Under the Seat and Standing Up

dog in plane
Dog owners who are flying with their pups

Traveling tends to be one of the most difficult experiences for pet owners. Among the various ways to travel with your pet, air travel presents the most difficulty. Unfortunately, when you have to get somewhere fast, flying is your best option.

However, there are conditions for flying with a pup that you and every dog owner should consider before scheduling an air travel. Although, you need to remember that these conditions may differ from airline to airline. This is especially true for international regions, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. Therefore, you need to check with your choice airline for specific information.

9 Useful Tips on Air Travel with Your Dog

1. You need to acquire a health certificate for your dog.

All airlines require an array of different limitations, most of which have a few things in common. The first and most obvious is to have a clean bill of health certification from your veterinarian that was dated within the last thirty days.

2.  You have to consider the weight and size limitations.

Weight restriction for pets is about 10 pounds. This limits the cabin to smaller breeds. Do keep in mind that weight limitation may also include your dog and his kennel. This is often limited to approximately 20 pounds.

Dog carriers must be designed to fit under the seat in front of you. On average, it should be about 9 inches in height and 18 inches across. Virgin America has one of the highest dog weight limits, and reasonable size accommodations. It allows dogs up to twenty pounds to enjoy a cabin flight.

3. Your pup must be able to stand up and turn around in his carrier.

The rule designating your dog’s ability to stand up and move around is to ensure that your pup is comfortable. After all, you wouldn’t like it if you had to travel in a tight sardine can.

4. You need to hand-carry bare essentials for your dog.

Since you are bringing your pup with you, this means that it’ll likely be replacing your carry-on bag. This means you’ll have to check-in any other luggage you have. So, be aware of what you will need during your air trip – including water, food, and potty bags.

5.  There is often an extra cost for bringing your pup into the cabin.

You don’t have to pay extra for your average carry-on bag though. The extra fee varies radically but often ranges from $75 to $150. It is highly recommended that you shop around for the best deal.

6. Airlines may blackout dates for pet travel during the winter months.

This could be done unexpectedly, which means that last-minute plans aren’t always going to work out the way you wanted them to.

Many airlines are working to become more accommodating to pet owners and their furry friends. There are limitations to how much they can handle though. This means that there is a set number of pets per flight for many of these airlines. Jet Blue, for example, only allows four pets per flight. This is yet another reason why a pet owner needs to plan as far ahead as possible to make sure their pup can make the flight.

7. Many flights will not allow dogs to fly to Hawaii. 

Be sure you take into account your destination when you are planning your trip – especially if you’re traveling to another country, such as the UK, Europe, and even Canada. However, Air Canada has a dog-friendly pet policy.

8. Certain breeds are not allowed.

Snub-nosed pups have a difficult time breathing in certain atmospheric pressure. This is probably why they are not allowed. Be sure your pup can handle the flight safely.

9. Don’t forget to check your local and landing airport for dog handling procedures.

There may be certain areas and locations where you’ll need to go or travel through (where you may be able to feed and care for your dog’s needs).

Flying with your pup can be an adventure and a difficult challenge at the same time (unless you properly prepare for it). If you’re traveling with your pup, be sure to call ahead and schedule a flight early enough to ensure you don’t run into any hitches at the airport. Just remember that your dog isn’t an item you can stuff and cram under the seat in front of you. Make sure your dog will fly comfortably so he can enjoy the journey and his time with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Traveling for the Holidays

Dog care when traveling this holiday

With the holiday season here, many will be traveling to spend time with their family and friends. Whether you’re flying or driving, you’re probably going to find yourself in new surroundings. So, think about what will be necessary to help keep your dog safe during your holiday travels.

Practical Tips on Traveling with Your Puppy During the Holidays

Keep your pup calm and comfortable

Not all dogs like to travel. Some even get a little confused and distressed about the change. Dogs adore habit. They enjoy waking up in their familiar bed, eating at the same time, and using the same bathroom every day. For this reason, the changes that travel presents can make your dog a little uncomfortable.

During your travels, consider natural sedatives to keep them calm. Of course, always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medications. It is your primary goal to make sure that your dog stays safe. Some dogs enjoy traveling, but may quickly become anxious and move around the vehicle (pacing) wondering why you aren’t going to the dog park today, which is why you need to make sure they’re secured during the journey.

Buckle your dog up

For dogs that are accustomed to traveling around with you, the use of dog safety belts – preferably ones that latch into the vehicle harness rather than tethering to another portion of the vehicle – is a great place to start. Just be sure that the harness doesn’t chafe them or give them too much room to move (such as allowing them to fall down between the seats and get stuck).

Of course, there’s also your vehicle to consider. Leather seats can be slippery for a dog, presenting an unstable sitting spot for the journey. A mat or a thick towel will help provide them with traction and keep your seat scratch-free.

One of the best ways to keep your dog safe is to put them in their crate, with the added advantage that it gives them a sense of security and familiarity. Unlike when using a safety harness, they can lie down and get comfortable during the trip. Plus they can play with a few toys that won’t fall down between the seats during the drive.

Keep a schedule

During your travels, dogs will still need to potty and eat just like you. Before you leave, feed them and give them plenty of time to take care of their potty business. Avoid feeding them too much while on the road, since safe potty areas won’t always be available.

Because your dog will inevitably need to go at some point, especially on a long trip, choose your potty areas wisely. Stay away from heavy traffic and open parking lots. These areas are commonly filled with debris and dangers, including broken glass and trash (you never know what your dog might pick up or stand on). Before opening any doors, be sure that your dog is on their leash, just in case they spot something that strikes their curiosity. And don’t remove their leash until they are secured in the vehicle again.

Plan an Airline friendly travel

Flying with your dog can be difficult these days, especially with all the rules and regulations. Keep in mind that not all airlines will permit dogs on board. Additionally, certain size and breed restrictions will apply.

Smaller dog breeds can sometimes make it into the cabin with you permitted they are small enough to fit in a crate under the seat. Also, remember that airlines reserve the right to reject any dog that they deem “aggressive” or unfit for air travel. So, before you make any arrangements, check out if your dog will be allowed to join you on the trip.

Prepare your dog for different environmental conditions

One thing to consider, especially during the holiday season, is the variable weather conditions you’ll be facing. While it might be warm and cozy in the car, the outside can be quite different. Snow, rain, and wind are all going to make it a lot cooler, so be sure that you’re ready for the unexpected.

Will your dog be warm when you let them out to potty? Will they stay dry? Some dog snow boots, a sweater, or a rain poncho might be wise additions to your travel kit. Consider where you’re going to be passing through and check weather forecasts when preparing essentials for your dog’s safety on the road.

Safety is the topic when traveling this holiday season, especially for your four-legged companion. The road will always present you with the unexpected, but as long as you and your dog are prepared, the journey is going to be an adventure that you both will remember.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Should You Fly with Your Dog?

Tips for dog owners traveling during the holidays

The holiday season is here, and for many people, travelling is more of their holiday tradition. Going to see family and friends? Good, but will you be taking the dog along for the ride? While there are many ways to travel, flying presents a unique situation for dogs, especially with the tightened security and regulations around airports.

So, if you’re planning to do travel by plane, there are a few things to consider before your dog sets paw near the airport. Most importantly, many airlines require recent documentation that your dog is in good health before they will allow them on the flight, so you’ll need to take them to the vet prior to including them in any air travel plans.

What are the requirements?

Some dogs are permitted while others aren’t. Limitations are sometimes based on the size of the dog. Other airlines allow you to bring your dog into the cabin as long as their crate can be kept under the seat in front of you.. But, while some pets can be kept in the cabin, most dogs will have to reside in the cargo area.

There are also breed discrimination restrictions as well e.g. pit bull dogs aren’t allowed on board, as are Dobermans, or any other naturally aggressive type. Additionally, airlines may hold at their discretion whether your dog can board, even if they meet all the requirements. Be sure that all your destinations (even temporary) are pet friendly. And keep in mind that the airline can designate your dog as unacceptable at any time, especially if they show signs of aggression.

If you’re hopping flights or have long layovers, your dog is going to be moving around as well. They will be transferred over from one cargo hold to the next, which can present a problem. After a long flight, they may be scared or intimidated, which can cause issues with the airport personnel. Some airports may have different regulations regarding dog travelers, so be sure to examine each facility and airline prior to making any arrangements.

Coping with the flying experience

The flying experience is different for every dog. Some may be fine as long as they’re secure in their crate, while others may feel uneasy, anxious, or even scared. Will your pet be able to handle the experience? Many dogs get anxious, especially if they’re going to spend time away from you in a new place with strangers handling them.

With increased security translating to more time spent waiting in lines, a long flight can be a tough affair for your pet. They’re going to be cramped in a small crate or isolated in the cargo bay, where the common amenities, such as food, water, and available potty location are not easily available.

As a dog owner, your primary task is to keep them comfortable – especially when it comes to sustenance. Don’t over-feed them though, since pets can get airsick, and puppy vomit might not be comfortable to travel in. Then there are a dog’s potty needs. Potty train them beforehand if you have to, or have a container for them in the crate to do their business.

There is always the option of using sedatives to keep your dog at ease during the flight, especially if they have aggressive tendencies when intimidated or scared. But, not every owner is willing to sedate their dog with drugs, so do this only if you are comfortable with the results.

Have a fun trip

Travel by air can be a great way to save time, especially if you are only travelling a short distance. Long, enduring flights that involve airport-hopping are not going to be in your dog’s best interests, and can become more of a hassle than anything else.

Of course, the costs for traveling with your pet may not be as expensive as leaving them in a kennel or doggy hotel for long periods of time. One of the best benefits of bringing your dog along for the ride is that you’ll still be with each other when you get there. And that will make the both of you happy.

If you’re planning to travel by air, be sure that you weigh the benefits of bringing the pup along. Before departure, prepare your pooch for the journey ahead and make sure they have a safe trip to your holiday destination.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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