So, you’re planning your first flight with your four-legged friend? Are you feeling nervous? Please take a deep breath and read on as we give you some tried and tested tips to make your furry friend’s first mile-high trip as comfortable as possible for both of you.
Surely there’s a thousand and one things going through your mind. Questions like where to book a pet-friendly flight to whether you can let your pet sit with you in the cabin are standard. Be honest; you want to buy your pup a seat next to you, right? We understand.
Well, let’s back up a bit and start at the beginning of your to-do-list to prepare a smooth travel experience for yourself, pet, and the airline.
Where Do I Start?
As with all long haul trips, the sooner you start planning, the more stress-free it’ll be. We’ve compiled a list of the top five things you need to put on your to-do-list. Googling everything you need to know about dog carriers is only the beginning of this exciting journey.
Let’s get started.
Make an Appointment at the Vet
You should consult with your vet well in advance. It’s vital to know that she’s healthy enough to take to the air, and you’ll also need a clearance certificate of health for the airlines.
Your vet will be able to share with you the pros and cons of giving her sedatives for the flight. Generally, it would be best if you avoided it as it can interfere with a dog’s natural ability to control body heat at a certain altitude.
Book the Flight
It would be best if you aimed to get this box ticked a few weeks before your flight. There are a few additional steps the airlines need to arrange for pet travel, and time is of the essence.
Talking to an airline official and being well informed on airline policies and procedures will help you plan better and feel more at ease about it.
Buy a Kennel and Get Her Comfortable in It
A great tip for this step is to line the kennel with her favorite blanket or dog bed. Remember to add an extra layer beneath it to waterproof it if she has a puddle-blooper in-flight.
Like humans, pets also experience blocked ears with take-off and landing. Remember to take her favorite chew-toy along as it’ll help relieve the pressure on her eardrums.
Another great tip from our panel of well-traveled pet owners is to put her feeding bowl inside the kennel while training her inside it. The mission is to make it feel like a safe place for her before the flight takes off.
Arrange to Board Early
It’ll take extra time for you to get organized at the airport and check-in yourself, your pooch, and your luggage. It can be stressful if this is all done in a rush, and when you stress, they’ll stress.
Allow enough time for a last visit to the pet relief area and a few cuddles before boarding. Once you’re in the cabin, you’ll also start worrying less and begin enjoying the adventure.
Keep All Health Documents on You
Each country and airline have individual regulations and checks in place for traveling pets. Keep all certificates and documentation on you for easy retrieval should various airline officials ask for it.
Final Few Words
Traveling with pets can be stressful, but by planning well in advance and ticking all the to-do boxes in time, it doesn’t have to be.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.