Flying with Your Pet: Dos and Don’ts
Dos of Flying with Your Pet
Research airline policies and requirements
Before you book your flight, research your airline’s pet policy and requirements thoroughly. Each airline has its unique set of guidelines and regulations when it comes to flying with pets, such as breed restrictions, size limitations, and additional fees. Some airlines allow pets to fly in-cabin, while others only allow them in cargo. It’s essential to know these details before booking your flight to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for your pet.
Prepare your pet for the flight
Preparing your pet for the flight is essential to ensure they are comfortable and safe during the journey. It’s best to acclimate your pet to the carrier or crate they will be traveling in several days before the flight. This will help your pet feel more comfortable and relaxed during the flight. Also, make sure to take your pet for a walk and give them a chance to use the bathroom before boarding the flight.
Choose the right carrier for your pet
Choosing the right carrier for your pet is crucial for a comfortable and stress-free journey. The carrier should be spacious enough for your pet to move around and lie down comfortably. It should also have proper ventilation and secure closures. If your pet is traveling in-cabin, the carrier should fit under the seat in front of you.
Ensure your pet is comfortable during the flight
During the flight, ensure your pet is comfortable and safe. If your pet is traveling in-cabin, keep them in their carrier under the seat in front of you at all times. Pack some of your pet’s favorite toys or blankets to provide comfort during the flight. If your pet is traveling in cargo, make sure they have enough food and water and are properly secured in their crate.
Take necessary precautions for international travel
If you’re traveling internationally with your pet, there are additional requirements to consider. Some countries require specific vaccinations, documentation, and health certificates for pets. It’s crucial to research the specific requirements for your destination country and ensure you have all the necessary paperwork and vaccinations before the flight.
Do: Check Your Destination’s Requirements Before booking your flight, make sure to check the requirements for pets at your destination. Some countries have strict regulations and quarantine periods for incoming animals. It’s important to research these requirements in advance and make sure your pet is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations.
Don’t: Sedate Your Pet While it may be tempting to give your pet a sedative to help them relax during the flight, it’s not recommended. Sedatives can affect your pet’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems at high altitudes, which can be dangerous. Instead, talk to your veterinarian about natural calming remedies or strategies to help your pet stay calm and relaxed during the flight.
Do: Label Your Pet’s Carrier Make sure your pet’s carrier is clearly labeled with your name, contact information, and your pet’s name. This will ensure that if your pet becomes separated from you during the flight, they can be easily identified and reunited with you as soon as possible.
Don’t: Feed Your Pet Before the Flight To prevent your pet from getting motion sickness during the flight, it’s best not to feed them for a few hours before the flight. However, it’s important to provide them with plenty of water to stay hydrated. You can also offer them a small snack, such as a few pieces of kibble or a treat, to keep them comfortable during the flight.
Do: Keep Your Pet Comfortable Make sure your pet’s carrier is large enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. You can also pack a favorite toy or blanket to provide them with some extra comfort during the flight. If your pet is traveling in-cabin with you, make sure to keep them under the seat in front of you and provide them with plenty of attention and comfort throughout the flight.
Don’t: Assume Your Pet Will Be Okay Flying can be stressful for pets, and it’s important to monitor them closely throughout the flight. Keep an eye out for any signs of distress, such as excessive panting, drooling, or restlessness. If you notice any signs of distress, talk to a flight attendant or veterinarian on board as soon as possible.
Flying with your pet can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety and comfort. By following these dos and don’ts, you can help make your pet’s flight as stress-free and comfortable as possible.