Your pet is a beloved member of the family, so if you could, you’d probably take them with you everywhere, even on your flights. However, there is nothing like traveling with your pet to remind you that they require added preparation to get them ready, especially when traveling by air.
So we bring you the following tips to help make flying with your pet more comfortable for everyone.
Contact the Airport to Learn Their Rules and Restrictions for Flying With Pets
When flying with your pet, it is important to first contact the airport to learn their policies for doing so, which will help avoid unnecessary delays and frustration.
For instance, there are new federal rules for what now classify as an emotional support animal for air travel.
Hence, if you are bringing your pet aboard for emotional support, then you must contact the airport to see if they classify it as an ESA and what documents you need to bring as proof.
There are also policies regarding which cat and dog breeds can ride in the cabin, provided they also meet the weight and size limit restrictions.
So again, be sure to first contact the airport to see if your pet is eligible to fly with that particular airline, and if so, are they also able to travel with you in the cabin?
Schedule a Meeting With Your Pet’s Veterinarian
Whether you are traveling by public airline or a private jet charter in Chicago and are considering bringing your pet along, it is important to ensure they are healthy for the flight. This way, both you and your pet can enjoy a comfortable ride while also protecting the health and safety of other passengers and pets.
To schedule an appointment with your pet’s vet for a checkup, during which time they
can also get your pet’s vaccinations up to date.
They will also be able to provide you with a health certificate to serve as proof of your pet’s immunity protection.
Make Your Pet’s Carrier/Crate as Homely as Possible
If you are able to bring your pet into the cabin with you, then be sure their carrier is filled with their favorite items, such as a blanket and their favorite chew toys, etc., to help reduce the stress of strange noises, turbulence, and more associated with flying. The same is true if your pet is riding in cargo.
It is also a good idea to get your pet trained for the carrier or crate prior to traveling so that you’re not forcing them into it at the last minute, which can also add to an already stressful situation.
Get Your Pet Associated With the Airport and Aircraft Beforehand
If possible, ask to board the aircraft before your flight to help get your pet familiar with the cabin before taking off. This way, you’re not trying to calm them down at the last minute, which can be overwhelming for both you and your pet.
Don’t Let Your Pet Fly on a Full Stomach
Your pet can be uncomfortable traveling with their belly full, so avoid feeding them within 4 hours of your flight. However, it is okay to give them water as often as necessary before they board the aircraft.
Allow Your Pet To Relieve Him or Herself Before the Flight
Most airports are pet-friendly, so they will typically have a designated area or areas for your pet to go potty. So be sure to allow your pet to visit the area for a quick bathroom break before boarding the plane to avoid embarrassing pet accidents while in flight.
Your pet will also thank you that they don’t have to try to control their bowels for hours until you land, which can be uncomfortable for anyone.
Flying with a pet can be overwhelming for both you and your pet, but with careful thought and preparation, it doesn’t have to be. Simply begin by contacting the airport to learn their specific rules for flying with pets.
This way, when you schedule your appointment with your pet’s vet, you will know exactly what is needed to ensure your pet is healthy and properly documented for your flight to help avoid surprises once you arrive at the airport.
You should also remember to help keep your pet as comfortable as possible during the flight to avoid added stress for both you and your pet.