A first flight for your pet can be frightening for both them and you. Questions plague your mind. How will they react? Will they be alright? What if something does go wrong? While it is normal to worry, the best course of action is always to be prepared. By preparing in advance, you can ensure you have taken every possible step towards your pet having a safe, successful flight. Check out these seven tips to get started.

1: Book as Early as Possible

When flying with your pet you need to ensure you book as early as possible. Airlines that allow pets to travel typically only allow one to two per flight to minimize allergens and complications. Call the airline you plan to travel with and ask if they have availability for your pet to travel. This may cost an extra fee, though it should not be exorbitant. If they do have a spot for you and your pet, book while on the phone to ensure your pet’s spot is not taken.

2: Get a Full Check Up

Within the month leading up to your trip, make sure to take your pet to the veterinarian clinic for a full work up. This is to be sure they are healthy enough for flying. Animals with anxiety disorders, heart conditions, or progressive diseases may not be healthy enough to fly due to the air pressure and stress it may cause. Also, double check that your furry friend has all their vaccinations up to date.

3: Bring All Important Documents

Speaking of vaccinations, make sure you have that information with you. Airlines reserve the right to verify your pet is up to date, to minimize the possibility of spreading diseases. Any other documents that may prove helpful should also be brought. Ideas include identification documentation, breed verification, all recent vet records, and (if applicable) companion animal paperwork.

4: Get an Appropriately Sized Carrier

Whether you are bringing a tiny kitten or a massive Mastiff, there are carriers designed to accommodate them. You want one that will fit your animal snuggly, with just a little room to spare. Too large and your pet may not feel safe. Too small and your pet will be uncomfortable. To get your animal used to traveling in their carrier, take a test run or two ahead of time.

5: Arrive In Advance

With current safety measures, it already takes a while to get through check-in, security, and onto your flight. There may be extra steps necessary when traveling with your animal, so you’ll need to arrive even earlier. A good rule of thumb is to arrive two to three hours before your flight is due to take off. This will give you ample time to get both you and your companion settled.

6: Skip the Sedatives

Many pet owners are under the impression that sedatives should be used when traveling with pets because it helps to calm them down. This is wrong. The use of sedatives can cause injury or death to your pet. In particular, it can cause respiratory issues.

7: Take Care of All Your Dog’s Needs 3-4 Hours Before Flight

You should stop feeding your animal at least three hours before your flight so they do not have a full stomach when flying. If possible, take your dog for a long walk or play with them for a few hours that morning or the night before to tire them out. You can (and should) continue giving them water right up until time to fly.

Use these seven tips to ensure you’re prepared for your pet to have a safe, virtually stress-free flight. If you’d like more information about the care of your pets, you can visit PuppyJoy.net. They have an abundance of resources for pet owners.

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