Traveling with your pets can become a daunting experience, especially if your animal is flying with you for the first time. Luckily, there are ways that you can prepare for the journey ahead of time that will offer a much more comfortable and safe experience.
Animals can become anxious while flying, just like us. We must take care of them and help relieve those anxieties just as our loved ones would do for us too. Here’s everything you need to know to make air travel as easy as the morning walk.
1. Know the Airline Policy
Before you get to the airport, you need to know the airline policy. Each airline will have different policies for flying with animals, depending on whether the animal is a pet, emotional support animal, or service animal.
If your chosen airline only accepts service animals, you can register a service dog before the flight day so that you can breeze through security and the gate with minimal disruption.
2. Practice Having Your Pet in Their Crate
Whether you have a smaller animal that is suitable to ride alongside you during the flight or a larger pet that will need to stay in the cargo, both have to tolerate their carrier for long periods. If pets haven’t experienced a crate for more than an hour or two before, they could struggle with staying cooped up for extended periods.
Of course, replicating a flight is challenging, but you mimic a part of the experience. Try bringing your animal to busier places, allowing them to sleep in their crate next to you. The activity in the environment will help them get accustomed to loud noises while they sleep. If they get scared of loud noises, there are many techniques to help them calm down.
It’s best practice to work bit by bit, steadily increasing the hours they are in the crate.
3. Request Late Check-in
Although getting to the airport much earlier than your flight is the usual advice, when with a pet, you may want to think about getting there a little later.
The longer your animal is contained, the harder it will be for them to go without using the bathroom. You could consider ways they could relive themselves within their crate too.
It might not sound very pleasant, but it’s better than on your lap. You can add absorbent materials to the bottom of their carrier. Pine shavings on the bottom of the crate will absorb moisture if your pet needs to relieve themselves.
4. Make the Crate Comfortable
Keeping the body temperature regulated is crucial for your pet’s comfort and health. During the flight, the temperature will drop due to the plane’s elevation, so make sure they are warm enough.
Adding something that smells of home, perhaps a small toy, can ease anxiety during the journey. Some pets can become distressed in environments that feel alien, so adding a familiar smell can be a comforting addition.
The Adventure Awaits
Now you and your pets are ready to take a flight and explore new places together. Preparation is just as crucial for a pet as it is for yourself, so think ahead and plan accordingly.