How to Fly with Your Dog in the United States
Pre-Flight Pet Prep
Congratulations, you’ve read our first blog post on flying with your dog and have now booked the perfect ticket! Your next step is to prep your pets mentally and emotionally for the flight, especially if it’s their airplane debut. First, take them to the vet at least 7-10 days before your departure date. Ensure that all of your pet’s immunizations and vaccinations are up to date and that you have enough medication, if necessary, for your pet during the vacation. If your vet determines that it is medically necessary for your dog to be sedated during travel make sure you have the proper dosage and amount for the trip. Feel free to ask your personal veterinarian for recommendations or research for a vet that is in close proximity to your final destination in case of emergency, or use the Pet Saver App’s animal hospital locator.
When selecting your pet’s first class accommodations a few things need to be taken into consideration:
- Prepare your pet: let them have a chance to get to know the crate prior to the trip
- Crate should be as tall as your pet’s shoulders. They will be comfortable as long as they have room to turn around and lie down.
- Make sure the crate is properly ventilated and meets airline requirements.
- Crate must be labeled “Live Animal” with distinct arrows indicating the top and bottom of the crate.
- Crate should be identified with your pet’s name, any medications they took prior to flight, owner’s information and destination information.
- Make sure that the crate has extra food attached with empty bowl and leash in carrier in case of flight delays.
Communication with the airline is the key to ensuring that your pet has the smoothest trip possible. Reconfirm with your airline 24-48 hours in advance that you will be traveling with a pet. If you have a larger pet when you arrive at the airport let the airline employees know once again that you have a pet in cargo and if the flight is delayed for an extensive period of time, ask if you will be allowed to check on your pet. Also, locate the pet relief areas so that your buddies can relieve themselves before check-in and after arrival at your final destination.
Finally, on the day of the trip make sure that you have everything listed on the puppy pack list outlined below, is wearing a collar with an ID tag that is up to date, durable, legible, includes your mobile number and destination information. You should feed and give your pet water 4 hours prior to check-in to decrease the chance of digestion issues in transit. Bow-wow voyage!