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Tips For Flying With Dogs

10 Pro Tips For Taking Your Dog on a Plane

Before we know it, Summer will be upon us, which obviously means vacation time! If you're one of those families who takes your dog along wherever you go, we have some handy tips for if your travel includes a plane. DogVacay's resident pet expert Nicole Ellis frequently travels with her Bichon/Miniature Poodle mix, Maggie, and they put together a checklist of what to do before, during, and after a flight if you're bringing a small dog onto the plane with you.

  1. Call the airline ahead of time to make sure your dog's crate is an appropriate size to bring onto the plane.
  2. You should register your dog on the flight ahead of time, as many airlines have a capacity of the number of pets they will take per flight. You have to buy them a ticket, so booking early is key!
  3. Try to book a direct flight so you are dealing with less airports and staff, making the trip less hectic and more relaxing for you and your pup.
  4. Ask the airline if they have any special immunization requirements. You will be asked to show your pet's records at the airport and will want to make sure your pet has all the correct shots. Be sure to check they don't expire before your return flight.
  5. Make sure you ID your pet and the carrier. The ID should include your pup's name, all your contact information, and where your pet is traveling to and from.
  6. Practice time in the carrier before you have to leave. Some pets can be stressed in a carrier, so doing some practice drives around town with your pet in the carrier could help them get used to their environment.
  7. Don't give anything to relax your pet unless specifically recommend by your vet — with the altitude changes, sedatives can cause major repository and cardiovascular problems.
  8. Before flying with your dog, take him on a leisurely walk beforehand (one hour before). You want your dog to be relaxed and not be too amped up.
  9. Don't feed your pup too soon before your flight — upset tummies are easy to get while traveling. It's best not to feed anything up to six hours before.
  10. Go for a nice walk when you land! It's a great way to help your pet relax and understand the same routine holds in the new location.
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