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All Guests Must Be Approved by The Dog Poster
No matter how young or healthy your dog is, check in with your veterinarian before taking a flight. Here’s more on that:
Preparing to Fly With Your Dog: Health Checklist All Guests Must Be Approved by The Dog Poster
If flying is definitely the way forward for you and your pup, make sure to set aside time to gather the necessary paperwork, get your dog’s medical records up to date, and fulfill any other requirements.
See below for our airline-specific information on flying with dogs. Aside from complying with these requirements, make sure to:
- Schedule a vet appointment 7–10 days before departure, to have an examination and make sure they’re healthy enough to travel, as well as getting any necessary vaccinations and boosters, plus a rabies certificate. Dr. Klein advises that even if such a certificate isn’t necessary at your destination, it’s a good idea to have on hand, in case anything goes wrong.
- Medications! Buy and pack any medications your dog will need during the trip, including heartworm and flea/tick preventatives. If your dog is on any prescription medications, it’s also a good idea to bring a copy of the prescription and keep a photo of it on your phone, in case you run out or the medication gets mislaid in transit.
- Similarly, if your dog is on a prescription diet or has food sensitivities, make sure they’ll be able to eat at your destination. This might mean packing enough food for the duration of the trip, taking a signed copy of a prescription for their food, or checking online for places you’ll be able to buy the food at your destination.
- Worried about anxiety? “Most dogs do not require sedatives to travel,” Dr. Klein notes. He advises discussing your plans with your veterinarian to find a way to manage any doggy nerves during travel, and considering alternatives to medication such as calming collars and anti-anxiety T-shirts. If you and your veterinarian decide that your dog does need medication and you have to try a new-to-pup med, make sure to test it out for adverse effects or unusual reactions a few days before you travel.
- Take particular care if traveling with a brachycephalic (or short-muzzled) breed. “These breeds can run into respiratory challenges in increased temperature or humidity. Confinement in a carrier could cause anxiety which could exacerbate these conditions,” notes Dr. Klein. Discuss your travel plans with your veterinarian—it may be safest not to fly with your dog. Note, too, that most airlines will not allow these dogs to travel in cargo.
- Don’t feed your dog for about six hours before travel, but do give them bottled water.