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Five Tips for Flying with Dogs

December 12, 2018 3 min read

When you first become a dog owner, you are likely imagining all the joy you will experience having a cute and furry friend to greet you at the door, the walks you will take together, and the cuddles you will have on the couch.

You may not even be aware that as a new pet owner there aresome key essentials you may need. For some dog owners, the need to travel comes up and they feel overwhelmed, this isn’t something they ever considered before.

But don’t worry, here are the top tips for flying with dogs to help you and your four-legged friend tackle any challenge that might come your way if ever you should need to do some air travel with your dog.

  • Be Sure That Flying is The Right Way to Go
  • In some cases, flying is the only option, especially if there is a large body of water that separates you and your next destination. But what if your distance isn’t quite as long and you think traveling by land would be preferable, first consider all the travel options open to you and your dog.

  • The Cost of Flying with a Dog
  • Once you have researched all the possible ways of traveling with dogs and have settled on flying, you should then consider thecost of flying with a dog. The size of your dog is typically what matters the most, a smaller dog that can fit in a carrier, and even better yet, under your seat will be the least expensive.

    That said, each airline needs to approve of your dog traveling aboard their services and typically doesn’t allow more than one or two furry friends per flight. If your dog is too big for a carrier you will have to check her in as either accompanied luggage or as air cargo, unaccompanied luggage.

    In this situation, the cost may vary depending on the airline you have chosen.  If you are fortunate enough that your dog will travel in a carrier and this is her first dog flight, resist the temptation to pad her carrier with a blanket. Air travel with dogs is something that they are not accustomed to, and accidents can occur.

  • A Proper Carrier
  • One of the worst things that can happen is when you arrive at the airport, only to be turned away because your dog carrier is not airline-compliant. Be sure to be well-informed on the crate or kennel you need exactly and be sure to use crate hardware so that everything is secure.

    Labeling is also very important when traveling with dogs, especially if there is more than one on board the flight. Be sure to include all your contact information, her name, and your flight number. You can even cover the crate or kennel with a blanket to limit exposure to the outside world.

  • Flying with Dogs and Anxiety
  • Anxious moments will likely pop up. To help alleviate the anxiety your dog may feel while traveling on a plane be sure to book a direct flight during non-peak hours; fewer people and less time spent on an airplane and at an airport is a big help.

    If you are an anxious traveler, she is likely to feel your nervous tension, so do your best to remain calm. You can also talk to your veterinarian about ways to help her keep calm. Treats, a calming all-natural lavender spray, reflexology, and a calm voice all will go a long way when flying with anxious dogs.

  • Extra Tips
  • Flying with dogs can make traveling that much more stressful. Be sure to follow the airline’s requirements when traveling with dogs, such as having all of her papers up-to-date, including her vaccinations and identification tags.  

    Give yourself plenty of time at the airport so that you and she are not feeling rushed, and see if you can check her in as late as possible before your flight leaves to help diminish any separation anxiety she may be feeling.

    Don’t be afraid to ask the staff that she has enough water and be sure to let them know that this is her first flight, so you are both a bit nervous. Air travel with dogs may not be a regular everyday occurrence but can sometimes be a necessity, make sure you are both prepared if such an occasion should arise.  


    Guest Author’s Bio:

    Danielle thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. Further to writing for Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a life that is both financially responsible and knowledgeable. When she is not on her computer, she can be found spending time with her husband and two sons.

    Andrew Feld
    Andrew Feld