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A Guide to Flying with Your Dog this Summer

Summer is right around the corner, and many people are already in the midst of planning their upcoming holiday vacations. Afterall, summer is one of the most beautiful seasons to enjoy making precious memories with loved ones. Some of life’s fondest memories are made with those we love, such as close family and friends. As every dog owner knows, our four-legged friends are crucial members of our families- and make the best vacation buddies. That being said, there are many ways to embark on exciting summer adventures with your canine companions by your side. 

When planning summer vacations, many pet owners are faced with concerns over the logistics of bringing their pets with them on the plane. However, flying with your pets is actually much easier than you may think. Afterall, many major airlines allow for passengers to travel with pets- either in the plane or the cargo hold. That being said, bringing your precious canine companions along for your summer vacation is totally doable, and we’re breaking down the best tips for flying with your dogs this summer. 

5 Tips for Flying with your Dog

Plan Ahead

Most summer vacation plans are not last-minute, spur of the moment ideas, which fortunately means you likely will have a fair amount of time to plan ahead. After preparing yourself and your family for traveling and ensuring you have all your vacation essentials packed, take a few minutes to plan ahead for your dog(s). Try creating a checklist of all their toys, medications, and other items they may need during the trip. Peak travel seasons can be quite chaotic and stressful, so creating a list ahead of time will help you stay organized and ensure nothing is forgotten on the day of your departure. Additionally, it’s a good idea to create a schedule for when you leave. For example, perhaps plan to take your pup out to go potty 15 minutes before you depart, and plan to secure them inside of their crate 5 minutes before. Once again, planning ahead this way means you’re much less likely to be scrambling at the last minute (we’ve all been there before). 

Pack Plenty of Food and Water

Travel days can be very long during the summer months, especially for the many people who are traveling cross-country. Thus, in addition to packing plenty of snacks and water for yourself, it’s important to remember that your dogs will require the same. Be sure to pack enough of your dog’s food to last for the duration of your traveling. To simplify things, we recommend measuring out your dog’s food ahead of time and separating it into individual bags or containers. A common tip you have probably already heard is to feed your dog slightly less on travel days. Just to be clear; your dog will not starve if they are fed slightly less than normal. Rather, this can be a good idea for dogs that are prone to getting queasy during travel. Furthermore, try to avoid feeding your dog right before your departure; instead aim for 2- 3 hours beforehand. It’s also crucial to give your dog plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Remember to bring your dog’s water bowl along (if you have the space), or you can plan to utilize water cups while on-the-go. 

Secure Them in Their Crate

When traveling with your dogs on vacation, the most important thing to prioritize is their safety throughout the entire journey. Afterall, you want yourself, your family, and your dogs to all make it to your destination safely. The best way to ensure your pup is well protected while flying is to secure them in a durable, travel-friendly dog crate. Whether you’re getting to your holiday destination via car or plane, a heavy-duty dog crate will keep your dog safe, comfortable, and secure every step of the way. Not only that, but a dog crate provides a safe environment where pups can relax and enjoy some time to themselves. Traveling can be overwhelming and stressful for even just us humans, so imagine how overwhelming it can be for our canine companions. That being said, an airline-approved IATA-compliant crate will provide a calm, soothing environment for your pup in the midst of all the travel chaos. Plus, you will have peace of mind knowing your precious furry friend is safe and sound throughout your holiday travels. 

Please note that when traveling via plane, airlines require dogs to be secured in an IATA-compliant dog crate. For a convenient travel experience, we recommend the Impact Collapsible Dog Crate

Arrive to the Airport Early

Especially during the peak travel times during summer, it is always recommended to give yourself plenty of time at the airport. Every year, the summer travel season always brings unprecedented lines and crowds at major airports, which can cause significant delays. Therefore, travelers should anticipate longer than usual lines and wait times. Failure to do so is why many travelers miss flights every year, which can be easily avoided by arriving extra early to the airport. When traveling with your furry friends, it’s even more important to give your party some extra time for the check-in process. In the event of any unexpected delays or surprises at the airport, you will thank yourself later for arriving very early. Furthermore, depending on the airline, there may be additional check-in procedures for flyers traveling with pets. So in other words, just arrive early; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Prepare Travel Documents

When flying with your dog, you will likely be required to show certain documents either ahead of time or at the airport. Additionally, you likely won’t be able to just show up with a dog at the airport; instead, you should make preparations ahead of time. Depending on the airline you’re traveling with, you can indicate in your flight booking that you will be traveling with a pet. Be sure to do some research or contact your airline to find out what precisely is required from you when flying with your dog. For example, airlines may suddenly change their policies on presenting veterinary records or requirements for dog crates. That being said, it’s crucial that you refer to the current guidelines for traveling with pets when preparing for your departure. Some airlines may require certain health documentation for your pups, such as veterinary records or proof of vaccines. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to gather this information or schedule a veterinary appointment before your trip. If you are traveling abroad, you can expect this process to be much more complicated than domestic travel. This is because when you cross international borders, there are many more regulations for traveling with pets, and you also must abide by the rules in place by your destination country. Thus, it is absolutely essential that you plan ahead and prepare whatever you need to fly with your dog, as this will prevent unexpected surprises at the airport. 

As all dog owners know, some of our fondest memories in life are created with our precious pups by our sides. By following this guide, you can ensure your dogs have a smooth traveling experience, so you can get started on making incredible memories with them during your summer vacation.