Air Travel With a Dog – 10 Important Tips

For most dog owners it is a matter, of course, to take their four-legged friend with them on holiday. If the travel destination can be easily reached by car or train, the journey does not pose any major problems for the dog and owner. The situation is different with longer flights: They mean stress for the dog. It even happens that animals taken in the hold do not survive the journey. To keep this danger and the problems associated with the flight as low as possible, we have put together a checklist with the 10 most important tips.

10 tips for flying with a dog

  1. Before you travel, you should have a veterinarian determine whether your dog is healthy enough to take a flight.
  2. Make sure you are traveling on the same plane as your pet and check with the airline if you can be present when your dog is loaded onto the plane.
  3. Use direct flights to minimize travel time. This also prevents mistakes from being made when transferring the animal from one aircraft to another.
  4. Chips are compulsory for dogs and cats! They must also have a blue EU pet passport, which shows the current rabies vaccination. Consult your veterinarian for other required vaccinations.
  5. If you plan to travel in the summer, you may want to choose a morning or evening flight to avoid exposing your pet to excessive heat. In winter, however, an afternoon flight is preferable, as temperatures can drop too much at night.
  6. Your dog should not be fed in the last six hours before the flight. Small amounts of water, on the other hand, are not a problem. The water dispenser in the transport cage must not be overfilled, otherwise, the water will spill into the cage during transport and this can cause additional stress for the animal. Ice cubes in the water can keep it cool longer.
  7. Your dog should have at least four weeks to become familiar with the transport crate before traveling. The cage itself mustn’t add any additional stress.
  8. Do not give your dog sleeping pills or tranquilizers before boarding the flight! These can lead to complications.
  9. Once you arrive, once you are in a safe place, open the carrier and examine your dog. If anything seems wrong, take him to the vet immediately.
  10. Some dog breeds have specific breathing problems. Breeds that have short nasal passages are particularly sensitive to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. If your dog is prone to breathing problems, don’t take them lightly on a flight.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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