Top 10 Tips When Flying With Your Pets
I remember the multiple times in my childhood when I kept asking my mom for a dog or a cat. Who will walk the dog? Who will clip its nails? Who will clean out the litter box? And many other questions that I would always respond with an enthusiastic “YES!“, as I wanted a pet badly. As I grew up older and older, another question came up – What to do with my cat or dog when I’m traveling? Who will take care of it?And there are numerous options what to do when you’re traveling away from home. Dog hotels, hiring a caretaker or transferring the burden, albeit a cute one, to your friend are amongst the choices. These are the most common that people resort to. However, sometimes there is no other option and you have to fly with your pet. While it can be quite a difficult procedure, here are the top 10 tips to that will help you out when you’re flying with your pet!
10. Can your pet fly?
Firstly, make sure your pet is able to fly. That means making sure that your dog or cat won’t experience extreme stress when flying or the airline that you wish to fly with even accepts pets.For example, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines and many other American airlines changed their policies regarding Emotional Support Animals. Your pets’ size, age and the duration of the flight are all factors that you have to account for. If your pet can be aggressive or might pee in the cabin accidentally, you might be better off flying without him.To sum up, make sure you read all the rules before taking on the journey with your fluffy partner. If you’re still unsure whether your pet can travel with your airline of choice, make sure to call them and ask them. This way, you can be 100% sure that your four-legged buddy can fly with you!
9. Where should your pet fly?
If you have a small dog or a cat and its crate can fit under the seat, you can take him with you into the cabin. However, be careful as there a lot of rules if you want to take your pet into the cabin. Check up with the airline of your choice what the exact restrictions for pets in cabins are.Some airlines offer the chance for your pet to travel in the cargo area. Some aircraft have dedicated cargo holds for pets. Their conditions there are the same as in the cabin you will be sitting in, thus you won’t have to worry about your pets’ well-being.However, be careful. Airlines charge extra when you travel with pets in the cargo area.
8. Notify the airline in advance
To illustrate, airlines require you to book for your pet in advanced. Meaning when you book your ticket, immediately book a ticket or a cargo space for your pet as well. As there are limited spaces on an aircraft for pets, make sure there is still some capacity available!Another thing to consider is that you have to be even earlier in the airport than usually. For example, Alaska Airlines requires you to be an hour earlier than you would usually be at the airport.So, just leave enough time before departing!
7. Get a proper crate
Be certain that not only your pet is comfortable in his crate, but that it also fits the dimensions laid out by the airline that you’re flying with.If you put your pet in the designated cargo area, the allowed dimensions for its crate are much bigger. So, if you have a bigger pet you can get a crate that would not encourage discomfort. But, if you carry your pet into the cabin, airlines require the cage or a carrier bag and the animal not to weigh more than 9 kilograms. Also, it must fit the required dimensions. If it’s too large – you have to store the crate into the cargo area, unfortunately.
6. A health certificate
Some airlines do require one, some do not. But just to be assured and to make sure your pet can actually travel, go get a health certificate from a veterinarian. It will not cost a lot, but it will save you time and potentially, money.Also, some airlines require that the health pass was done maximum 10 days before your departure. Plan your vet visit before you travel and avoid any unnecessary problems. It will prove to the airline you’re traveling with that your pet has all the required vaccinations done to him and that he is safe to travel in the cabin.
5. Take them for a walk or tire them out
Just before your flight, get them to be tired – they will just calmly sleep through the flight. Because of the extra-long walk or an intense playtime with your beloved fluffy friend, he might be just too tired to worry about things.It will just fall asleep during the flight. Consequently making sure the flight is much calmer for the both of you!
4. Bring a treat!
A lot of treats! Flying can and probably will be stressful towards your pet. So making sure that he remains as relaxed as possible is key to a comfortable journey for everyone involved.Bring toys, blankets and other items that might make your dog or cat comfortable. Have they got a favorite toy? Be sure to take it with you! Were they calm and did not do anything wrong? Make sure you reward them to make flying more comfortable in the future.
3. But do not overfeed them.
Just before you take off for the airport, try and not to give them water or feed them.Why? So that your pet won’t have the urge to relieve itself on the cabin floor and avoid you being uncomfortable for the rest of the flight.
2. After you exit your flight
Take them for a short walk! Both of you need it – your pet was sleeping in a confined space and you were sitting for quite a long time. Stretch and grab some fresh air! Be prepared for the most important step of your journey and meet the new destination with a smile on your faces.
1. Most importantly…
Enjoy your travels! Traveling broadens your mind, lets you meet new places and people. It lets your pet experience new things as well.So, while some airlines might be more pet friendlier than others, after clearing all of the required procedures there’s only thing left to do. Just relax and admire the new place that you and your furry best friend have just landed in!