Planning on taking your pet on a plane with you? You’re not alone. Even though most airlines no longer allow pets as checked baggage (excluding service animals), they’ll still try almost anything to seduce those traveling with furry companions into buying an extra seat for their small, but lovable friends.
Besides the obvious perks of getting to bring along your little one’s favorite blanket and food bowl, there are plenty of other reasons why taking your pet with you is actually a good idea.
Here are top tips to keep in mind when traveling with your pets in 2022:
1. Make sure your pet is microchipped
Make sure your pet is microchipped and that the information is current! This will greatly increase your chances of being reunited should you ever become separated. Be sure to also have a current photo of your pet on hand.
2. Get a TSA-approved carrier
If you plan on taking a large breed dog with you, make sure to get a TSA-approved carrier that is small enough for the airline workers to put under the plane. Make sure it’s durable and easy to clean in case of accidents!
3. Make frequent stops
Taking your pet on an airplane entails plenty of waiting around. Make frequent stopovers so that they can stretch their little paws and get some exercise! Don’t forget to bring along any food or medication they might need while you’re inside the terminal.
4. Bring along some extra treats
Of course, no trip is complete without a few tasty treats! Make sure to bring along an extra supply in the event that they get hungry or punch their way out of their carrier.
5. Don’t leave them alone in the car
If you plan on making any stops, make sure you aren’t leaving your pet unattended in the car for too long. It’s best to leave windows cracked enough for ventilation and bring plenty of water with you!
6. Be prepared to wait
Pets are not allowed in security at most airports, so be prepared to wait it out with them for hours while you pass through. Be sure to take some time off work if this is your only option due to inconvenient timing (i.e. early morning flights).
7. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep
Long days and even longer nights await those who opt to take their pets on a plane with them! Be sure that everyone in your party gets at least 8 hours of sleep the night before (and after) your flight. Pack plenty of snacks and toys for everyone involved to keep morale up.
8. Stop by every few hours!
A long day is exhausting for even the most well-mannered pet, so be sure to stop by their carrier every 3 or 4 hours with some extra water, treats, or just some love & affection! Not only will it help put their minds at ease, but yours as well.
9. Always be on high alert!
Finally, being in a new environment is always a little stressful for the average pet, so they will most likely let you know if they’re feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable by barking or crying. Don’t immediately assume it’s because of you and check their carrier first before anything else to make sure everything is still ok.
10. Don’t buy any extra airline tickets before asking first!
Before buying any extra airline tickets for your furry friends (in the event that your pet doesn’t get accepted as a carry-on), check with all airlines first to see if they’re even allowed to ride along with you on the plane as checked baggage! A few of them only allow small pets in carriers and they will most likely be the last ones to board. This is especially important for those pet owners traveling during the holidays or any other busy travel season!
11. Do your research on the customs of each country you will be visiting
If you plan on traveling out of the country, make sure to do some extra research on their custom laws! You don’t want to run into any issues while trying to get back home. For example, in Japan, all animals are required by law to have a muzzle and be held in a cage or carrier at all times when outside.
12. Keep them hydrated!
Finally, please keep in mind that pets need plenty of water! Don’t forget about them and leave them alone for too long without checking up on how they’re doing. Pack along with an extra bowl just in case something happens to theirs.
13. Just be sure to enjoy your time together!
Taking your pet with you on an airplane can be a stressful experience for all involved, but it’s also very rewarding! You’ll get plenty of time to bond and show them off to everyone around you (if they’re okay with that). Make sure to take some extra precautions in case anything goes wrong, but most importantly – just make sure to have fun with each other!
14. Don’t forget the dog carrier
Be sure to get your pet accustomed to their carrier well before you get on the plane. Put some of their favorite toys or treats in it so they can get used to being inside of it without feeling too cramped.
15. Keep them distracted!
Try playing laser tag with them while passing through security just to keep them preoccupied and distracted from all the noise around them. Make sure that everyone is wearing safety goggles though, otherwise, this game could turn into a real eye-opener!
16. Don’t be afraid of asking for help if needed!
If any issues do arise on board, don’t hesitate to ask for help–most airline staff are extremely understanding when it comes to pet owners. Just explain the situation calmly and quietly so as not to alarm any other passengers on board.
17. Be prepared for some drowsiness!
If your dog does get drowsy, don’t be alarmed–it’s actually pretty normal even if they’re usually active! Make sure that their carrier is secure before you fall asleep, though. You wouldn’t want them waking everybody up with a loud bark or yelp now, would you?
18. Always make travel plans well in advance!
Sometimes it can take weeks or even months (depending on the airline) before the final decision gets made about whether or not your pet can ride along with you on the plane. Be sure to send in your request for travel plans well in advance so you can get all of the forms filled out and sent over to them quickly.
19. Get the appropriate airline documents ready!
If your pet is approved, be sure to get their carrier together with all of the proper airline documents long before your departure date! Don’t expect that you’re going to have a free hand while getting everything else done–you should probably start making a list right about now to keep everything straight.
20. Be prepared for delays or cancellations!
It’s also very important not to book too close to departure time since there may be last-minute issues with weather or other cancellations which may cause further delay for both yourself and your pet.
21. If all else fails, just give them a treat!
If you’re nervous about how your pet is going to react on the plane, just try giving them a small treat or two to calm down their nerves – it can’t hurt either way and could be helpful if they start acting out of sorts later on! Just don’t overdo it with food since this might make them sick.
22. Make sure to bring along identification tags!
Bringing along some identification tags for your dog is also essential in case something happens and you and your dog become separated from each other during transit. Be sure that their name, your name, contact information (home & cell), as well as any other important details, are clearly marked on the tag so airport staff can get you reunited quickly.
23. Expect to be busy!
Expect to have some extra responsibilities while bringing your dog aboard with you, so make sure to read through the above tips closely and keep them in mind when arranging your travel plans. While it may be a bit of extra work on your part, it’ll all be worth it if everyone gets where they’re going safely!
24. Just remember – you know your pet best!
Remember that while most dogs are able to ride just fine on an airplane, there are some that just aren’t comfortable enough for long periods of travel–just make sure to take this into consideration before booking any trips.
25. Keep track of everything!
Finally, make sure that you keep all paperwork and other important documents both for yourself as well as your pet so they can be easily identified should there ever be an issue during the trip. Keep those documents either on hand or in a safe place so you never have to worry about losing them.
That’s it for today folks – quick and simple tips on how to get your dog through security and onto the plane without too much hassle! We had our dog with us when we first moved here from America, and getting him onto the plane was an experience that we never want to live through again!
But now that we’ve figured out some good ways around this troublesome process, hopefully, things will go a whole lot smoother the next time!