How To Travel With A Dog On A Plane
Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience for pet lovers who don’t want to leave their furry friends behind. But if you’ve never flown with your dog, the prospect of getting Fido through the airport and onto a plane can seem daunting. Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be! If you follow this simple guide, you and your dog will be on your way to vacation bliss before you know it. Note: If you’re traveling internationally with your pet, always check travel regulations for the country you’ll be visiting—they may have different requirements than domestic airlines.
Check with your airline.
First, check with your airline. The rules for flying with a dog can vary from airline to airline, so it’s best to know before you go what their policy is and what you have to do in order to bring your pup along for the ride.
Book your flight first.
If you’ve already got a basic idea of when you want to travel, then book your flight first. That way, when it comes time to book your dog’s flight, you’ll know what options are available. You can also see how much it costs to bring your dog with you—and if that price is too high for your budget or too low for their comfort level (or both), then that might lead you toward a different airline or destination altogether.
Pack a bag for your dog.
You should also bring a bag for your dog. This will help contain the mess and keep things clean, especially if you’re traveling with a small dog.
- Water (I recommend collapsible water bowls)
- Food (a few days’ worth)
- A toy or two (to keep them distracted and happy during the flight)
- A blanket or towel (to sit on)
- Collapsible water bowl(es), leash, collar, brush and dog bed
Check the weather forecast wherever you’re going.
- Check the weather forecast for your destination
- Check the weather forecast for your return trip
- Check the weather forecast for any layover cities
- Check the weather forecast for any connecting flights (if applicable)
- Check the weather forecast for any additional days you will be spending at your destination
Choose an airline-approved carrier.
It’s important to choose an airline-approved carrier for your dog. You can check with your airline, but most will require that the carrier be no larger than 10″ in any dimension and weigh no more than 20 pounds. It’s also important to verify if the carrier meets any specific requirements set by your airline.
Airlines have their own restrictions on what types of carriers they will allow on board. Some only allow soft-sided carriers, others don’t allow hard-sided ones at all. It’s very important to check with yours before heading out so you aren’t surprised at the terminal!
Measure your dog and carrier before heading to the airport.
Measuring your dog and carrier before you head to the airport is important. You’ll want to measure your dog’s length, height and width (in inches). Measure the carrier’s length, width and height (in inches). If possible, also measure the opening of the door on your carrier so you’ll know how much space is needed between your pet’s head and shoulders when he or she sits in it.
Take a few practice runs with your dog and carrier.
Before you head to the airport, it’s a good idea to take your dog and carrier for a spin. If you haven’t done this before, practice all of your moves with them as best as possible. Take some time to get used to how much space is required for both the carrier and dog at different times in their lives (for example, when they are young versus when they are older). You should also get used to how long it takes from start to finish so that there isn’t any stress on either party during travel time.
You’ll want everything ready before you go: make sure all documents are printed out ahead of time (including vaccination records) so that there aren’t any hiccups at security or check-in if/when prompted. Ask about restrictions in terms of how many dogs can be on one flight with their owners; some airlines have restrictions on breeds and size requirements that may apply differently depending on where in the world they’re going or coming from.
Traveling with your dog is not difficult, but it does require a bit of planning and preparation.
Planning is key to a successful trip. Here are some things you should consider before traveling with your dog:
- Check with the airline before traveling. Some airlines may have restrictions on what breeds or size of dog can be carried on flights, so make sure you know those details before booking your flight.
- Check with your vet before traveling. Your vet will know if there are any health concerns that limit travel for your pet, as well as give advice regarding vaccinations and other procedures needed to get them ready for their journey ahead of time.
- Check with the airline about restrictions and size requirements for furry friends flying under the seat in front of you (if at all possible). Some airlines have weight limits for pets in carriers under their seat, so make sure to find out how much yours can weigh before making reservations!
By planning ahead and being prepared, you can ensure that you and your dog have a safe and uneventful flight. And with the proper preparation, it will be one of the best experiences possible.