How to prepare your dog for air travel. Imagine this: you’re terrified of everything, you could never grasp the concept of air travel and airplanes no matter how much you try, and not being around your mom and dad scares the living hell out of you. Yes, this is how your dog feels every day, all day.
Dogs are extremely gentle creatures, and as such, they would love nothing more than for you to never leave their side, or even better, if you could all live happily ever after in your backyard where you’re safe. So naturally, if you’re planning to take a faraway trip with your furry compadre, you’re in for a challenge.
Overcoming this particular challenge will require careful planning and preparation, as well as exact execution when the flight day actually comes. The truth is, however, that your dog is not going to love flying no matter how much you train them to handle this stressful ordeal. Nevertheless, you can alleviate the pressure by following these essential steps to flying safely with your pooch.
Determine the best airline and flying option
Fortunately, an ever-increasing number of airline companies are starting to welcome dogs into their cargo holds and even flight cabins. This means that if you do some digging around, you can find an airline that allows small pets to fly with you in the passenger area.
A great resource where you can find the best pet friendly air charter flights is the Pet Jets as they can provide free air charter quotes that can give you a comprehensive overview of your flight options and costs, especially if your relocating with your pets. Remember, not all airlines will offer the same handling service, so you want to make sure you find the best option that will guarantee the safety of your pet, especially if your dog has to fly in a crate.
Assess whether or not your dog is fit to fly
Not all dogs should board an airplane, this should be clearly understood from the get-go. Generally speaking, airline companies do not recommend (and some strictly forbid) puppies under eight weeks old to fly, and the same goes for elderly or sick dogs. Likewise, if you have a short-nosed breed, you might want to refrain from taking the dog with you on your journey, as short-nosed breeds run a significantly higher risk of overheating.
Health conditions aside, your dog also needs to be properly trained to handle the stress of flying. This not only means that the airline is not responsible if your dog starts panicking and tries to hurt itself, it also means that you will be escorted out of the plane if the dog displays aggressive behavior in any way.
Tend to proper crate training well in advance
In order to ensure your dog handles this stressful situation, you will need to tend to proper crate training well before flight date arrives. You want to look for crates and other pet supplies online that will ensure your furry friend is comfortable, has plenty of room, and has plenty of toys to keep occupied during flight. Remember that giving your dog a chew toy will be essential in managing stress and shifting their focus from the “terror” around them onto the toy.
Given the fact that dogs are highly emotional creatures and need constant mental stimulation as well as physical interaction with their owners and humans in general, you will need to find a decent substitute for their time spend in the cargo hold. While there is really nothing that can replace you, a good idea is to cover the floor of the crate with worn clothes or their bed, allowing your pooch to calm down by breathing in your familiar smell.
Follow the proper procedure on flight day
Come flight day, you not only want to have all of the necessary documentation at the ready so that your dog is boarded without a hitch, but you also want to tend to several crucial steps to make sure your pooch is ready to travel. First, make sure you monitor your dog’s food and water intake.
While you might want to give your dog plenty of satiating food and water, this might not be the best idea. Instead, your dog should not eat prior to flying, and you want to balance their water intake carefully. Secondly, be sure your dog is all worn out before the flight, as exercise is crucial for keeping your dog healthy, happy, and stress-free. Lastly, you want your pooch to go potty just before they board the plane.
Talk to your vet before reaching a decision
Finally, you should never reach such a decision before first consulting your vet. A veterinarian will be able to tell you whether or not your dog is truly fit to travel, and more importantly, they will be able to prescribe the right sedatives for your dog to take before the flight. Keep in mind that sedating your dog is one of the best pain-free ways for them to muscle through this stressful ordeal.
Dogs and planes don’t go well together; there is no reason to try to convince yourself otherwise. Nevertheless, the entire process needn’t be so excruciating for them if you tend to the proper pre-flight procedures, and take the time to prepare your dog for this challenge several months in advance. Follow the aforementioned steps on how to prepare your dog for air travel and you and your beloved pooch will have no problem having a stress-free flight.