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Taking Dogs as Cargo on Planes

6 Things to Keep in Mind If Your Dog Is Traveling as Cargo on a Plane

Before you know it, your next vacation will be here, and you definitely don't want to leave your beloved big dog behind. While bringing a small dog on a plane is fairly easy, there's a bit more that goes into bringing a big dog and checking him as cargo. DogVacay's resident pet expert Nicole Ellis, who frequently travels with her Bichon/Miniature Poodle mix, Maggie, gave us some things to keep in mind if you're sending your dog under the plane.

  1. Call to make sure that your pup's crate is the right size and register them on the flight ahead of time.
  2. Some breeds have a harder time flying in cargo, so check with your airline to make sure your dog's breed is accepted.
  3. For short-nosed breeds, it's best to travel in the middle of the day in colder months and morning or evening in warmer months. It's not a good idea to fly your pet in cargo during very hot months.
  4. Pack a water bottle, like the hanging ball mechanism bottles as they are less likely to spill.
  5. Make sure your pet's nails have been clipped to prevent them from getting stuck on the crate door, air vents, and other holes.
  6. Don't give your pup medicine to calm them down — these can actually make it so that your dog has a hard time adjusting their body temperature. While flying, the air temperature can change (especially below the plane), and it's vital that your pet is able to regulate his or her body temperature during the flight.

While sending your dog under the plane is definitely stressful — after all, you're putting all your trust in someone else to be sure the crate is secured and transported safely — it's an efficient way to travel, and those who work for the airlines are pros at doing this. So go forth and enjoy your next vacation, big dog included!

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