3 Things to Consider Before Flying With Your Dog


a dog holding a stuffed animal

For many people, flying can be a stressful experience—coordinating flight times, packing according to flight guidelines, paying for an expensive plane ticket, and just being in the air, in general, can be quite chaotic. Now adding your pets to that mix can cause even more stress. However, if you plan accordingly and are a smart traveler, you can make sure that flying with your pet will be a safe and smooth experience.


1. Invest in a pet insurance plan.

Before you bring your pet with you on a flight, it’s a good idea to invest in a pet insurance policy. You can go about getting pet insurance by discussing with your regular health insurer whether they offer any pet insurance plans, and if they do, you can decide which insurance plan best suits your needs. While there are specific pet insurance companies such as Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, you can also discuss pet coverage options with other popular insurance companies, like Nationwide. You can also compare various pet insurance policies at iSelect.com, where are you are guaranteed to find the best pet insurance for your pup.


If you’re investing in pet insurance, you will typically want to find a plan that helps cover vet bills, including emergency care, diagnostic tests, and cancer treatment. You’ll also want to make sure your pet insurance offers the reimbursement type and annual deductibles that works best for you. It’s up to you to decide whether a company like Healthy Paws or Nationwide has the most beneficial insurance policy and comprehensive coverage for your pet’s needs. Since most people view their beloved pets the same as any other family member, having pet insurance coverage will offer peace of mind to any pet parent.




2. Choose a pet-friendly airline.

While you’re looking to book your flight, it’s important that you choose one that accepts pets on board. Once you’ve determined which airlines will allow you to fly with your pet, you must then decide which one you’ll feel most comfortable with. Each airline has their own policies regarding flying with pets, so it’s important that you understand their policy terms before you book your flight.


Some airlines will allow you to keep your pet under your seat in a carry-on crate, while others may request you board your pet with the other checked luggage. If you know for a fact that you want your pet near you during the flight, you must make sure that you find an airline that will allow this to be possible. However, it’s also necessary to take the size of your pet into consideration. For example, even though some airlines may allow your pet to be stowed as a carry-on, there may be weight and breed restrictions that require you to store your pet among the other luggage. This is why it’s so important that you read the policy terms of each airline before finalizing your trip.




3. Discuss travel plans with your veterinarian.

In order to take your pet with you on a flight, you must make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. While most people bring their dogs to the vet annually for their routine care, you should also schedule a vet visit before you travel. Your vet will help you determine whether your dog is actually capable of flying—some dogs may have an illness or other chronic conditions that will likely determine flying to be unsafe for their health. However, other pets who suffer from anxiety or hyperactivity can fly safely once they receive prescribed medication from a licensed veterinarian. Another important reason you must make a vet visit before your flight is because most pet-friendly airlines require documentation of your pet’s medications and vaccinations.


Although flying with your pet can be a stressful time, most pet parents know how rewarding it can be to have your pooch tag along for vacation. After all, dogs are like every other family member!



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