Now that you’ve gone on a road trip with your dog, are you considering taking them on a plane? If you haven’t read the last blog “Dog Tips: Traveling With Your Pooch”, go ahead and read that one first.

This American Staffordshire Terrier is ready to go on a summer vacation. Source: Getty Images.

It is valuable to weigh many options when considering taking your canine on a flight with you. If you are permanently moving or taking an extended vacation, then these are the ideal situations to take your dog on a plane. Short trips may cause more stress to them rather than fun. For this reason, consider asking a family member, friend, or pet sitter to look after your dog.

Taking Your Dog on a Flight

If you have decided to take your dog on a flight, here are some tips to ease any possible stress that you may experience.

  1. Pack an appropriate carrier. No matter if your furry friend will be staying in the cargo area or cabin, you will need to find a carrier that fulfills the airline guidelines. Click here for a list of guidelines. In general, your carrier should be durable, have plenty of ventilation, strong handles, and a leak-proof bottom. Click here for a list of recommended pet carriers. Make sure to note on the carrier that it is a live animal and utilize arrows to show which way is up. Additionally, make sure to place a label with your name, phone number, address, and any other contact information that you feel is necessary. 
  2. Choose the best possible flight. It’s recommended to find non-stop flights with no transfers and to avoid flying over the holiday periods. If your furry friend is flying in the cargo, consider the weather at your destination. When you are flying to somewhere hot, look for flights in the early morning or late evening. If you’re traveling to a cold destination, look for flights during mid-day. 
  3. Complete a health check.  Visit your veterinarian before flying. This will allow you to verify that all of the vaccinations are up-to-date and that your pet is healthy. Make sure to request any health records, that you may not have, to bring on your trip. 
  4. Prep your dog before the trip. Familiarize your dog with the crate that they will be traveling in. You may even consider taking them to the departure area of the airport that you will be dropped off to aid them in feeling more comfortable. 
  5. Contact your airline. Verify that there is space for you and your dog on the airplane before you book the tickets. Make sure to book reservations for yourself and your pet at the same time. Depending on which airline you are taking, here are links to the pet pages for each one: Delta, American Airlines,  United, JetBlue, and Southwest.

We wish you a safe and happy flight with your pooch. Again, enjoy yourselves while you are on vacation! Click the link to read a previous blog, “Simple Ways to Teach Your Dog How to Lie Down,”.