Many of us need to travel. Whether it is for work or to visit family and friends, eventually it can be more convenient to fly. Travel requires a decent amount of planning that must be done to make sure everything is fine at home while you are away. How about your dog? The cost and hassle of trying to find someone to pet sit can be very discouraging. Also, who wants to leave their best friend at home? We have good news, though. You can bring your best friend with you! Keep reading to learn some great tips for flying with your pet.

Sadly, most airlines think of dogs as cargo, and they treat them as such. Your companion will be stowed with the luggage unless he/she is small enough to fit in a carrier underneath the seat in front of you. Since your pooch will most likely be stored with the luggage, it is crucial to try and book a direct flight and to book your flight as early as possible. The least amount of time your pet spends stowed away underneath the plane, the better.


When planning your trip, make sure to also plan a visit to your favorite veterinarian before your departure. It is important that your dog is up-to-date on all of its vaccinations. You may be required to obtain a health certificate to show the airlines that your dog is fit to fly. You should plan on scheduling this appointment at least two weeks before your flight to give yourself some breathing room in case you need to return to your veterinarian a second time.

The next step that you need to take is finding the right carrier for your dog. Luckily, you might already have one of these if you keep them in a carrier while you are not home. The dog should be able to stand, sit, lie down and move around inside of the carrier that you own. Remember, your best buddy will be spending a significant amount of time inside of this carrier, so make sure he or she is comfortable! Also, don’t forget to label the carrier just in case your dog gets lost during the trip. Include a home address, phone number, your name, your pet’s name, and any other useful information that could help in getting your dog back to you as soon as possible.

Training will always be necessary, but it can be even more so when your dog is flying for the first time. Leading up to the trip, try and practice with the carrier so that your dog is not afraid of being left alone inside of it. Treat the carrier like it’s your pet’s home and make it warm and inviting. Start small by leaving your dog inside for ten minutes, but gradually increase to longer times so that the flight time will be no big deal. You can start by keeping your dog in the carrier while you make dinner but eventually get to the point where three or four hours isn’t a problem.

Flying might not be everyone’s favorite activity, but it can be better knowing your best friend is waiting for you when you arrive. Make sure to plan ahead to make everything as easy as possible and to have confidence going ahead with your travels. Although flying can be stressful, it may be even more stressful leaving your best friend alone with someone you don’t know very well. To schedule a veterinary appointment before your travels, contact us today!