If you’ve never flown with a pet before, you’re probably nervous. Organizing your pet’s reservation and obtaining all of the necessary documentation might be stressful. There’s also the issue of your pet’s safety during the flight. Perhaps you’ve pondered driving instead of flying to your destination. However, if time is of the essence or you’re migrating to a different region of the globe, flying may be your only alternative.
If that’s the case, keep in mind that in the United States alone, millions of animals fly each year. The media frequently reports on deaths and catastrophes, but the vast majority of pets arrive safely. It all starts with you when it comes to flying safely with a pet. To assist soothe your anxieties, do some research on the airline and talk to the employees before and during your journey. Furthermore, by following the suggestions below, you will feel more prepared for your travel, allowing you and your companion to fly with less stress.
Speak to Your Vet
When flying with a pet, the first step is to make an appointment with your veterinarian. You’ll want to make sure your pet is healthy enough to fly. If your veterinarian gives you the green light to travel, schedule a second appointment close to your departure date. Then, upon your destination, check with the airline and the state veterinarian to see what papers you’ll need. Airlines frequently need a health certificate to be issued within 10 days before your flight.
Ensure That Your Pet’s Breed Isn’t Restricted
Airlines are putting more limitations on dog and cat breeds than ever before, particularly Brachycephalic or “short-nosed” types like Boston terriers, boxers, and bulldogs, among others. Some airlines will allow you to fly with your short-nosed pet in the cabin if they meet the size and weight requirements, but you should always check with your airline first.
Book in Advance
Because airlines only allow a certain number of pets per flight, it’s best to book ahead of time to ensure you receive your preferred flight. Make your bookings well in advance, especially if you’re flying with your pet in cargo or abroad, because the requirements can take months to prepare.
Acclimate Your Pet to the Kennel
Purchase your kennel in advance and begin acclimating your pet to the environment. Your goal, similar to crate training, is for your pet to regard the kennel as a den – a safe, cozy area where they like spending time.
Feed your pet in the kennel for several weeks before your flight to help her create a positive association with it. Inside, place her bed and a few of her favorite toys to remind her that this is her space to play, sleep, and retreat.
Don’t Give Your Pet a Sedative
Tranquilizers are not recommended for pets on flights since they can impair a dog’s capacity to regulate body temperature at high altitudes. Consider CBD oil or treats (check restrictions concerning traveling with CBD oil), soothing drops, or a vest meant to relax your pet if you’re concerned your pet is anxious.
Ask to Board Early
If you’re flying with a pet, you might be able to get early boarding if you ask. It can take some time to get yourself and your pet settled before your trip, and having a few additional minutes can help you both stay calm.
Keep Your Pet’s Health Documents Handy
Each airline has its own set of rules for pets traveling in the cabin and cargo. Determine whatever documentation your airline requires and keep them on hand so you may simply deliver them when asked by various staff members.
Seek out the Pet Relief Areas Before You Fly
Pet relieving zones are now needed at most airports. Plan ahead of time which one is nearest to your terminal for quick pet potty breaks during layovers. Alaska Airlines has compiled a detailed list of pet relief zones in the airports they serve, or contact the airline gate staff for assistance.
Keep in mind that the sites are frequently indoors and on astroturf, so your pet may not want to go. Keep a puppy pad on available in case your pet tries to relieve himself somewhere other than the designated pet relief spot.