Top 10 Flying with Dogs Tips
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
September 10, 2012
Filed Under Pets
Contributed by Info Guru Paul Seaburn
Many people can’t wait to take a vacation to get away from co-workers, neighbors and even family members, but they can’t bear the thought of leaving the family dog behind.
While safely securing your pooch in the back seat for a road trip is easy, flying Fido is more of a challenge. Flying with dogs requires care and planning to insure the safety of the pet and the sanity of its people. Here are some tips to help both enjoy their flying vacation.
10. Check Your Airline’s Cabin Policies
The number of airlines allowing small dogs in the cabin is going down, so check to make sure if yours does. Find out about fees (some charge $150 one-way), types of travel bags or airline crates allowed and backup plans in case of emergencies or overbooking.
9. Check Your Airline’s Cargo Policies
If you plan to have your pooch travel in cargo with the luggage, make sure your airline allows it, what the fees are and where to go for check-in and pickup. Also check the airline’s policy on airline crate sizes, locks and identification tags.
8. Find A Hotel That Allows Dogs
Not all hotels allow dogs and many have restrictions on size and number, so call ahead to verify that yours can accommodate your dog. Most hotels list their policy on their websites and the American Automobile Association (AAA) planning books list pet-friendly inns.
7. Visit The Vet
Most airlines require a form from a vet that your dog is healthy and up-to-date on shots. This will also come in handy for checking into hotels or if you have a pet emergency at your destination. Ask your vet for recommendations on tranquilizers or chose Over-the-Counter natural or holistic calming supplements for a hyper dog.
6. Flight Times
If your dog is traveling in cargo, try to book an early morning or late evening flight to so that time spent in the hold and on the runway is during the coolest times of the day. If possible, fly direct without stops or connections that lengthen travel time and could put your pet back out in extreme weather conditions on the tarmac.
5. Choose a Comfortable Crate
Once you know your airline’s crate size policy, choose one that meets them while allowing your dog to stand, turn around and lie down in comfort. Make sure the dog crate, locks and doors are strong. Practice getting your dog in and out of the crate and leave it crated for a while to watch for stress or possible hazards.
4. Arrive Early
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends that passengers traveling with dogs arrive at least two hours prior to scheduled departure time. Check ahead of time to find out the best place to take your dog for bathroom needs and bring plenty of bags for waste disposal.
3. Food and Water
The Department of Agriculture requires that dogs be fed and given water within four hours of scheduled departure time. Bring a travel bowl for your dog’s food and water but don’t give your pet too much of either to avoid accidents in the crate or vomiting due to airsickness or stress. To avoid spills, most airlines allow no food or water in the crate while traveling.
Attach an ID to your dog’s collar with your name, address and phone, and a second ID with your cell phone number and contact information while traveling. An identification microchip is also useful since it can’t be pulled off or lost.
1. Consider Your Dog First
You know your dog better than anyone else. As much as you’ll miss your pet while on vacation, if you suspect it may have problems flying, do your dog and yourself a favor and leave Fido home in the care of a pet watcher or boarding kennel.