How To Travel Safely By Air with Your Dog

Traveling by air is very stressful to a dog. The whine of the plane’s engines is very hurtful to the dog’s sensitive ears. Add the fact that the air inside the plane can create a vacuum inside their ears that can be painful to pets. The cargo hold can also be under extreme temperatures that can be hazardous to your dog during summer. It is advisable not to take your dog with you if you have to travel by air but if it cannot be helped, take a look at the ways to ensure that you keep your dog safe.

  1. Bring your dog to the vet for a complete health check up and get your dog’s vaccination up to date. The ASPCA recommends that your dog’s health certificate should be dated ten days prior to your flight. If you are going overseas, you need to check the vaccination and other requirement for bringing a dog with your. In most cases you may have to leave your dog in quarantine for a few days or weeks.
  2. Complete your dog’s information and consider having a microchip implant on your dog. Keep a copy of your dog’s information, your name and contact information, your destination and a picture of your dog attached to its cage. This will make it easy to identify your dog in case it escapes. You should also make your dog wear a collar and tag when you travel. Keep a copy of your dog’s information and photograph with you.
  3. It will be very beneficial to your dog if you can book a direct flight to your destination as changing planes will be most stressful to your already suffering dog. Buy a big shipping crate that will allow your dog to stand, lie down and move around. Make sure that your dog is comfortable to remove additional stress factors from being cooped up inside a crate. If you have a small dog, check with the airline if you will be allowed to take the dog with you inside its carrier and place it under your seat. Make sure that your vaccination papers are on hand for inspection purposes.
  4. Freeze a small tray of water that you can place inside the dog’s crate to prevent water from spilling during check in, transport and placement inside the cargo hold. You should also attach a small bag of dry dog food to your dog’s crate so that airline personnel can feed your dog. Be sure not to feed your dog prior to the flight. Give him water instead. The stress and air sickness may cause your dog to vomit.
  5. Label your dog’s crate in big letters announcing that the crate contains a live animal. Secure the door of the crate but do not lock it to make it easy for airline personnel to open the crate in case of emergencies. Provide your dog with some comfort from home by lining his crate with his favorite bedding and adding a favorite toy. Use shredded paper or old towels as cage liners.
  6. Make it known to all airline personnel that you are traveling with your dog so that they can check on your pet from time to time and give it food and water as needed.  In case of flight delay make sure that airline personnel also check on your dog to assure you of its condition.

Do everything that is necessary to make the flight experience as pleasant as possible to your dog. Ensure that he is healthy by having a vet perform a physical examination on your dog.  Follow any additional instructions your vet may give you when you have to travel with your dog by air.


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