Have an upcoming flight your furry family member will be joining you on and need some tips for how to fly with pets? Flying with a cat or dog can be smooth sailing if you’re properly prepared. And, with our list of tips, you will be!
Tips on How to Fly with Pets
For an enjoyable flying with your pet experience, your first step will be to do your research to find out the specific pet policies (including age and breed restrictions) of the airline you’re flying.
Be sure to check back frequently to have the most up-to-date information. Then refer to the flight-related tips below and read our other tips for traveling with pets.
-Schedule a vet visit before your flight - Take your pet to the vet for a checkup and to see if he’s a good flight candidate, as some pets struggle with travel due to factors such as age or temperament. Also, airlines typically require you to get a health certification and rabies and vaccination certificates from your vet within a certain number of days before traveling.
-Book your tickets early- Make a reservation as soon as possible. Since airlines typically limit the number of pet carriers in the cabin (the carrier must fit below the seat in front of you), you’ll want to confirm there’s room for your pet before purchasing your ticket.
-Buy the right pet carrier – The best carriers for flying should be big enough for your pet to stand, turn and lie down. You’ll also want one with ventilation on opposing sides, a water bottle and a leakproof bottom covered with absorbent material.
For the most convenient way to transport your pet carrier, look for one with wheels. For safety, place a “Live Animal” label with arrows pointing to the upright position and include your name, address, and phone numbers on the label.
As a side note, if you’re wondering if you can buy your dog a seat on an airplane, most airlines won’t allow you to. And for those that do, there are strict rules and regulations to follow. As is always recommended, check the specific policies of the airline you’re flying.
-Make the carrier comfortable - Flying can be stressful for pets. To help your pet relax, place some of his favorite items in the carrier, such as a blanket, a beloved toy, a tiny pillow, and a shirt with your scent on it.
To get your pet acclimated to the carrier before your flight, you can put him in it for trips to fun places like a dog park.
-Make sure your pet can be found easily– Put ID tags on your pet and consider implanting him with a microchip in the event he gets lost.
-Feed your pet before the trip - Give your pet food about four hours before your flight since traveling with a full stomach can be uncomfortable for your dog or cat. But you should give him water right up until the time of travel – and see if he can go to the bathroom at the airport before boarding.
-Get your dog some exercise before your flight - If your dog is tired, he’s more likely to sleep during the flight. Start burning energy the day before by taking him to his favorite park or playing fetch. On the day of travel, take a long walk before your flight.
-Pack a pet bag - In addition to medications, treats, food and water, pack copies of your pet’s vaccination records, medical history and your vet’s contact information.
Now that you know how to prepare to fly with your pet, be sure you have the right luggage for your own belongings! Shop online to find the BR bag that’s the right match for your travel needs.
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