Flying with a Dog: A Lowdown
Big dog or little dog, traveling with one is stressful. I’ve personally travelled with Stella, my Pug/Dachshund mix twice, both times were cross-Atlantic flights from New York to Tel Aviv and back. That’s a 12 hour flight ya’ll, just sayin’. Now I'm lucky, Stella’s small enough to fit in a carrier that’s allowed to be on board with me and not in the belly of the plane. For those of you who have to put your dog in a crate and be separated from your fur baby - it’s so hard but it’s also doable.
Here are a few pointers that I learned (sometimes the hard way) about traveling with a dog:
If flying internationally, make sure to read the receiving country’s rules and regulations about incoming animals.
Every country is different. For example, Israel requires you to have a health certificate as well as a rabies antibodies blood test that must be done within 10 days of the flight. Make sure to have all paperwork and vaccines done at least 48 hours before your flight so you don’t go running around like a chicken with its head cut off - been there, done that. It sucks.
Let the airline know you’re flying with an animal.
First, there are fees. Somewhere between $100 - $250 depending on the airline and the flight.
Second, there’s a limited amount of animals allowed per flight and you want to make sure yours is one of them.
Third, if there is an animal that is large and going in the belly of the plane, they will make sure that area is warmed up for the animal. You definitely want the belly of the plane warmed up for your pup, otherwise it’s freezing.
Time your dog’s eating and drinking to when your flight is.
When flying with Stella, I stopped feeding her the evening before a morning flight and the morning of an evening flight. I gave her water up until a couple of hours before the flight since I was already at the airport. Bring a water bowl with you just in case but certainly if your flight is as long as mine were.
When I travel with Stella I seriously travel like a mom. I have a whole bag just for her crap. In addition to her carrier, I’ve got treats, poop bags (you never know when she’ll just pop a squat and woah Nelly), Benadryl (she’s been known to be allergic to random stuff), motion sickness medicine (go ahead and laugh, I know I do), and a piece of my clothing so she smells me while in her carrier (helps with agitation and reduces crying to a minimum).
In my suitcase, I make sure to pack food for the duration of the stay, more poop bags, flea and tick spray (in addition to her three-month pill, I take NO chances), baby wipes, and toys. If you’re traveling somewhere cold, pack some layers for your doggo as well why don’tcha. I told you, I’m a freakin’ mom.