When you have to take your dog along with you on a trip and the option of traveling to the destination is by air, there are some things that you need to remember to make the trip a more pleasant one. No one wants to have to stuff their dog into a crate and have them fly in the plane’s cargo area, but there is quite often no other choice. The airlines will want the dog in a crate so that it can be sedated for the flight.
The only thing that you can really do is basically ensure that their trip is as comfortable as possible and this is where the preparation for the flight becomes so important. In order to help you prepare your dog for the trip, there are some things that you can do before the trip occurs.
1) For starters, you will need to purchase a USDA approved kennel crate for the trip. This crate needs to be designed for the trip as well as be the right size for the dog to be safe and comfortable in. Make sure that there is just enough room for your dog to be able to stand as well as turn around inside of the crate.
2) Do not wait until the last minute to stuff your dog into the crate for the flight but instead, let him get used to the crate for a week or so prior to the flight. When there is only about a week left before you take the flight, have your dog sleep in the crate at night time so that he or she can grow accustomed to it. This will make the separation during the flight a much simpler process for the dog to undergo.
3) In the event that the flight itself will last longer than 10 or12 hours, make sure to tape a small bag of the dog’s food to the outside of the travel crate along with the instructions on feeding the dog so that the airline staff can attend to the dog’s needs while it is in their care.
4) Above all, you do not want your dog to miss the final destination, so make sure that you also write the flight destination on the top of the crate so that the baggage handlers can ensure that the dog makes it to the destination. Furthermore this should be written large enough to clearly read as well as include your phone number and address through which you can be contacted through should the need arise.
5) For the six hour period prior to taking the flight, make sure that you do NOT feed the dog. The last thing that you or the dog wants is for the dog to have an accident while inside the cramped kennel during the flight.
6) Before the actual flight, just as a precaution line the bottom of the crate with a layer of newspaper to collect the urine should an accident occur during the flight.
7) You also do not need for you dog to become dehydrated during the flight so make sure you place two bowls of which one is filled with a bit of water while the other has ice in it, into the crate for the flight.
8) If you have a small dog like a toy poodle or even a Chihuahua, then the airline may allow you to utilize a small soft shell kennel which you can place under your seat and take the dog into the plane’s cabin with you when you board.