It’s also important to know the carrier you will bring. Many airlines combine the maximum pet weight along with the weight of the carrier. This is true for dogs and cats. Learn how to travel with a cat

Visit Your Vet

First off, have an appointment with your veterinarian. At least you want to make sure you are animal friend is not only safe but also in good health.

The vet is likely to let you know about what to expect when you get to your destination. This means they might give you a jab or vaccinations to keep your furry friend safe. Then, the veterinary will help you get the documentation you need for traveling with your pet. In most cases, this should happen ten days before your flight.

Prepare Your Pet For Travel

Taking a flight for the first time can be scary for people and animals alike. So you should prepare your furry friends to be ready for the trip. You don’t want to scare them unnecessarily. Purchase a kennel or pet carrier in advance, and let your pet get used to that space. You may perform a few training tricks to make your pet comfortable in the doghouse or carrier. You can do this by feeding them inside the enclosure.

Several weeks leading to your flight, you should make their bed and place their favorite toys inside that kennel. After they have played, eaten, and slept inside it, they will be conversant and adopt this new shelter.

If you buy a pet carrier, be sure it is airline-approved. Soft-sided carry-on pet carriers are sometimes easier to fit in the small airline spaces. You should also get a pet carrier with a strong shoulder strap.

Research About Your Destinations Restrictions

Some airlines have restrictions for breeds of cats and dogs. You may want to find out with them, especially if you have a short-nosed or brachycephalic pet. Owners of bulldogs, boxers, or Boston terriers may wish to do prior research about the airline’s restrictions.

Some airlines allow you to fly with your dog inside the cabin. However, there is a limit for the size and weight. Others will insist that the dog goes to the cargo area in its kennel.

Just make sure to check beforehand with your airline. The maximum airline approved carry-on size for pet carriers 17.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches.

Keep Your Pets Documentation Ready

Every airline has restrictions on pets and cargo. It would help if you found out whether they allow us to fly in the shipment or cabin area.

To make sure you have a seamless flight, keep the pet health documentation handy. Health documents show that the pet does not have an infectious disease. So, when you travel with the animal it won’t pose any danger the travelers on the plane or animals you find in your destination.

Make sure to have these documents ready if you want to have an easy time with the airline staff members.

Book Smartly

The majority of airlines offer a limited number of spaces for pets. You need to book in advance to catch the right spot for your furry friend and yourself. Especially when taking international flights, make these reservations in advance. This could be a couple of months before your actual travel.

During the flight, you want your pet to enjoy comfort and security. The kind of treatment you want for your pet may require specific preparations. Therefore, you should book your flight early enough so you can have time to choose those airlines that can offer you and your pet the treatment you deserve.

Do Not Sedate Your Pet

During the flight, you shouldn’t use tranquilizers as they can interfere with your pet’s health, especially at high altitudes. If you think your pet will be too anxious, talk to the vet about their recommendations, such as oils or other treats that conform with the pet regulations. Speak with the vet in advance about your concerns. There are also certain accessories and gear that help to calm your pet down. Of course, you don’t want your best friend to panic when the plane starts moving so bring favorite comfort items from home.

Pet Relief Area

Modern airports have spaces for pets to relieve themselves. This makes it less harsh on animals to fly. Therefore, find terminals with pet potties. Before you take the flight, it’s crucial to get a clear map of the terminals that have pet potties.

At least, you want to get your pet a break during layovers. When you get to a new terminal or at the airport, make sure to ask the staff members.

Board the Plane Early

When you’re flying with your pet, you may be eligible to board early. Ask the flight attendant or the airline representatives about this. It may help to soothe your dog or cat. Arriving early at the airport will help you have some time to calm your pet down. Of course, you want your pet to be comfortable with the flight, and these few minutes will give you time to do that.

Park Your Car Conveniently Around the Airport

Of course, you will be carrying a lot of things with you. In addition to the pet, you will need to have chew toys and probably some food. You need treats to relieve the dog’s discomfort.

You’ll also have your luggage and baggage. You can already start to see that it will be a quiet large load. So, park your car close to the airport terminal to reduce inconveniences. Use an online car parking system that lets you look around the airport and find the perfect parking spot for your car. Parking reservations are made on the internet, and you can even make your payments they are. Then, you will have an airport parking lot saved just for you.

You Can Buy a Seat for Your Dog on the Airplane

Some airlines will allow you to purchase a seat for your dog — but not your cat! The airlines won’t allow dogs to sit in the seat; however, they will let the dog occupy the floor space in front of the seat. If you have a small dog, this may be a good option, depending on your budget.

Tips for Flying With Pets

If you choose to purchase a pet carrier, before you buy it, be sure it’s airline-approved and that it will fit your pet. Label it with your name, phone number, and address. 

While traveling is stressful, staying as calm as possible will go a long way toward keeping your dog, cat or other pet feel safe and secure. They can pick up on your vibes so as you prepare to leave for the airport, be calm. Prepare as much as you can the day before so you won’t be running around the last minute gathering what you need.

Plan to arrive at the airport earlier than you think necessary so you have plenty of time to get through security. If there is something special you need, such as a temperature-controlled area, you will need to contact the airlines in advance.

Using these tips will help you can reduce your stress and have a smooth flight with your pet. By planning ahead and packing the necessary items, you can make the trip more comfortable for both you and your furry friend. Airlines are equipped to handle pets so do the best you can to prepare for a variety of situations. 

Creating a serene and comfortable atmosphere within your pet’s traveling home can make all of the difference for both of you as you fly. It won’t be ruff when you use these tips! 

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