I got my pet for one primary reason: To have an outdoor companion! She’s an 8-year old golden retriever who loves to frolic in lush forests and endlessly swim in cold ocean waters.
However, when the all-too-familiar nearby trails and beaches become a tad bit boring, your itchy feet can take you to other places which will require flying. This circumstance then raises the most critical yet horrifying question: Where should you leave your pets?
Sure, there are 5-star vet hotels, your willing friends who can babysit (or petsit), or you can always leave them home for the time being – alone and lonely. Although it might not matter the world to you, this is already a big deal for your pet companions, maybe even traumatic for some animals.
So before you think about leaving your pets behind on probably the most exciting adventure in your life, here are five tips that you need to prepare when flying with your pets.
1. Call the most pet-friendly airline in town.
Our pets are part of the family. And when it comes to their safety, you should only trust the best airline company when handling them. Check which ones are the most pet-friendly airlines through online reviews and recommendations. Then check what type of aircraft you’ll be flying in. More often than not, a smaller aircraft will have size limits.
Moreover, don’t be frugal when choosing an airline. High-cost airlines are a better option than budget airlines at this point. Remember, your pets’ safety is the utmost priority when flying. If unable to find an airline option, consider a pet friendly air charter with Pet Jets!
2. Check if your pets are fit to fly.
Airlines and veterinarians advise that puppies not more than eight weeks old, older dogs, or sick dogs shouldn’t be fit to fly. Also, some breeds of dogs with a short snout like pugs, boxers, or bullmastiffs are susceptible to heatstroke, especially when placed in the cargo area of an airplane. More importantly, pets that have a bad temperament, meaning those that bite or are not accustomed to people, are better off staying put.
3. See if you can fly your pets in cabins.
Most airlines offer either flying your pets in cabins as carry-on luggage or as cargo. Although the former seems to be a much safer route, some airlines usually impose a 20-pound pet weight limit for in-cabin pet flights. So if your pets can fit under your seat, then you can keep an eye on them throughout the flight which will give you peace of mind. As for cargo flying, check if your pets are mentally and physically healthy enough to endure hours of seclusion.
4. Accustom your dogs to a crate before flying.
Most airlines require a large crate for your pets. It’s recommended that you accustom your pets to a crate a few weeks before the fly date so it can feel comfortable and calm inside the crate. Practice driving your pets around while inside a crate so they can get used to motion sickness.
5. Wear your dog out hours before flying.
Take your dog out for a walk, or a run a few hours before flying to burn off the excess energy. This allows them to rest better and remain calm during the entire flight. Always make sure to have a water bottle clipped on the crate. If you think your pets are better off sedated throughout the flight, consult your dog’s veterinarian for the right dosage.
Spending time in the outdoors with your furry companions is a perfect bonding moment that will solidify that pet-human love and connection. When you reach your destination, it’s crucial to have the most suitable gear and equipment for safety as well. Last but not least, have the best time with your adorable pets!
Sarah Brooks is a passionate travel & outdoor blogger who loves to travel and write about her experience. She is currently working with Pursuing Outdoor, which offers ultimate guides and tips on fishing, outdoor, survival, bushcraft, and hunting. Click here for more info about outdoor tips, guides and more.