Traveling with your pet and furry friend can be an exciting experience, especially when it comes to exploring new destinations together. For dog owners, the idea of flying with their beloved pets may seem daunting at first, but with proper planning and understanding of airline policies, it can be a smooth and stress-free process. In this article, we will guide you through the essentials of flying with dogs in the cabin, ensuring a comfortable and safe journey for both you and your canine companion.
1. Choose a Dog-Friendly Airline
Not all airlines allow dogs in the cabin, so it's crucial to research and select a dog-friendly airline. Look for airlines that have specific policies and guidelines for pet traveling in the cabin. These airlines often provide a dedicated area for pets, ensuring their safety and well-being throughout the flight.
2. Review Airline Policies and Requirements
Once you have chosen an airline, carefully review their policies and requirements regarding flying with a dog in the cabin. Each airline has its own set of rules, which may include size and weight restrictions, carrier dimensions, and health documentation. Ensure that you comply with all the necessary regulations to avoid any last-minute surprises.
3. Select the Right Carrier
Investing in a suitable dog carrier is essential for a smooth journey. The carrier should be well-ventilated, secure, and spacious enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Check the airline's guidelines for carrier dimensions, as they may have specific requirements. Familiarise your dog with the carrier before the trip by allowing them to explore it and associate it with positive experiences. We've put together a dedicated guide that can help you choose the right crate.
4. Prepare Your Dog for Travel
Before the flight, it's crucial to ensure your dog is comfortable and prepared for the journey. Take your dog for regular walks and exercise to help them expend energy before the flight. Familiarise them with being in confined spaces by gradually increasing the duration of time they spend in the carrier. Additionally, consider consulting your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy, up to date on vaccinations, and fit for travel.
5. Pack Essentials for Your Dog
When flying with your dog, it's important to pack all the necessary essentials. Carry an ample supply of food, treats, and a portable water bowl. Bring your dog's favourite toys or blankets to provide a sense of familiarity during the journey. It's advisable to bring some waste bags and absorbent pads in case of accidents. Don't forget to pack any required medications your dog may need during the trip.
6. Arrival at the Airport
Arrive at the airport well in advance to allow sufficient time for check-in and security procedures. Ensure that your dog has gone to the bathroom before entering the airport terminal. Keep your dog on a leash and remain calm and composed, as your pet can sense your emotions. Follow the airline's instructions regarding the check-in process for your dog.
7. During the Flight
Once onboard, place your dog's carrier under the seat in front of you, following the airline's instructions. Keep your dog calm and comfortable throughout the flight by offering reassurance and comfort. Avoid opening the carrier during the flight, as this can be a safety hazard. If your dog becomes anxious, remain calm and try to soothe them with gentle words and gestures.
Flying with dogs in the cabin can be an enjoyable experience if you plan ahead and follow the necessary steps. By choosing a dog-friendly airline, understanding airline policies, selecting the right carrier, and preparing your dog for travel, you can ensure a stress-free journey for both you and your furry friend. Remember, your dog's safety, comfort, and well-being should always be the top priority when flying together.
Do you want to know if your pet would be allowed to fly in the cabin? Discover our dedicated guide outlining all the requirements.