The holidays are rolling around, which means you might be doing some travelling! I myself am flying back to my home state, where I'll get to see my dog! But some people prefer, or have to, travel with their dog. And before you do so, you want to make sure you do your research.
If your pup is getting seated in cargo hold, you want to make sure they are nice and cozy. Buy a reasonably sized carrier for them and make sure they have plenty of padding so that their trip is just as enjoyable (or even more enjoyable) than yours.
Also, attach ID tags to their carrier. Just like you need your ID to get through security, they need theirs to make sure they come back to you! As awful as it is, baggage gets left behind or lost sometimes, and animals can be part of this. If the carrier has their information, and your contact information, they'll be able to let you know your dog is safe and when and where you can get them back.
Take a test drive with the carrier. If they've never been in one before, you want to get them adjusted. Put them in the carrier and drive them around in your car for a bit so that they'll get used to the feeling of being in the carrier, as well as being in motion in it.
Make sure your pup is well-drank, well-fed and well-pooped. Bathroom time needs to happen before the flight to assure that they've emptied everything! You want to avoid a mess as much as possible, for their contentment and yours. Feed them before the flight, but not too soon before as a full stomach can be uncomfortable for some dogs while flying. Don't cut back on the water, though. They need to be hydrated, so make sure to feed them water right up until you get on the flight.
No. Meds. You might take sedatives to ease your nerves on the flight, but you can't do the same thing with your dog. While it may seem like a good idea to your that they're calm, medication can actually mess with their respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms in flight.
Arrive early enough to allow for any problems related to bringing your pet. You never know what can happen pre-flight. Most airlines recommend arriving two hours before your flight takes off if you're travelling with a pet. Make sure to have their certificate of health with you.
Bringing them on board:
Some airlines allow smaller dogs to travel on board, some don't. But there are typically extra fees that apply, and some airlines even require you to purchase another seat. Here are a list of major airlines, look to find out whether or not yours allows a pet as a "carry-on." Each price represents the price each way (not round-trip):
Adria - Yes, 50 euro in Europe and 100 euro outside Europe
Aegan - Yes, $25 in Europe and $50 outside Europe
Aer Lingus - No
Air Canada - Yes, $50
Alaska Airlines - Yes, $100
American Airlines - Yes, $125
Delta - Yes, $125
Frontier - Yes, $75
Hawaaiin Airlines - Only inter-island travel and leaving Hawaii, $35
Horizon Air - Yes, $100
JetBlue - Yes, $100
Southwest Airlines - Yes, $95
Spirit Airlines - Yes, $100
Sun Country - Yes, $125
Turkish Airways - Yes, $135 - $350
United - Yes, $125
Virgin America - Yes, $100
West Jet - Yes, $50-$59
So, safe travels everyone! And make sure to plan ahead and keep your dog comfy and happy in-flight!