Travelling On Planes – Prepping Your Pet
Travelling on planes can be super stressful for people, and people know what they are getting into. Now think of your poor dog, who does not know what they are getting into. Yes, it can be very stressful and hard for a dog to get on a plane, not to mention to actually be comfortable. Follow these tips on prepping your pet for air travel in order to make life easier for both you and your pet.
- Don’t Overdo It With Food & Drink
Sure, dogs get hungry and thirsty just like you do too, but a dog does not have the liberty of getting out of its seat during a flight to go to the loo. A dog has to sit in its crate or carrier bag, and yes, on long flights, chances are it will use the bathroom in the crate, which you need to be prepared to clean up.
The point here is that you want to take the water bowl away from your dog a few hours before you get on the flight. The less water is in your dog, the less the chances of puddles forming under your seat. The same can be said for food. Don’t feed your dog in the morning before you get on the airplane. Or, if you have a flight that departs at night, do not feed the dog after noon. Yeah, give your dog a bit of water on the plane, but don’t overdo it.
The thing to remember here is that if your dog does not have food in its system, it probably won’t have to go number 2 on the plane. Sure, your puppy might get a little hungry and thirsty, but you can always make up for it after the flight. There is also the fact that dogs are susceptible to motion sickness, so the less food and drink is in their system, the better off they, you, and all other passengers on the plane are.
- A Comfy Carrier And Blankets
Another big tip to help prep your doggo for airplane travel is to get a good carrier. You need a carrier that is soft and comfortable, especially if you have a long flight ahead. Do keep in mind that the carrier has to be able to fit under the seat in front of you, or else you will not be allowed to bring the dog into the passenger cabin. At any rate, a good carrier is a must have here.
Now, a dog is not going to like a carrier for the most part, which is especially true if it is the first time inside of it. The best thing to do here is to get your dog accustomed to the carrier, starting at least a few weeks before the flight. To ensure that your dog is comfy in the carrier, make sure to present the carrier as a treat or a doggy home, not a punishment or prison. Start off slow and encourage your pup to enjoy the carrier, not to hate it. This will make life much easier when you get on the plane. Nobody is going to like you if your puppy cries the entire time.
On that same note, you do want to bring a pillow and some blankets. Nowadays, those airplanes are cold as ice, especially near the floors due to horrible air conditioning systems. For some reason, airlines seem to think that anybody that rides an airplane loves to freeze for the duration of the journey. Either way, bring along some blankets to keep your doggo warm.
- Exercise & Bathroom
Another important thing you need to do to prep your pet before flying is to ensure that they get plenty of exercise, a serious amount of it. A restless dog that has not gotten its share of movement is not going to be happy or comfortable on a plane. It won’t want to rest and it is going to move around, plus make noise.
It’s probably going to end up bugging you and everybody around you. You really want to tire the animal out before getting on the plane. On that same note, make sure you take the dog to do its business before getting on the airplane. Also, knowing where pet rests area are in the airports you will be going to is important as well. You don’t want a restless dog that needs to do its business on a plane. That’s not fun for anybody.
- Consider Some Light Medication
Now, for most normal travel, we would usually never recommend medicating your dog to calm it down. However, air travel is a bit different, and for dogs it can be very difficult. Yes, medication might create a pattern of dependency, but for the occasional flight, it should be just fine. You don’t have to give your dog anything serious, just something to calm the nerves a little bit. This is something you want to consider, especially if your dog has a nervous or anxious personality to begin with.
- Visit The Vet Prior To Flying
Something that you should also do to prepare your dog for a flight is to get it examined by a vet, Simply put, an expert opinion on the matter might come in handy. For one, super scared or skittish dogs might not be the best to bring on an airplane. Moreover, if your dog has any kind of health issues, especially in terms of heart health, such as blood pressure issues, flying should probably be avoided at all costs.
- Choose The Time Of Year
Finally, it is recommended that you only engage in air travel with your pet in the spring or fall, but not during the winter or summer. You don’t want your dog being excessively hot or cold during the trip. For one, it will be very uncomfortable, plus it can also pose some serious health risks. Doing this is best avoided.
At the end of the day, if you follow these tips in terms of prepping your dog for air travel, all should be just fine. Remember that dogs have emotions like us when bring them into a new foreign situation take the time to prepare them for the journey.