As you’re planning your holiday travel or a winter getaway, you might be considering whether to head into the friendly skies with your pup. However, if you’re new to air travel with your dog, there are steps you should take to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable on the journey. Here are some ways to get started.
Do your preliminary research.
Before you do anything else, spend some time researching restrictions, rules, and guidelines for flying with your dog. Familiarize yourself with the general guidelines set out by the TSA and USDA. Before booking your flights call the airline you plan to fly with to learn more about
their specific rules and restrictions. They may also have a limit on how many animals can travel on a flight so checking in before you purchase your flight is essential. If you’re traveling overseas, it’s really important to learn what rules your destination has in place such as quarantine regulations. This research may help you determine whether to bring your pup or leave them at home with a dog sitter.
Visit the veterinarian.
Once you’re familiar with the various rules and you decide you want to bring your buddy on your trip, then make an appointment to visit the veterinarian. Not only will most airlines require a certificate of health, you may also need to update your dog on their vaccinations including rabies and get them micro-chipped if they aren’t already. This will also be a good time to address any concerns you have with your veterinarian such as whether your dog might need a sedative for the flight.
Booking the right flight
Once you have the clear from the veterinarian, you should be able to start looking into flights. Look for the earliest or latest flights to avoid the busiest travel times of the day. If you can, find a direct flight, otherwise the shortest layover possible. Once you found your desired flight, give the airline a call to confirm that your pet will be allowed on the flight and clarify any other guidelines you need to know about.
Pack the essential supplies.
For starters, you’ll need to get an airline-approved travel crate and in one of your calls to the airline, be sure to ask what their requirements are. In addition to a crate, some of the essentials to add to your checklist include a leash, collapsible travel pet bowls, sealed dog food, labeled medication (if needed), plastic bags to pick up after your pet, and a photo of you and your dog in the event you become separated. You’ll also want to bring along some dog treats and a good chew toy like our dog rope toy to keep your pup busy.
These steps should be a great start in ensuring a smooth travel experience for both you and your canine companion. If you’re opting to hit the road this winter, take a look at our blog post with safety tips for car travel with your dog. Wherever and however you go, we wish you happy and safe travels!