Ever wanted to travel overseas but been worried about not being able to take your dog with you? Well, worry not. Dogs can travel on planes.
Yes, you read that right, they can, but before you book a flight, there are regulations and restrictions that you must consider.
You must research the process if you want your dog to have a happy flight.
This guide is put together with some simple tips on preparing your dog for air travel so your dog can enjoy the flight, which means you get to fly peacefully too.
Tips to Prepare Your Dog for Air Travel
Transporting dogs internationally includes many processing steps, from documents to health examinations, vaccinations, and many more. Therefore, preparing your dog for air travel is essential to ensure they have a comfortable travel experience.
You also have to ensure your dog is well-behaved and trained to follow basic commands. This would help your dog and the relocation partner better understand each other.
We have some tips which can be used to prepare your dog for air travel. Read on to learn all about it.
Before the Flight
A Visit to the Vet
When you decide to travel with your dog, the first thing to do is pay a visit to your dog’s vet. Talk to the vet about your dog’s health for air travel.
The vet will ensure your dog’s safety for air travel based on its health conditions. You will also be told about the necessary vaccinations that your dog must take for air travel. Some health tests may also be required.
Many countries insist on external and internal parasite treatments. So you must choose the best treatment options by discussing them with your vet.
The most important training your dog will need for air travel is the preparation for crate training.
The crate used for your dogs travelling should be IATA – compliant. It should also be big enough for your dog to stand up, lay down and turn around comfortably.
Crate training should be started as early as possible; this will help them overcome anxiety. In addition, early crate training will help your dog associate the crate with a safe place, making it easier for them to get along in it during air travel.
Start the training gradually until your dog is comfortable enough to sleep in the crate overnight, as they must spend many hours in it during the trip.
Socialise Along with Your Dog
Most dogs are nervous and shy around strangers, and air travel would only make it more stressful. You must train your pet to socialise to prevent your dog from stressing when travelling.
Some ways you can help build your dog’s socialisation skills are to take your pet often on road trips, dog-friendly restaurants, and daily walks in the park. This will help them get used to being around strangers and other dogs, which in turn will keep them comfortable being around strangers during air travel.
A Big NO to Tranquilisers and Sedatives
During a flight, vets do not recommend using sedatives for dogs. Dogs react unfavourably to sedatives at high altitudes. If your dog is sedated during the flight, it may cause respiratory distress. You can spray a calming lavender oil on the crate to reduce anxiety for dogs who turn uncomfortable and highly excited in strange environments.
Groom Your Dog
To make your dog feel comfortable during air travel, you must make sure to take your dog for a grooming session before your flight. For example, clip long nails to prevent scratching and trim long hair.
Make sure to let your dog relieve himself before check-in or going through security.
Make Sure Your Dog is Used to Loud Noises
You may have to get your dog trained to loud noises by playing the sounds of aeroplanes taking off at home over the speakers days before your flight. This will help your dog to get familiar with the noise and doesn’t fear it during the flight.
Checklist of Supplies
To comfort your dog, you may consider throwing in a familiar blanket. Also, add your shirt or jacket that smells like you, so your dog remains warm and calm throughout the flight. Do not pack a high-value or sentimental blanket, as the officials may discard it at the airline or customs.
As collars and harnesses are considered choking hazards, your dog will not be allowed to wear any. However, for identification purposes, you can attach a collar and a leash to the crate, ensuring the name tag is attached to the collar.
Your dog must be well hydrated for at least 48 hours before the day of air travel.
Your dog relocation partner will do all the necessary paperwork with identification stickers placed on the crate. If your dog is fussy, you may also provide any necessary medication and a little packet of dry food to the relocation service.
This will be provided to your dog before the flight and during transit stops. Medications will not be administered in-flight but before the flight stops and upon arrival.
On the Day of Travel
Then comes the big day! The day you have been waiting for so long. On the day of travel, ensure your dog drains as much energy as possible by taking your pet for a long walk or run.
Your dog must be fed more petite portions than usual and no more than six hours before the flight, as flying on a full stomach is not advisable during air travel.
Before the flight, a water bowl is attached to the crate’s door, which is usually filled during transits. So you don’t have to worry about that.
Before you fly your dog in cargo, you must let the airlines know you are planning to ship your dog through air travel. Also, make sure to understand the handling procedures of the airlines and the liability they will take in case something goes wrong.
You need to remain calm and composed during the day of your travel, as dogs can easily pick up your moods. For example, if they sense you’re anxious, they will surely catch the same mood as you. So remember to stay relaxed, which will help your dog remain calm during the trip.
Happy travelling! We hope you and your dog have a lovely, stress-free holiday with our simple tips.
But if you cannot take your dog with you and plan to leave your dog at a dog boarding, you should go through our simple tips to help your dog settle in a dog boarding facility with ease.