Eleven years ago, I was boarding a plane with my husband and two dogs on a new adventure. We were moving to Germany and it never crossed my mind to leave my fur babies behind. In fact, rewind to six months earlier when we first received our military orders the FIRST thing I did was google flying with dogs. That google search did nothing but confuse me further. There was SO much conflicting information. I had no idea what to do. I called my dog’s Veterinarian in hopes they could help point me in the right direction. Once again, dead end. After lots of research and many phone calls I finally figured out the information I needed, and my dogs were officially world travelers.
The first thing you need to do is decide on an Airline. Every airline has different rules and procedures for flying with your furry loved one. I suggest calling the airline and speaking with someone directly. You don’t want to stumble upon an old web article and be surprised the day of your travel to find out that something changed. Only a certain number of animals are allowed on a flight, so you want to make sure you get your spot reserved right away. Another thing to take into consideration is that certain breeds of dogs are banned during the “hotter months”. I was flying with my Boston Terrier who happens to be one of these breeds due to his short snout. Let the airline know when you call the type of dog you are flying with to verify. If you are traveling out of country make sure you do your research on that country as well. Some countries require quarantine or special certificates and vaccinations. Researching each countries regulations will get you prepared for once you land.
Next step is to make an appointment with your Veterinarian. Your pup will need to be up to date on vaccinations and will be required to have a health certificate signed by your veterinarian. Every airline and countries have different rules for the health certificate as well. Some want it 30 days prior to travel but at least seven days from the day of your flight. So, it will take some scheduling to get this at the correct time prior to flight. It’s also a good idea to start getting your pup ready for being in a crate if they aren’t already used to being in one. A couple weeks prior to your flight start putting your pup in the crate they will be flying in so they can become accustomed to it. The last thing you want to do is put your pup in a strange contraption for the first time AND put them on a plane!
There is a few things that you want to make sure you purchase prior to the flight for your pup. First is an airline approved crate. Soft sided crates are only permitted in the cabin. If you dog is too large to fit under the seat you will have to have them fly in the cargo section of the plane. Contact your airline to find the specifications of the crates they allow. Travelbadger can help with the rest of your pup’s in-flight needs. You will need a sticker set for the dog crate. This sticker sets includes three Live Animal Stickers. Two of the live animal stickers need to be put on the back and sides with the arrows pointed up. One live animal sticker without an arrow will be placed on the top of the crate with another sticker that has your dog’s information such as name, destination, food & water instructions and their health information. You can purchase this sticker set here.
You should always have a food/water bowl attached to your pups’ crate. If there is a long layover or delay the airline staff can provide your animal with food or water during that wait. I use Travelbadger’s collapsible dog bowl. It attaches to the dog’s crate with a durable carabiner. Its less bulk in their crate and easy to use. You will also want to bring a leash with you on the plane. Don’t leave the leash in their crate! Flying can be stressful for your pup and you don’t want them getting all tangled in the leash while in their crate. Sedatives are also usually not a good idea. They can alter the pups balance and makes it hard for the dog to maintain their equilibrium. Make sure to talk to your Vet about this and ask for their advice. Travelbadger does offer a natural calming aid that isn’t as harsh as a sedative but keeps your dog calm during their time on the plane. You can also line your dogs’ crate with a puppy pad. It helps if the dog has an accident while also keeping the crate dry from any slobber the dog may produce from stress. When I flew with our dog’s to Germany I went and purchased BRIGHT pink and BRIGHT purple duct tape and wrapped most of the kennel so that it stood out and wasn’t forgotten. The attendant that brought our dogs to us once we arrived at our destination told me that was a great idea! So highly recommend doing that. Just make sure not to put any tape near ventilation holes.
It’s hard not to worry about your pup when they are out of site. Researching and being fully prepared prior to your flight helps! Flying with your pup soon? Head to https://travelbadger.com/collections/pets and use code: PUPPYLOVE to receive 15% off all flying accessories for your pooch.
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