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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

How to Fly Safely with Your Four-Legged Companion



Make sure your friend is the perfect travel partner with our flying tips.


Vacation season will be here before you know it, and you may find yourself traveling with your furry buddy. A trip will involve some advance planning to make it safe for both you and your pet pal.  We have just the tips for you to wing your way to your destination and minimize problems.


Acclimate your pet to the correct sized carrier before your trip. It must be large enough for it to stand and turn around. Get your pet used to the carrier gradually. Use positive reinforcement and encouragement. After the initial introduction, go for a few car rides to help your pet get used to the carrier.


A quick visit with the vet is in order for a trip.  Your vet can see that your pet is in great shape for travel.  A vet can also provide any necessary paperwork like rabies or health certificates that the airline may require. If your pet has extreme anxiety with travel, your vet can prescribe some medication.


Make sure your pet has identification and that their microchip is up-to-date. You should also be sure your pet has the right supplies in his or her “suitcase”. Bring the following along for your pet pal:

  • Travel food & water bowls  

  • Enough pet food and treats for the time away  

  • Toys for playtime  

  • Collar/Harness with all appropriate tags and a non-retractable leash  

  • Pet shampoo in case your pet needs bathing

  • Comfortable Bedding

The rules of travel change between various airlines. Some airlines allow you to travel with small dogs, mostly little dog breeds. You can also bring cats or even household birds for a fee. Check with your specific airline to see what breeds are allowed and what paperwork you need. Paperwork like specific health records from your vet may be required.


Book an aisle seat. This will make it easier to get to your pet carrier during the flight.


On the day of travel, be sure your pet is well-fed and hydrated.  Feed your pet a few hours before the flight, but not a big meal. Bring a small amount of food or treats to give it during the flight. Bring a collapsible bowl to give your pet water during the flight. Make sure your furry friend has plenty of bathroom breaks.


Bon Voyage




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