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Essential tips for traveling with your furry friend by air

Here are things to consider before travelling with a dog

While travel is often a rewarding adventure, it can become more challenging when you add a dog to the equation. Nevertheless, numerous pet owners choose to fly with their dogs for various reasons, such as creating new memories and enjoying the comfort of having their furry companions by their side. Many accommodations, airlines, restaurants, and resorts are pet-friendly, which can give pet owner all the more reason to travel with their dog. However, before embarking on a journey with your canine companion, it is essential to consider a few factors to determine if this is the right travel path for you and your dog.

Research pet-friendly destinations

When determining your dog's placement on an airplane, be sure to factor in your destination. Smaller dogs typically designated as carry-ons in the main cabin might need to travel in the cargo hold for international flights. Some airlines also prohibit dogs in the cabin on flights to specific countries. Do a little research to identify the optimal route and airline for flying with your dog.

Not all dogs are suited for air travel

Planning an air journey with your pet involves numerous factors to consider. However, first and foremost it is crucial to acknowledge that not all dogs are well-suited for airline travel, particularly if they have to endure the stresses of cargo transportation. The fluctuating air pressure, temperature variations, exposure to numerous unfamiliar people, and overall discomfort can be challenging. Overseas trips and extended flights with multiple layovers may be overwhelming for both you and your pet. Evaluate all options carefully, choosing the one that best aligns with your pet's comfort level.

Check airlines’ pet policy

Flying with a dog involves a range of different policies depending on the airline. It is vital to contact your airline before your flight to inform them about your canine companion. This step allows you to inquire about the airline's specific pet policies, providing clarity on what to anticipate during the journey. It is also important to know that many airlines set limits on the number of pets allowed per flight, making it essential to be aware of and adhere to these restrictions.

Keep pet travel paperwork and certificates ready

Airlines may request that you complete and submit a health certificate before boarding, though specific policies vary depending on the airline and the pet's location on the plane. It is best to inquire with your airline about the necessary paperwork to ensure you are well-prepared for a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Be aware of ear discomfort

Similar to humans, dogs' ears can be impacted by high altitudes during a flight. Your pet might undergo mild discomfort and ear pain, but this typically lasts only a few minutes. Dogs possess the remarkable ability to naturally equalize pressure in their ears, thanks to the distinctive design of their outer ear canal.

Inquire about service dogs

When it involves service dogs or emotional support animals, different rules apply when flying with them. Although regulations vary among airlines, many permit fully trained service dogs to travel in the main cabin without additional fees. Both service animals and emotional support animals may require evidence of their training and certification, along with proof of vaccinations. For emotional support animals, a letter from a medical professional may also be required.