Traveling and flying with your dog

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Since the holiday season is all about spending time with their family, who wants to leave their dog home alone while they travel to visit loved ones. 

Air travel can be so unsettling for dogs.  For this reason, owners should always attempt to find alternatives to commercial airline travel for their pets, especially if you are going to have to check you animal in as cargo.

But sometimes traveling by air is inevitable. For those occasions, a little advance planning is the key to your dog’s comfort.  Following these guidelines from the American Kennel Club will save you unnecessary stress for you and your pup.

  • When traveling by plane, plan to visit your veterinarian before your trip. Certification of health must be provided no more than 10 days before travel. Rabies and vaccination certificates are also required. Your dog should be at least 8 weeks old and weaned.
  • Airlines make it clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to verify the dog’s health and ability to fly. Ask your veterinarian if it would be best for your dog to be tranquilized for the trip. Also be sure to check the temperature of the flight’s starting point and destination; it may be too hot or too cold to be safe for your dog.
  • Federal regulations prohibit shipping live animals as excess baggage or cargo if an animal will be exposed to temperatures that are below 45°F or above 85°F for more than four hours during departure, arrival, or while making connections.
  • Remember that each airline has its own variations on regulations and services. For example, if your crate doesn’t meet its requirements, the airline may not allow you to use it. They may, however, allow your dog in the passenger cabin if your crate or carrier fits under the seat in front of you.  For a list of each airlines rules and links to their pet travel policies, click here.
  • When making your reservations, you must make reservations for your dog. There are restrictions on the number of animals permitted. They are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Carry On Dogs”

For those dogs that are small enough to carry on, it is essential that you have a proper pet carrier to bring on the plane.  There are a number of things that you want to look for to ensure that your pet is as comfortable as possible on the plane.

Make sure that you get a carrier that has good carrying handles so that you can easily maneuver about the airport with your other bags as well.

Make sure that you get a carrier that is certified for use on the airline that you are using. A lot of these carriers are designed so that you can put them under the seat in front of you, so you need to make sure that the one that you go for has the right dimensions so that you can keep your dog nice and close by.

Ventilation and Viewing Windows
You want to make sure that there are plenty of ventilation slots so that your dog gets plenty of air. Some of these will also form viewing windows or mesh that enable you to easily check that your dog is doing OK without disturbing it.

Let’s face it, your dog might get a bit distressed by the changes in its environment and the cabin pressure, so it is quite likely them might make a bit of a mess in the carrier. Most good quality carriers are fully washable with removable inserts for easy cleaning.

If you have traveled with a dog before you will know that while it must be in the carrier at most times, there are various security checks where you will have to get it out of the bag. Often airports can be busy and rushed and these security points so you want to make sure you can get your dog out quickly and easily at these points so that your transition through to boarding can be as smooth as possible. Make sure that your carrier makes this easy for you and that you know how to use it prior to use.

Extra Pockets
Some airlines might limit you to one or two items of cabin baggage so if you carrier has plenty of extra pockets it will ensure that you can carry extra stuff with you easily.

If you get an airline pet carrier that has all these features then your pet will be comfortable and you will be able to have stress free journey.The Mom & Paw shop carries a selection of pet carriers that are guaranteed to be allowed on board and you can view them by CLICKING HERE.

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Published in: on December 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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