None of like to think about their dog in the cargo hold of an airplane but, if a car isn’t an option a plane might be the only alternative. Here are some tips from the ASPCA on how best to travel on the airlines with your dog.
1. Call the airlines to find out what documentation you will need to travel with your dog. Take your pet to the veterinarian no more than 2 weeks before you travel. Tell the vet exactly what papers you need for your journey. Ask if there are any additional documents he or she feels might be appropriate or necessary.
2. Have your dog implanted with a microchip. Provide an ID collar and affix your destination in case he or she escapes.
3. The night before you travel, fill the travel bowl with water and freeze it. This way the water won’t get spilled while being loaded and it will begin to melt as your pet needs to drink.
4. Book a direct flight as often as possible. This lessens the chances of the crate getting lost or left behind.
5. Buy a USDA approved crate for your pet. Make sure it is large enough for the dog to stand, sit and turn around comfortably. A few days before you leave put the dog’s favorite toy or blanket in the crate. Let him or her know that this won’t hurt them in any way.
6. Write the words ‘live animal’ on the outside of the crate. Affix a picture of your dog as well as your home address and phone on the crate so airline personnel will know where your pet belongs. Tape a small bag of dry food on the outside of the crate so the baggage handlers can give your dog a treat if when he or she gets hungry. Put some kind of padding and absorbent material in the cage in case of an accident.
7. Let every airline employee know you are traveling with a pet. When everyone is informed they will give the best care to both you and your dog. Have a picture handy so they will know which dog belongs with which owner.
8. Check with your vet before any tranquilizers are administered. Often times these drugs can do more harm than good.
Every airline employee wants you and your dog to have a pleasant trip. Following these suggestions will help you and your pet have a safe voyage to your destination.