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Planning to travel with your pooch on the plane? It isn’t as easy as it sounds! Dogs are naturally restless animals and containing them in a crate for long journeys is not an easy task. Sometimes, it can even be traumatizing for them as they have to stay in a new environment with other animals for long periods of time and little comfort. On the other hand, many owners do not want to leave their pets behind when they go for long holidays. To make sure that your pooch is more comfortable and calm, there are quite a few things that you could do:
- Pick the right airlines: Different airlines have different rules for pets. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin; others require them to be kept in a crate in a separate compartment. To keep your pooch comfortable, look up the right airlines and book ahead so that they can fit him/her in. Airlines will charge extra for this.
- Airlines have rules that your pet must have gotten all the latest vaccinations. This is to make sure that the other pets and passengers on the plane do not get infected. This is especially true for international flights so make sure you take your dog to the vet before traveling.
- When preparing for the journey, exercise your dog adequately. Tire them out so that they aren’t overly energetic and will most likely sleep on the plane. This can also help reduce restlessness.
- For air travel, it is necessary to put your dog in a crate. To do this successfully, present the crate as a positive thing. It is recommended to do this before entering the airport to reduce the chaos.
- Make sure that your dog does not have a full bladder or a full stomach before traveling. No one wants to be greeted at the end of a journey with pee or poop all over the crate. Dirty environments will also make the dog more uneasy. Water needs to be accessible to your dog at all times; just enough to keep him/her hydrated but not full.
- Be calm when you say goodbye to him/her in the crate. The more upset you are, he or she will also likely get upset.
- When putting your dog in a crate, make sure there is at least one item to make him/her feel more comfortable. This could be a blanket, a stuffed toy or a toy bone.
- Remove leashes and collars before putting your dog in the crate to avoid choking while moving.
- Dogs can also be medicated to keep them calm during long journeys but that may or may not be a good idea. Do your research before administering them.