Need a vaca and want to take your pup along on your next flight? Stressing over how best to prep? Below are my favorite tips so that you and your doggy experience the least amount of drama as possible.
Reserve Space. Don't think you can show up at check in with your dog without laying the ground work first. Call the airline well in advance of your trip to make let them know you will be traveling with your dog. Whether in cabin or in cargo, only a certain number of pets are allowed per flight and there's usually a fee involved, so we check this off our to-do list as soon as we book our own ticket. You'll also have to make sure your carrier will fit your airlines requirements.
Confirm with the hotel. More and more hotels are actively touting being pet friendly, so double-check this is the case where you've chosen to stay. Some will charge a fee, but often this will include little perks like a dog bed and a treat bag when you check in.
Head to the vet. If traveling abroad, this is a must. Within 10 days of travel, you'll have to get a health certificate from your vet verifying your dog is up to date on all vaccinations, has been microchipped, spayed/neutered, etc. I like to make a copy of these docs and keep them in my carry on as well as with my pup's carrier in case we get separated.
Pack the pup. I'm a bit of a packing fanatic, so I like to create a checklist to make sure puppy has all he needs. Must haves for his carrier include collapsable water bowl, one portion of dry food, all plastic collar and leash for easy trips through security, meds, treats, and a copy of the health certification documents.
Anxiety reducers. These can vary from putting a comforting toy or blanket from home inside the carrier, to wearing anti-anxiety vests (ThunderShirts work well for us), to bringing along anti-anxiety medication. Your best bet is to ask your vet what she recommends and go that route.
Are there any travel tips you swear by? Let me know in the comments!