Post # 1
Has anyone ever flown with their pets? I am traveling back east with my 4 month old pomeranian puppy and am kind of nervous about it. I didn’t want to board him because I will be away for 2 weeks and I don’t have any family where I live that could watch him for that long. Plus I love him and want him to come with me 🙂 I was just wondering if anyone had any tips about flying with their pets? I am mostly worried about him being really stressed out uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable? He will be in the cabin with me not in the cargo area. I take him in the car all the time and he is pretty good with it! He just wants to sit in my lap most of the time or chew on whatever he can lol.. I am worried though because he can’t sit on my lap on the airplane. I heard you can get sedatives to help with anxiety but have read mixed reviews on them. Any advice would be great!! Thanks 🙂
Post # 3
@Jav4491: What airline are you flying? This might be helpful for tips and tricks that follow the airline’s specific requirements.
(I have two Poms, aren’t they just the cutest things?)
Post # 4
I am flying southwest!
And yes they are so cute!! Their personalities are so much fun! 🙂
Post # 5
@Jav4491: I see Southwest is raising their fees to $95.00 each way per dog. That is steep!
- Pet carriers are limited to maximum dimensions of 8.5” high x 18.5” long x 13.5” wide.
- Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers are acceptable.
- The carriers must be leak-proof and well ventilated.
- The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer and be stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations
Check out this free information brochure from the American Verterinary Medical Association: https://ebusiness.avma.org/EBusiness50/files/productdownloads/traveling_brochure.pdf.
A few key points:
-Acclimatise your dog to the new crate by leaving it in your home with a nice bed and treats. Make it a pleasant place to go.
-Do not let the dog eat 2-4 hours before travel to prevent potty and sickness issues.
-If you are concerned your dog will be extremely stressed by the journey, chat with your vet. Sedation may be possible, but such drugs can affect the way a dog copes with temperature changes and may actually increase agitation. If sedation is being considered, test the protocol before the day to ensure no adverse effect.
-Make sure to arrive early enough that you have plenty of time to give your dog exercise and potty time.
Post # 6
I flew with my 8 week old lab puppy, and again when he was 10 weeks old.
Research the ‘Pet Area’ At Any Airports You’re Going to Be At: Most airports have a pet area where your pup can be free and go potty. Some are better than others. Some aren’t even enclosed. Make sure you know where they are. Some gate attendents are cool with you playing with your puppy in the gate waiting area, just don’t expect that to be true. You as his owner know how long he can hold it. If you can’t make it to the pet area, and want him to ‘go’ before/after the flight, there’s no shame in bringing a puppy pad into a handicapped stall and having him go there.
Know the Rules: You already know your pup has to be under the seat at all times. If you get a nice flight attendent, they may allow you to put the bag on your lap, but that’s only if they’re really nice. Many states require an up-to-date Certificate of Veterinary Inspection from a licensed, accredited veterinarian when traveling. Your pet must be examined by a veterinarian in order for a health certificate to be issued. This certificate basically indicates your pet is healthy to travel and is not showing signs of a disease that could be passed to other animals or to people. I’ve never gotten this (just taken the puppy’s medical history) and never had them check. But just know, that they can ask and can deny you from boarding the plane with your dog if you don’t have it.
You also should know that you will need to take your pup out of the carrying case to go through security, and that that’s the worst part of the process because everyone wants to pet them, and they get all excited and so the last thing they want to do is go back in.
Plan in Advance: If you haven’t already, start making his carrying case a WONDERFUL place to be. Put high value treats in there to have him explore: hot dogs, cheese, chicken, steak. If you don’t crate train, start leaving him in there for an hour at a time while you do other things in another part of the house. The first time he is in there for a long period of time should not be the day you get on the plane.
For long trips we get K9 Calming Wafers. It has the same effect as a human drinking chamomille tea, it just takes the edge of the experience. We couple that effect with tiring them out. Don’t let your puppy nap at all before your flight until he is past security. If it’s a morning flight, wake up earlier than normal and get in lots of play/walks. If it’s a later flight, obviously don’t deny them sleep but make sure they get lots of exercise before they get on the plane. That way, it’s just a nap time for them.
Hope that helps!
Post # 7
@Jav4491: In response to this @beeintraining Southwest is pretty strict about keeping the dog in the crate during the flight.
Also, just FYI they have a limit on dogs at six maximum but it could be fewer and is at Southwest’s discretion. I would call and discuss your flight to make sure this isn’t a problem.
Post # 8
I have only flown with my cat once. I bought my ticket online and paid the pet fee and when I checked in at the first airport no one asked about him or gave me something for him, but at the gate for my connecting flight they asked me where my receipt for him was. They still let me on. If you have connecting flights make sure you have something that documents you paid the pet fee.
My cat was a very good flyer, he screams bloody murder in the car so I’m not sure why the airport and plane were so much different for him to be relaxed. I personally prefer anti-anxiety mediations to sedatives for travel if a pet gets upset. They can still be stressed/anxious with sedatives, they are just too dopey to make a fuss about it. There are better options for dogs for short term anti-anxiety meds then there are for cats. I tried Xanax in my cats for a long road trip and they were both high as a kite and freaking out!
Depending on where you are flying to/from you may need a veterinary inspection certificate or just proof of rabies vaccinations. I’ve never been asked to show them flying/driving across the US/Canada border but I’ve had them just in case.