Flying with a Dog: 11 things you must know

Traveling has become a lot more convenient than earlier days. Airlines have helped you cut an ample amount of time for travel. Online reservations have let you avoid standing in the long queues for getting your railway bookings or bus tickets done. Hotel stays, restaurant bookings are immediately available at your fingertips. You are lucky enough to travel this much comfortably!

However, some people think that traveling solo is more peaceful than going with their pet dogs. I must remove the dust of misconception that honestly, it is not that difficult to travel with your little pup or big pooch.

In case you are on a trip with your pet dog, you must follow some predefined protocols to make your onboard experience enticing. The pet parents worry about their beloved dogs and their air travel together. Trust me, airlines have made a splendid way of taking your dogs with you, and that's the reason that too many dogs travel today with their parents!

This article is more of a guide to pet owners who should know the things when they are flying with their dogs.

how to fly with a dog in cabin

In this article, you would know everything from booking a flight to landing safely with your dog.

1. Know all the airlines' policies

Well, airlines are not too good to offer a seat to your dog! Perhaps, they can lend some space for your dog on the flight, that's true. It is advisable for a pet parent to get in touch with the airlines to know their pet policies. In the situation of you carrying your pet to the trip, online flight reservation is not a recommendable option. It is because most of the flight companies allow only a few dogs to travel at once on a flight.

2. Complete paperwork in advance

So, it is better for you to give a call or schedule a personal meeting with the airport authority and check if your dog can have a place with you or not! Also, there is some paperwork needed to get done before onboarding a flight with dogs, take care of it wisely. Airports charge an extra fee of $100-500 for a single trip of dogs. Be ready to spend a little extra for your darling dog!

3. Pack all the pet essentials

Till the end, you must be busy packing your matching sneakers and denim or what food items to carry along! It might make you lag in packing the essentials of your pet. Like you love your comfort, your dogs too! Be cautious about packing all the necessary items of your dog that makes his/her life comfy. Bag a complete set of the things that you may require on a flight and during the rest of the journey.

Bring a collapsible water bottle and a food vessel for feeding and hydrating your pooch. Take a dog bone, in case you need to give an activity to your pet on the flight! Pack plenty of dog food in the baggage so that it does not make an issue later. Carry two dog leashes, one for regular use, and the second one for spare.

Squeeze in some linen and cushions for your pet's comfort in your baggage. You might need them on the flight as well as during car travel.

4. Be aware of pet relieving stations

You must be smart enough to have an idea of the route of your flight! Along with it, you should know that your plane is going to land on how many airports! Long journeys prove exhausting and tiresome for you even, so how come your pet can get rid of it? During long air travel, you must be aware of the airports your plane is going to land, and also, whether it has a pet relieving station or not.

You can download applications that can guide you with this. Furthermore, you have an option to download the details on your phone and use it offline when needed. Research online about what facilities the pet relieving stations offer to your dog. If it demands a pre-booking and a handful of charges, go for it! Remember, how much your dog remains relieved during the travel has a direct relation to your stress-relieved journey!

5. Visit a veteran for your dog's health check-up

Airlines demand a dog certificate no older than ten days before travel. Once you have confirmed flight bookings, take your dog to the veterinarian's visit. Ask the veteran to take a complete health check-up of your dog and write a certificate of his/her immunizing capacity and sound health to travel.

Also, consult the veteran about giving CBD oils to your pup if he feels anxious during the flight. Giving sedatives to your pooch is only favorable after you have consulted the veterinarian doctor for the same. Be ready for any medication of your dog post-travel and once after returning, though!

6. Make sure you ensure dog's safety

Ensuring your dog's safety correlates with the safety of others on the flight! Taking dog beds on flight relieves the panic of your pup going out of it and making idiotic things. If you don't want to take any chance on your dog's safety, carrying a dog kennel or crate is the best you can do. Try keeping your dog tied with the leash, so you do not lose control at any time.

Packing a dog muzzle sometimes helps to stop dogs from unnecessary barking or biting anyone. Try preparing your dog mentally for the flight - that's the safest way!

7. Sign up For TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

No one likes to stand in the long queues at the airport. Unfortunately, most travelers have to go through this ordeal because they don’t invest in TSA PreCheck or sign up for global entry programs. Yes, these programs might cost you some money but they will save you from a lot of hassle too at the airport.

TSA PreCheck is the Transportation Security Administration's risk-based screening program. Signing up requires paying a fee and allowing TSA to verify your status as a low-risk traveler, but the program allows you to expedite security screening every time you fly. That means keeping your shoes on and your laptop packed during screening.

Global Entry has the same benefits and also provides expedited Customs and Border Control screening for international travel. You can quickly pass through airport security and board the plane much faster than other travelers. This means that when they might be standing in the airport security queues, you are comfortably seated in your seat. This can come handy especially when you have to fly for an emergency meeting.

While this may only make sense for those who travel frequently, the best way to save time is, without a doubt, Global Entry. How much of your travel time is spent waiting in the excruciatingly long and slow lines at the airport. Holders of Global Entry receive benefits from their arrival, right up to Customs.

No need to remove laptops, no need to untie shoes, go through customs and immigration. Ah, you can almost hear the collective sigh of relief.

Keep in mind, however, that the Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check does not prevent you from receiving SSSS. Now you may ask, what is the code SSSS on the boarding pass? If you see 'SSSS' marked on your boarding pass when you travel to the United States, it means that searches, questions and baggage searches await you. The TSA applies this measure to increase security and anyone can be marked with these four letters.

8. Choose your airline wisely

Choose your airline wisely, some are really congested and uncomfortable. Pick an airline that provides frequent service to your home airport(s) and serves the cities you frequently visit. You could also consider what airport terminal they use and their customer service practices. Plan to fly an airline exclusively, even if cheaper fares occasionally pop up elsewhere. Loyalty will save you money in the long run because frequent fliers get all sorts of perks.

Easier cancellations, access to competent customer service, and free food, drinks, and showers in airport lounges are all common benefits.

9. Avoid flights with consistent delays

If you search flights online, you will occasionally learn that a specific flight is often delayed by over 30 minutes. Avoid these flights like the plague. The aviation system has its quirks, but Google and other travel websites have enough data to predict some of them.

10. Check-in online

Don’t waste time standing in lines. One thing an airline is not going to tell you is because you don’t fly often, your not going to get through any line quickly like many of the tier members. Choose your seat at the time of booking to get the best seat. Turbulence is known to be the lowest near the wings of aircraft.
Don’t settle for middle seats, if you haven’t pre-booked the seat, ask for a window or aisle seat politely.

Don’t take seats in front of the emergency exit, they don’t recline.

Make sure you have your ID. That can be a Passport or Driver’s license. When one is traveling internationally, he/she needs to carry either soft copy or hard copy of your flight tickets along with a photo id proof and Passport with a valid VISA for the country he/she is traveling to.

You are dropped off at the Departure Level. You should head for the Check-in Counter if you have bags to check and require a ticket.

If you do have a checked bag, make sure its within the weight and size required by the airline, or you will end up paying extra at the counter. You can find those details on the airline website and probably should have done that the night before, or earlier. Being just a couple pounds over will require you to make adjustments right there at the counter or pay an additional fee. They expect a credit card, not cash.

Confirm your directions to the Gate from the Ticket Agent and head for Security; everyone is required to go through TSA Security. What everyone gets caught with is bottles of liquids, being water bottles, or large bottles of amenity liquids. Make sure you have no weapons in your bag. It happens!

Take your laptop out of the bag and that amenity kit. If you had anything larger you should have checked it because you now will have to give it up. Make sure as you depart the Security area, you have everything, including your ID and Boarding Pass. Here’s the important tip: Once through Security, Look Up for additional directions.

If you become confused, even a little, ask an Agent along the way. If you have arrived early, you have time to grab something to eat, or drink. Speaking of drinks, you can now buy your water or drink and board with it. Take an empty water bottle with you, fill it once you pass the security. Fill up that empty water bottle, use the restroom, and grab food if you need it. Choose green tea over coffee (Coffee won’t let you sleep).

All of these activities will be more cumbersome on the aircraft than in the terminal. Since this is your first trip, you should enjoy taking in the sights and even watching the people. Everyone has to be somewhere and they seem to be going everywhere. At the gate, if they have overhead monitors you can view. If not, you just need to listen up as the Agent will call the Zones or whatever method they use. Keep your seat until your Zone is called.

You know the Agent is going to start the boarding process with those needing extra help or those with strollers, then those that fly often with specific levels.

11. Pack food in checked luggage on a flight

There are restrictions depending on where you are going. Any fresh fruit and produce are usually a problem. Most foods needs to be sealed. The food needs to be one that cannot harbor potential insects that can invade their host country.

Post Discussion:

You would be glad to explore new places with your most loyal friend, won't you? Utterly, take care of your dog well and let it get some oomph on the trip. Take your furry friend on a walk once landed!
Kalyan Panja