Author: Haley Gibbs
Traveling with your dog or other animal companion can add many fun adventures and excursions to your trip. However, when choosing to fly, it can also be stressful figuring out the logistics and finding the best tips on how to travel with your pet.
Making sure your dog is healthy ahead of traveling is one of the most important steps, especially if it's a longer trip. Bring your dog to the vet for a general checkup to ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and your dog is in proper shape for traveling. Airlines require a health certificate which is key to get from your vet and always keep a copy of their shot records with you while traveling.
When traveling by plane, crates are required for your dog. It’s important to choose a crate that works with your dog’s size that allows your them to stand, turn, and lie down comfortably. The crate should include ventilation on opposing sides with strong handles and grips, along with a “live animal” label that includes arrows showing the upright position with the owner’s name, address, and phone number. Don’t forget to choose a comfortable crate mat and include your dog’s favorite toy for snuggles during travel and have their favorite treats on-hand to reward them after! In addition to a crate being necessary when flying, it’s also important when staying in a hotel as most hotels also mandate that your dog is crated when left alone in a hotel room.
When you’re booking your own travel in the U.S., you’ll need to make reservations for your dog as only a certain number of animals are allowed per flight. When flying, pups need to be at least eight weeks old, and a health certificate must be provided to the airline ten days before your trip. Rabies and vaccinations records are also required. The airlines make it clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to verify the dog’s health and ability to fly, as flying can be stressful for dogs.
Before flying, check the temperatures of the flight’s departure and arrival destination as in some cases, it may be too hot or cold for your dog to safely fly. There are certain regulations in place that prohibit animals from flying if it will be exposed to temperatures too low or high for an extended period of time, but as an owner, it’s good practice to check yourself as well.
It’s also essential to check your airline for their specific policies for flying with pets, as each airline has their own regulations, which can add another tricky layer in planning.
If you intend to bring your dog on an international flight, planning ahead is key! The U.S. doesn’t set the conditions for bringing your pup along as each country has its own set of rules and guidelines for bringing your dog across the border, such as health certificates, required vaccinations, pet examinations and additional paperwork that is necessary. If you have a multi-country trip planned, each country might require something different for your dog, so you’ll need to research and prepare.
When returning to the U.S., you’ll need to follow the rules created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include that your dog must appear healthy and a rabies vaccine certificate may be required depending on what country your dog had previously visited. Within the U.S., each state can also have different regulations, so check with either your state’s State Department of Agriculture or the State Veterinarian’s Office for any additional requirements.
For long travel days and adventures in a new place, find ways to keep your dog entertained between flights so they don’t get bored. One way to do this is by introducing a high-value treat for good behavior, such as Natural Farm’s Bully Bites. They’re bite-sized and beneficial, providing the perks of full-sized bully sticks for small dogs and puppies. Or, choose a long-lasting chew treat like our all-natural, enriching Collagen Sticks. Made with just one ingredient, they make a perfect treat for medium-to-heavy chewers and last even longer than our bully sticks. With both six- and twelve-inch options, they’re the perfect long-lasting chew for dogs big and small. Note: don’t leave your dog unattended with their treats to ensure they chew them safely and properly.
Another must is to plan out your pup’s bathroom breaks! You’ll want to make sure your dog can relieve themselves multiple times throughout the day when traveling. A good trick is to train your dog to go on different surfaces and textures, which allows you more options when needing to find a place for a bathroom break.
To recap, you’ll need to plan ahead when flying with your pup, either domestically or internationally. It’s best to have the products needed to tackle boredom, adventures, and downtime:
- Health certificate including vaccination records
- A dog crate that includes a crate mat, a toy, bottled water, and a sign showing the upright position
- A supply of your dog’s regular food to last long enough for the length of the trip
- Bottled water plus a small, collapsible bowl
- Medications your dog takes
- The number of the nearest 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital and your dog’s regular vet
- A leash and a collar with identification tags that include the dog’s name, owner's name and phone number, and proof of rabies shots tag.
- Doggie bags
- Treats and delicious chews like our traditional Bully Sticks
If you’re looking to travel with your pup by car instead of by air, be sure to check out this blog!
For more chews to occupy and delight your dog, visit our store page using the link below today:
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