If you have to take travel by plane and need to take your dog you may be worried about what to expect. All airlines will require your pet to have advanced reservations and separate tickets. Taking your pet on the plane will more than likely mean storing them in the cargo area, as only very small dogs are allowed onboard. Tickets for pets can cost more than seats for humans, even if they are onboard and going under the seat. Either way, your dog will need to remain kenneled the entire time they are on the flight.
Before your dog flies you will need to have him or her checked out by a Veterinarian, and will need records of their vaccinations, often referred to as a health certificate. They can’t fly without it. You will also want to make sure that you have enough time between flights to let your dog go potty.
If you’re worried that your pet will need to use the potty during a long flight pee pads or a doggie diaper may be in order. Make sure your pet is in a hard sided travel carrier, and that they’re comfortable and have a toy or two to entertain them. Save feeding until after they’ve departed the plane. You will want to talk to your vet about the safety concerns surrounding your dog’s flight. For some dogs Dramamine or a sedative may be desirable, for others sedation may increase a risk of liver, kidney, or heart failure due to the stress of flight.
When you’re parting from your pet make sure to not make a scene. If you treat the departure and experience as commonplace your pet is less likely to get anxious. Always tip the baggage handler who takes your pet to the hold. Tell baggage handler which flight your pet’s going on, and even your pooch’s name. A tipped attendant is more likely to give your pet the care you’d like. When you finally board your flight tell the flight attendant that you are traveling with your pet, and politely ask them to check on the temperature in the hold. This will let them know that your pet is aboard and that you are concerned. Likely the attendant will return to tell you that they’ve physically checked in on your dog.
If your dog is in the hold he or she will come off the plane first. This will give you plenty of time to pick up your luggage before going to the oversized baggage area, which is where you’ll find your pet. Just like when you’re waiting for your suitcase to come off the plane, wondering if it arrived all right, you may feel nervous as you wait for your dog’s arrival. Don’t be afraid to ask a baggage attendant about the whereabouts of your pet. Even if they don’t know or aren’t sure where your pet is, be patient, because your pet is likely to be unloaded last.