Many people find traveling by airplane stressful, from going through crowded airports to shelling out your hard-earned bucks to pay the fares. So imagine how daunting it would be for your canine. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure your beloved pooch has a comfortable and even fun flying experience. Check them out below:
Choose Dog-Friendly Airports
First, know that no airline pet policies are made equal. While many cruisers offer spiffy flight packages to our furry buddies, others aren’t so accommodating. Some airlines even ban animals from their aircraft, especially those they deem dangerous and those who might not be able to cope with the stress of flying. Thus, you need to pick the right airline for your canine. That is, you need to make sure that the airline you’re traveling in has a pet-friendly policy, and it must have a cabin that’s comfortable for both you and your pooch.
Get the Right Crate
Next, you need to get a good kennel for your dog. Whether you’re taking your pet in the cabin or have them stay in the cargo area, you need to bring them in crates. And these portable dog houses must meet certain standards, some of which are set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Other criteria for canine crates are set by the airlines themselves, so make sure to take up this issue with them before your travel date.
Prep Up Your Pooch
Of course, picking the right crate wouldn’t matter if your pooch himself isn’t ready for the flight. So better train your animal buddy before your trip. This means helping them beat separation anxiety, desensitizing them to noise, and teaching them to behave inside their kennels. Giving your canine some taxing exercises a few days (or hours) before the journey is also a great idea since it helps them get rid of excess energy as well as produce mood-lifting hormones.
Monitor Water and Food Intake
As a pet parent, you must be responsible for the amount of food and water taken by your pooch before the flight. While it’s crucial that you keep your canine from getting dehydrated, you must still ensure that there isn’t too much water inside the kennel. Also, check that there are ample amounts of pet food in the crate, and make sure the chunks aren’t too large, or else your dog might choke on it (Here’s a review on some of the most popular puppy foods today).
Give One Last Bathroom Break
Last but not least, make sure you let your canine relieve himself, either right before checking in to your flight (in case your pet is traveling via cargo) or just before going through the airport’s security area (in case he’s flying with you in the cabin). Best if you research the airport ahead to know where the grassy spots are. In any case, lots of airports have dog-friendly areas where they can poop or pee. The concrete sidewalk should be considered as a last resort, though, when there’s nowhere else to go.
One More Thing
Before deciding to have your pet travel on an airplane, you need to understand the airline’s baggage handling procedures. When flying with your canine, you’re practically “shipping” your animal buddy. So if you’re not okay with their policies, best if you find other means of transportation like cars and trains.