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Flying With Dogs: What You Need to Know

Flying With Dogs

Are you planning on flying with your dog?

More and more pet owners are looking to take their dogs during their travels. Many people are beginning to take their dogs on cruises and road trips. If you have a furry pet you love, it can be hard to leave them at home.

Arrangements can get more complex when planning to travel on a plane. Airlines have strict policies when it comes to flying with dogs. Are you wondering: Can I take my dog on a plane?

This article covers everything you need to know about bringing pets on planes. Read on to discover everything you need to know about traveling with your pets.

General Considerations

When flying with dogs, you have two options: take your dog in the cabin with you or put them in the cargo hold. The final decision will depend on your airline’s policy and your dog’s size. The safest choice is to carry your pet with you in the cabin.

However, some airlines may restrict how many pets are on a single flight. If you’re planning to take your pets on airplanes, you may need to book early. Spots for dogs function on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Expect to pay a standard fee of $75 to $200 to fly with your dog. This fee may go up by several hundred dollars if you have a larger dog. It’s best to choose a direct flight when traveling with your dog, especially if you want them in the cargo hold.

The only exception here is with support animals. You’re only required to provide proof or documentation that your pet is also a working professional.

Handling baggage and longer flights may stress out your dog during travel. If your dog’s going in the cargo hold, get flights during the day. Avoid midday heat, so your dog stays in the warmest temperatures during the flight.

Know What to Bring

Bringing your pets on planes means you have to be ready with items for their needs. Pack comfort items for your dogs to lessen the anxiety from the sudden change of environment. Get a few familiar items, such as their favorite toys, bedding, or food.

When you need to feed your dog, you need a container for both the food and water. Don’t forget about the potty bags or doggy diapers to avoid a mess on the airplane. Consider bringing sedatives, but only if your vet gives you the all-clear.

Preparing Your Dog to Fly

Start by bringing your dog for a checkup for a certificate of veterinary inspection. Be sure to prepare for the flight ten days before the planned flying day. Grab a dog carrier and place your contact information with a sign stating that there is a live animal inside.

As the time to get on the plane closes in, be sure to get your dog to run around. Keeping your pets active before boarding will help lower anxiety and burn off energy. Make sure your pets relieve themselves and get some fresh air before getting on the plane.

Policies For Pets on Airplanes

You have to do your research on the airplane policies since some flights strictly do not accept dogs. When they do allow it, there are weight restrictions for the cabin or cargo hold. Be sure to contact the airline or go in person to check with their policies for pets on planes.

Consider Your Dog’s Breed

The physiognomy or breed of your dog may determine whether they can get on the flight with you. Many airlines do not allow short-nosed breeds in particular. More than half of dog fatalities on airplanes mostly involve short-nosed breeds.

Other breeds that the American Veterinary Medical Foundation have the most risk include:

  • Pugs
  • Mastiffs
  • Pekingese
  • Boston terriers
  • Shih Tzus
  • Bulldogs
  • Lhasa Apsos

Short-nosed breeds are more at risk due to breathing issues, leading to suffocation. Some bulldogs also suffer from the inability to regulate their body temperature quickly. Find out more here about restricted breeds when flying with dogs.

Support Your Pets

It’s good to go for the cabin rather than cargo, so you can comfort and support your pets. You can easily give them water and food during the flight. Lessen the stress of your pets by letting them know your there and giving them their favorite toys.

Make sure your dogs can sleep in their carrier for several hours. Watch your pets if they start to display signs of distress, like excessive licking or shivering. You can calm your nervous dogs through aromatherapy, especially with lavender oil.

Consider getting an anxiety thundershirt or calming collar for extra precautions. Although you want to calm your dog, avoid bringing them out of the carrier. Bringing them out may cause extra trouble with anxious reactions or barking.

You can use your voice and place your hand into the carrier to pet them. When your calm, your dog will pick up your feelings to feel calm rather than anxious. Only give snacks to your pets three hours after departure to avoid an upset stomach.

What to Do After the Flight

Upon arriving at your destination, you’ll need to find a place where you can free your pets. Bring them out and let them go on a little walk while you stretch your legs. Getting them out of the carrier helps them settle from headaches or dizziness.

Make sure you’re ready with a potty bag in case they vomit or soil themselves. Give your dogs a bit of water, then call up your ride to head to your hotel. If your dog still feels unwell, it’s best to head to a vet first.

Enjoy Flying With Dogs

Do your research for flying with dogs to enjoy the flying experience for both you and your dog. Prepare yourself with tools, food, and equipment to comfort your pets. Be sure to double-check policies and rules concerning pets on planes.

Enjoy your flight by preparing from the start to the destination. Ensure that you get the best experience with more guides and research. Check out our other traveling with pet guides for the best tips.

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