As I mentioned before we (Dave and I) took Mick with us to Montreal. This was our first experience flying all together. I thought I would share some things we learned about flying with our best pal.
Make sure they (being your fur pal) are up to date on all of their vaccinations, are healthy and have protection against fleas, mosquitos, etcetera. Mick recently went to the vet because he had a wound issue, but the vet wasn’t concerned about Travelling can be stressful enough for us humans, and even more so for doggies. Any lingering illness or health issue needs to be looked after and taken into account. Bring their health records with you.
Book them on the flight right after you book our tickets. Dave called the airline immediately after booking our flights online. We had to pay $50 each way to bring him and they will only allow a certain amount of animals on the flight, so talk to them right away!
Have them spend time in the carrier before hand. This is so important, especially if they have an aversion to being “trapped”. While Mick was in his carrier at home, I would give him treats and praise him.
Go for a good walk right before. We made sure Mick relieved himself and got good exercise before hand. We also found out where the doggy relief areas were at every airport we would go through. Also, we didn’t feed him a big meal right before either, instead opting for more treats spaced out on the flight, which Mick did not mind.
Have their favourite treats available at all times. Mick is pretty picky when it comes to treats, he flat out won’t eat a lot of them. So we made sure to have a lot of his favourites on hand with us. He got a treat often on the flight, and knowing that we had them close kept a lot of his attention on that.
Bring a water dish that they are used to. Another thing Mick is picky about (he’s quite particular) is what dish he drinks from. We have a few collapsible dishes that are easy for him to drink out of, and are easy to bring around. We filled our own bottles up after security so we always had water on hand. I find the air to be really dry on the plane, so I can imagine how he felt. I would put a little bit of water at a time. If he drank it all, I added a bit more, that way I wasn’t left holding a cup of water.
Bring a toy from home. Mick loves his toys and bringing one from home that smells like home is soothing and familiar.
Prepare for going through security. Being aware I had to pick him up, take off his collar and go through security with him made it easier to prepare. I didn’t rush through getting my stuff ready either (I’m sure the people behind me loved that). I didn’t need to get flustered, have Mick freak out and jump out of my arms sans collar.
Ask the flight attendant about the rules. On our first lag of the flight, we didn’t know we were allowed to have the carrier on our lap after take off. Mick stayed under the seat the entire time and got a little frazzled by the end. Can’t blame him. This was the only time he made any noise, and his faint little whines were more heartbreaking than loud. I don’t think any of the attendants noticed he was with us, it would’ve saved us some stress if we just gave them the heads up.
Give lots of pats. Once we knew he was ok sitting on our laps (inside the carrier) he was much more content. We were able to let him look around outside the carrier and we gave him lots of pats. He slept the entire returning flight like this. Actually I was rather jealous that he was able to stretch out on his comfy little cushion. He is one dog who loves to be close to his people, and is so soothed by our touch.
Let them stretch and go ” pee pee time” after landing. Especially if there will be some time before you arrive at your final destination. This is also where having an idea where dogs are allowed to “go” is important.
Have you ever travelled with your four legged buddy? What would you add to my list? I would love to hear from you in the comments!