I’ve moved dozens of times bringing with me my beloved dogs and at one time a cat. One of our ventures involved a fourteen-hour drive, and a cat in a carrier and let’s just say the prescribed kitty tranquilizers didn’t quite cut it, and I could have used a margarita or three. Domestic travel no big deal, but toying with the idea of an overseas move, my first thought was what about the dog? Come to find out people do it all the time, and with some careful planning, you and your fur kids can embark on your big adventure together. Here are some things to know before you fly the friendly skies with your companion in tow.
Find out about the rules, and regulations your destination has on bringing pets. Different countries have varied laws, some even requiring your dog be quarantined for a period of time that will be stressful for both of you. There may be a limit to how many pets are allowed, and you’ll be required to provide all vaccination certificates.
Schedule a checkup with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel, and obtain any necessary vaccines. Elderly pets may become stressed during plane travel, so ask if it’s advisable for them to do so. Both the airline, and your destination will need to verify health records, and it’s a good idea to bring extra copies in case one is misplaced.
Is your airline pet-friendly? Airlines that allow pets may have stipulations on the times of year you’ll be allowed to bring them, especially during the summer when the cargo area although pressurized would be too hot. Breed restrictions may also apply so check in advance. A great link for tips and pet-friendly airlines is www.bringfido.com. Direct flights are best and ask your vet about feeding your dog pre-flight.
If your dog isn’t used to a crate or carrier, start acclimating them before your trip. I’ve found serving them their meals inside the crate, and hiding treats inside is a great way to help them make a positive association. When you’re purchasing a crate, check with the manufacturer to make sure it’s approved for air travel.
Be sure to bring your dog’s regular food to avoid a sudden transition to a new diet, and keep their bedding, and toys handy to provide familiar smells, and comfort. Our dogs love nothing more than to be by our sides, and will enjoy becoming a globetrotter as much as you do!