How to Prepare Your Dog for an International Flight
Are you planning an international trip with your dog but are unsure of where to start? Traveling with pets can be quite stressful for both the human and their canine companions. To help you with your preparations, here are steps on how to prepare for international travel with your dog.
What should you do before an international flight with your dog?
Assess your dog.
You are responsible for ensuring your dog’s safety and well-being. You know your dog. Will it be able to tolerate the stress and anxiety if it will need to travel in the cargo hold? Many incidents that happen to pets are self-inflicted due to anxiety. Make sure that your pet is not the anxious type and is cool with being left alone for hours. Prepare it so that it will be comfortable and used to being in the kennel before your flight.
If your dog gets anxious when separated from you or when in closed spaces and has tendencies to destroy things when you leave it alone, you may need to reconsider your travel plans.
Cross-check home and destination countries.
Check the requirements for dog travel. This applies to both your home country and the country you will be traveling to. You may be going to a country with more stringent rules for the entry of pets than the one you are in. Or you may be from a country where owners need to submit more requirements. Also, some countries require a quarantine period. The less surprises you encounter, the better for you and your pet.
Vet it with your vet.
Visit your vet and have your pet’s physical condition checked. Will it will be okay to fly? Make sure that your pet has updated vaccinations. Have all the prescription medications and required documents that your pet needs. Also, get a microchip for your pet. This is so that your pet can be easily identified if it gets lost. Ask your vet about how you can keep your dog calm while it’s in the air.
Choose your airline wisely.
Research all your airline choices to find out their policies for flying with dogs. Each company has its own rules. So look for an airline with the best policies and most experience in safely handling pets. Will your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold? Check if the airline has a separate cargo and baggage hold, and if there is climate control in the cargo hold. This is because baggage does not need climate control, but your pet definitely does.
Also check procedures for check-in and whether their staff know how to handle dogs. If you will have a layover, will they let your dog have a break? For safety, some airlines do not take in pets when ambient temperatures reach a certain range. So choose a flight when temperatures are more stable. Also, ensure that you have a sturdy kennel that meets all airline requirements.
Do your homework well, so you will have a hassle-free trip with your pet. If you will be staying in a hotel, ensure that your hotel is pet-friendly, so you can make the most of your stay. Yes, the preparations can be a lot of work, but your companion’s safety is, of course, the top priority.