Feeding and Watering
You’ll need to have a couple of bowls for your dog, these shouldn’t have sharp edges and should be non-toxic, so your normal food and water dish may be perfectly adequate. You’ll have to make arrangements before the flight in order to give instructions to the workers on feeding and watering your animal once airborne.
The USDA requires pets to be fed and watered within the four hours proceeding the flight, so be sure to do so.
You’ll want to feed your dog roughly three to four hours beforehand, as a full stomach can make for an uncomfortable situation. That said, be sure to offer your pet water until just before they are loaded so that they can be adequately hydrated during takeoff.
Your canine will need to have a clean bill of health in order to travel, so a check-up is absolutely necessary before you depart or your friend may not be able to go with you.
Sick and unhealthy animals will not be able to travel with you, so keep that in mind if your friend is ill or nearing the end of his lifespan. If that is the case you’ll have to find a dog sitter who will be able to care for your animal while you’re away.
The certificate should come from a veterinarian and in order to comply with regulations you’ll want to have it done within the ten days leading up to the flight. This is also a good time to discuss with your vet any specific issues and seek further advice on your canine’s portion of the adventure.
Tranquilizers don’t exactly come highly recommended, but if your dog is particularly high-strung but healthy the decision to sedate your animal should be made with your veterinarian. They will have the best advice for you and if you come to a joint conclusion in favor of some sort of doggy downer arrangements can be made.
Snub-nosed dogs are particularly susceptible to the combination of high-altitude and depressants. Your pug or bulldog will most likely have to remain fully conscious for the flight, and in general, there are some restrictions on moving these lovable breeds around that vary per airline.
Different countries and even states within the U.S. will have differing policies regarding your pet. You’ll want to sort all of this out beforehand, make sure you do a little bit of research. Even the temperature may affect how and when you can take your dog somewhere. This may require a bit of study on your part, but you’ll be glad you did it in most cases.
You’ll find out that different airlines have different policies regarding your pet’s travel options. Some won’t allow dogs in the cabin at all while others will have much looser policies regarding the matter. Generally speaking, an animal much bigger than fifteen pounds is probably going to have to travel as cargo. Make sure that you select your flight with your canine in mind, this factor can make all of the difference.
You’ll also want to make sure you keep in mind that there is almost always a fee for transporting your pet, so shop around for the best policies and prices. As a general rule, Delta is generally considered the best for your pets but carries high fees, and Southwest Airlines will usually have the lowest fees, but you may be able to offset the cost by shopping.
One final thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to arrive at least two hours before you board in order to ensure time for preparations. It’s extremely helpful to have your dog already fed at this point, but you may want to offer water up until the time of boarding.
While air travel may at times be a bit stressful for both you and your canine, you can make things much more easily manageable by taking your time to go over this checklist. With proper preparation, you can make things as easy as possible, and ensure happy travels for both you and your favored companion.
Find more info at:
USDA Pet Travel.gov