10 Great Tips for Flying with a Dog In-Cabin

Deciding to take your dog on an in-cabin flight can be stressful for the pet owner and your four-legged companion. We want to provide some important tips that can greatly reduce the stress of travel for you both.

Contrary to what most people believe, dogs consider themselves part of a pack and not just a family member. Dogs will normally cue off one person’s authority over other members of the family because they see that person as the pack leader.

When dogs are separated from their leader, he or she will become stressed. That’s why it’s important to make sure their in-cabin flight is comfortable and stress-free.

Having to fly with your dog away from you, in the cargo bay, is also stressful for the owner. It’s perfectly natural to want to know how your dog is being treated. This post is intended to provide dog owners with an understanding of how to reduce this type of stress when flying in-cabin.

10 Ways to Make Flying with a Dog In-Cabin Easier

The Crate

The first thing you want to find out from the airlines is the required crate for your dog to travel in. You will also need to know the regulations of transporting live animals as each airline has their own rules. Overseas airline carriers require a certain type of crate because of customs and immigration policies. So find out this first.

Moving the Dog Inside the Crate

Try moving the crate around with your dog inside, daily, a week before your flight. That way he or she can get used to the movement and being crated for longer periods of time. Each day build up their tolerance level for being locked away a little bit longer.

Noise Level Tolerance

Your dog will be hearing a lot of noise inside the crate, especially when they are going into the cargo hold of a plane. Helping them adjust to noise, car horns, sirens and other machinery will reduce their stress levels.

Put the crate outside with the dog inside and leave them for about 30 minutes at a time. This noise adjustment will greatly reduce their fear of flying.

Flying with a Dog In-Cabin

Flying Time with Your Dog

Check on the time and how long you will be flying. You will need to build up a tolerance level with your dog concerning barking, growling, and stress.

If the airline policy says your dog must remain in the cargo hold, the dog will need to hear and deal with noise. It is prudent to know ahead of schedule how much stress your dog can take before they act out.

Vet Checkup

Before you can take your dog on any airline, they will need a clean bill of health from the vet. If you are planning on going overseas, you will need to make sure that your dog immunization schedule is up to date.

You will also need to know the country that you are going to require any extra veterinarian care. Some countries, like Australia, do not have rabies. They require quarantine conditions for your dog before they will be released.

Plenty of Exercise

Making sure your dog gets exercise the day before the flight, will tire them out, so they will sleep. In this case making the dog over tired is a good thing because Your pet will sleep for a longer period while they are inside the crate.

Ask your vet about sleeping medications for your dog. Find out if your dog’s breed can handle being medicated and if there are any side effects when they wake up, such as vomiting. If you can give your dog sleeping medication, it would reduce stress issues.

Night before the Flight

The airline should allow you to pack a few of your dog’s toys away in the crate, so he has something to occupy him. Also on his collar should be his rabies vaccination disk along with your name and phone number should the dog somehow escape. Make sure people can read the contact instructions clearly in case there are problems or a health issue with your pet.

Day of the Flight

The dog should only have a light meal at least six hours before you get on the plane. Your pet will be nervous enough, and they should not need to defecate in their crate, especially if you have fed and walked your dog hours before the flight.

Remember your dog cannot get out of the crate and may be sitting inside for hours if you are transferring to an overseas location.

Remain Calm

If you are nervous and tensed up, your dog will know. The worst thing you can do is to become overly stressed about your dog being in the cargo hold of the plane.

Play a favorite game with the dog before the flight, so the both of you are more comfortable about the separation. Your dog is a pack animal, so he or she will sense your emotions and stress. Remain happy because this encourages your dog to be the same way.

Reunion Time

Proper planning regarding where to pick up your dog after the flight will reduce stress. He has been through a journey, and he will be tired, thirsty and probably be anxious. Getting to your dog quickly and seeing your face is essential to his emotional well-being.

Well there you have it, 10 useful tips for flying with a dog in-cabin. Both you and your dog deserve the best care possible. With prior planning, the trip you take can be relaxing and stress-free.