Air travel can be a little tricky, especially if you are traveling with your pet. I took a flight this weekend to pick up the newest addition to our pawmily. I was really excited for this trip and we had been prepping for it but it was still a little bit nerve-wracking. Just because there are so many little details you have to take into consideration for air travel and so many questions too. For example; Can I travel with my puppy in the cabin? What documents do I need? What should I bring? Do I need a crate? Pet carrier?
That’s why we are sharing our air travel tips with you!
Related post: Road trip tips
Before booking your flight, make sure the airline is pet-friendly. We booked with JetBlue and they have a program called JetPaws. Each airline might have different guidelines for traveling with pets. Make sure you contact the airline Customer Service Department for any questions regarding the rules and regulations for traveling with your pet. JetBlue allows pets to travel inside the cabin with you as long as they are 20lbs or less. If the pet exceeds the weight they must travel in the cargo area. Some airlines restrict the number of pets traveling inside the cabin. JetBlue has a maximum capacity of 3 pets per flight. Book early and reserve your spot as soon as possible.
2Get the right pet carrier
Before purchasing a pet carrier look for the airline guidelines. After you have this information look for a comfortable pet carrier for your furry friend. If the pet carrier is too small it could cause more stress to your pet. The pet should be able to move around while inside the pet carrier. We suggest you find a pet carrier with some extra pockets on the side for any items you want to keep handy during the flight. You’re allowed only 1 more personal item which will need to be stowed away in the upper compartment and the pet carrier which will need to be stowed away below the front seat.
3Pack for their necessities
Luggage can sometimes get lost in transit, that’s why it’s important to pack in your carry on enough food, toys, treats, and medicine to last you a few days once you land. We recommend getting some collapsible silicone pet bowls for food and water. You can have some treats and kibbles in a zip lock bag.
4Health certificate and vaccine shots
Make sure you get a health certificate from your veterinarian, this will confirm your pet has all the vaccines up to date and it is healthy to travel. While some airlines might not require having these documents we suggest to always have them available when traveling. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Airports nowadays have designated pet relief areas where your pet can go about their business. Some airports have them outside the terminal area, which means if your pet needs to go, you will need to go through security again. The guys and gals at PetFriendlyTravel.com have shared an extremely useful article where it provides a list of the locations of pets and service animals relief areas at U.S airports, check out the list HERE.
6Before arriving at the airport
On the day of the flight have the normal routine with the exception of providing food and water. If you have more than 3 hours before you have to go to the airport you can feed your pet. We recommend not giving the full portion because they can get dizzy and nauseous during the car ride to the airport. Make sure you have your daily walk so they can do their business and you can begin to tire out your pet.
7Before the flight
Identify the pet relief area at the airport. You will want to spend most of the time there with your pet before the flight. Your pet will have enough time to do their business and enough time to get tired out. Try providing a small amount of water and ice cubes. This will help keep your pet hydrated while proving some bladder control. Avoid feeding your dog before the flight because they can get anxious and most likely will vomit. Try feeding some treats or just a few kibbles instead.
8During the flight
Try giving a treat or something to play with during the flight. As this will keep your pet entertained. Don’t be alarmed if your pet seems disinterested, it may be suffering from some anxiety, just like us during take off. Try to avoid giving water or food during the flight. This is to avoid any potty accidents while on the air. We suggest asking the flight attendant for a cup of ice. This will help your pet be entertained by chewing some water cookies and help prevent any dehydration.
9After the flight
After the flight look for the pet relief area immediately. This way your pup will be able to stretch out from the flight and go about their business. Once at your final destination make sure you provide water to prevent any dehydration and feed the proper amount of food to prevent any malnutrition.
Remember, your pet’s safety and health depend on you. Keep your pet safe and healthy while traveling. If you have other air travel tips make sure to leave them in the comment section. It may be featured on our social media accounts and included in this post!