Pets are no less than family to their owners. Naturally, they are ready to pay top dollar for all the special diets, beds, crates, and what not for the comforts of their precious best friend. However, there will always be certain things over which the owners have no control. In instances such as traveling by plane with a dog, it is imperative that they follow the airlines’ rules so one of the first things to do before moving forward would be to call the airline about its policies. Once the policies are clear to you, the other factors you need to consider before traveling with your dog can be weighed. This guide will provide you with the information you need to know about shipping your dog by plane safely and securely while following the rules.
Pets Travelling As Cargo
This depends on the specific airline’s policy as to whether or not they allow live cargo. If they do, there is a specific compartment in which your dog is going to travel that is meant specifically for pets. So, you can take comfort in the fact that your dog is not being tossed around like luggage, even when the term used is ‘cargo’. This compartment is exclusively for animals. It is temperature and pressure controlled, oxygenized and provides basically the same experience for your pet that you experience in the passenger compartment.
When pets fly as cargo, they can travel unaccompanied as well. In fact, this happens way more often than not for a variety of reasons.
Pets Travelling in the Cabin
The other option you have when it comes to shipping your dog by plane is to keep them in the cabin with you. The only requirement is that they should fit in the seat along with you. What if you want to book a full seat for your pet? Well, that is not an option. Cabin travel is not the best way to travel with your pet because sometimes the space under the seat may not even be big enough for a cat. But yes, it is a lot cheaper than flying them over as live cargo. Nevertheless, it might bring you some peace of mind to have your pet right with you while travelling.
The Proper Crate
If you choose the cargo travel option, make sure to pick a spacious crate so that your dog has plenty of room to move around in case it gets anxious. The pet has to be comfortable so that they have room to move. Also, make sure that you buy only quality crates, so that your dog is secured in the cargo at all times. The NOSTONOZ Soft crate is perfect for air travel.
Only small dog breeds can travel in the cabin with you. Even if you have a small dog that fits the requirements, the area under the seat is restrictive and it differs from airline to airline. While taking your pet into the cabin, make sure that you opt for a soft sided crate, which is flexible. Soft crates are important because it will keep its nose and feet from sticking out of the crate like it would with a wired crate. In the cabin, you are not allowed to take the pet out of the crate. It goes without saying that if you choose to take your pet with you in the passenger cabin, you should always make sure to keep an eye on it throughout the flight.
Lastly, you have to make sure that the soft sided crate has a solid leak proof floor covered with a towel. This is especially important if the flight is international and longer than a 4-5 hours. Toilet accidents do occur on these types of flights so it is important for the crate to have materials that will absorb its urine and keep the smell to a minimum.
Know Your Dog
Please consider whether your dog is ready and properly trained for air travel. If you have a restless dog on your hands, cabin travel may become a headache. Some may even suffer from separation anxiety, even while next to you. They will keep barking and bumping the crate. This may create a nuisance for not only other passengers, but you as well. Most importantly, your dog may become anxious during the long flight, and yearn to come out of its crate to be with you. They can create quite a ruckus on the plane.
Final Factors to Consider
- Always make sure you call the airline directly to reserve a space for your pet at least 36 hours before day of departure. Sometimes spaces fill up quickly so do it as soon as possible
- Make it a priority to feed your pet within four hours of the flights departure time. Water is also important to have on you so they don’t get dehydrated while in their crate.
- Depending on the temperatures in your country at the point in time of your departure, make sure to travel in the evenings when it is hot and during the day when it starts to get cold.
- Always carry copies of your dogs vaccine documents that your vet should have given you.
- Make sure that you do a check up a month before you expect to leave. Your dog should be in good health if you choose to fly with it.
- Fly only direct flights whenever possible because connecting flights tend to be to much for the average dog. It could definitely work but you should try to avoid this kind of scenario.
Now that you know what things to consider, you can decide whether traveling by air is possible with your dog and you should have an idea by now of how to prepare for this kind of trip.