3 Tips For Flying With Your Pet

Sure, you could board your pet in a kennel the next time you go on vacation, but what if you want to bring your furry friend along with you? Flying with a pet comes with some complications, but with some careful planning, it doesn't have to be impossible. Take a look at some tips that will help ensure that you can take an easy and uneventful flight with your pet.

Make Sure That Your Pet is Caught Up on Vaccinations

In order for the airline to allow your pet on board, they're going to want to know that your pet is healthy and rabies-free. This is a good time to schedule a checkup and make sure that your pet is caught up on all of their required vaccinations. You're going to need to show the airline a recent health certificate for your pet, signed by your veterinarian.

If your flight plans involve international travel, your pet may need to meet other health and vaccination requirements as well. These vary depending on what country you're traveling to. You can contact the foreign office of your destination country to find out what their requirements are so that you can make sure that your pet is prepared.

Get Your Pet Used to Their Pet Carrier

Different airlines may have slightly different requirements about pet carriers, so make sure to look up the exact specifications required by your airline. If you have to get a new pet carrier to meet your airline's requirement, or if your pet hasn't spent much time in any pet carrier, it's a good idea to spend some time acclimating your pet to the carrier.

Get your carrier well in advance of the flight, and use it to bring your pet with you as you run errands or go on drives for fun. This way, by the time of the flight, your pet will already be comfortable with the carrier and less likely to experience anxiety during the flight.

Speaking of pet carriers, keep in mind that your pet carrier will count as one of your carry-on items, reducing the number of bags of personal items that you'll be able to bring on the plane. You may want to choose a carrier with pockets that allow you to bring a few extra items with you.

Plan Your Pet's Meals to Avoid Accidents

The last thing that you want to deal with is an accident at the airport or on the plane. Feed your pet well the night before your flight, and skip breakfast the day of the flight – your pet can always eat after you land. If your pet turns out to be a nervous flyer, the combination of nerves and a full stomach may make them sick.

Water is a trickier subject – you don't want your pet to become dehydrated, but you also don't want them to be unable to wait until the next time you can take them out to use the bathroom. Most airports now have at least one pet relief station, so that helps somewhat. Your best bet is to take your pet's water bowl away a couple of hours before the flight. 

When you visit your veterinarian to get your pet's health certificate, ask your vet if they have any tips or recommendations that can help your pet have a comfortable flight. Your veterinarian will be familiar with your pet's personality and health history and may be able to provide some personalized advice. To learn more, contact a veterinary clinic like Apple Valley Animal Hospital