Air Travel with a small Dog can be an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning and preparation, especially when it comes to air travel. If you have a small dog and are considering flying with them, there are several important factors to consider to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for both you and your canine companion. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips and considerations for traveling by air with your small dog.
1. Check Airline Policies:
Before booking your flight, thoroughly research the airline’s pet policies. Each airline has specific rules and regulations regarding pet travel, including size restrictions, carrier requirements, and additional fees. Ensure that your chosen airline allows small dogs in the cabin and familiarize yourself with their specific guidelines.
Respect that airlines do not allow dogs out of the crate while in the air.
2. Choose the Right Carrier for Flying with a Small Dog.
Invest in a well-ventilated, airline-approved carrier that provides enough space for your small dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. The carrier should be sturdy, secure, and meet the airline’s size requirements. Familiarize your dog with the carrier before the trip by gradually introducing them to it and making it a positive and comfortable space. We have traveled several time with this carrier I prefer the soft sided as the one below. Our Yorkie feels secure and usually sleeps the whole time we are in the air. Remember to bring pee pads if having a layover between destinations. I try to find a quite out of the way place to use the pee pads but have used them in the bathrooms.
3. Visit the Veterinarian:
When planning a trip of flying with a small dog remember to schedule a visit to the veterinarian before your trip to ensure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. Some airlines may require a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within a specific timeframe before travel. Discuss any concerns or considerations with your vet, such as anxiety management or motion sickness prevention. We have never experienced an airline within the US that requires a health certificate but always check before hand.
4. Plan for Security Screening:
Prepare your dog for the security screening process at the airport. Familiarize them with being handled and touched by strangers, as they may need to be taken out of the carrier during the security check. Use positive reinforcement and treats to create a positive association with the process.
I always have a harness and leash on our yorkie while going through security.
I’ll never forget the time a young boy was chasing his unharnessed toy poodle , he chased him throughout the whole security area.
5.Include Essential Supplies for Flying with a Small Dog
Pack essential supplies for your dog’s comfort during the flight. This may include a leash, collar with identification tags, food, treats, water, collapsible bowls, waste bags, and any necessary medications. Familiar scents, such as a favorite blanket or toy, can also help provide comfort and familiarity during the journey. I prefer the collapsible bowl easy to carry. Usually there are enough places to but water once inside the airport or if in the air the flight attendants will provide it.
6. Consider Direct Flights for Flying with a Small Dog
Whenever possible, choose direct flights to minimize stress and the duration of travel for your small dog. Layovers and connecting flights can increase the chances of mishaps or delays, which may cause additional stress for your pet.
7. Stay Calm and Provide Comfort:
During the flight, remain calm and composed to help your dog feel secure. Talk to them in a soothing voice and offer reassurance. Avoid opening the carrier during the flight, as it may be against airline regulations. If your dog shows signs of distress or anxiety, consult the flight attendants for guidance.
Flying with a Small Dog requires careful planning and consideration. By familiarizing yourself with airline policies, choosing the right carrier, and preparing your dog for the journey, you can ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience. Remember to prioritize your dog’s well-being, provide comfort and reassurance, and consult with professionals or airline staff if you have any concerns or questions. With proper preparation, you and your small dog can embark on a memorable and enjoyable adventure together.
We have since trained Billy our Yorkie to pee while on leash. This has helped us with flying with a small dog immensely. I usually carry him to the airport doggy room. Now he may not always go where he should within the room. Sometimes against the trash can but at least he goes. I had an attendant tell me not to worry about the trash can. Most dog do it there anyway for some reason. He told me that its all hosed down about every hour or so.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. This is the time and place to let us know. Just leave a comment below.