Authored by Jordan F
Everyone knows that when you bring a dog into your life, you’re not only welcoming a ton of new excitement, but you’re also embracing a substantial amount of new responsibility.
That responsibility, however, doesn’t mean you need to give up your flexibility when it comes to travel, at least not all of it!
It has become quite acceptable in today’s day and age to bring your pet with you, and travel with your dog on the plane. So the following are our trips on flying with your dog; because there’s no reason you should have to choose between your wanderlust and your pet!
Tips for Flying with Your Dog
Crate Training & Dog Carrier Bags
The two keys to successfully traveling with your dog are crate training and a good dog carrier bag.
I’ve found that most dogs who are crate trained, do well with traveling in a travel bag. If your dog isn’t crate trained then extended travel, especially on an airplane, has the potential to become an extremely stressful situation for both you and your dog.
But it’s very easy to turn your dog into an expert traveler with the following steps.
Once your dog is properly crate trained, the introduction of a carrier bag is relatively easy.
One thing that worked for me was keeping the carrier bag in my car, and having Carl sit in it every time we were on our way out for the day. After a while, he started associating having fun and going to places he enjoyed with sitting in his bag.
At first, I would keep the bag closed, and reward him with treats for good behavior while he was in the bag. Within two weeks Carl was diving head first into any bag I put in front of him!
Now it’s to the point where I can’t keep the bag in my apartment without Carl trying to hang out in there.
My Carrier Bag Recommendations
If Sherpa makes a bag that your dog can comfortably fit in, you really can’t go wrong.
The Sherpa Carrier Bag in large should work for dogs at or under 22 pounds. This bag features an over the shoulder strap, as well as the standard velcro handles.
For added comfort, I wrap one of Carl’s favorite blankets around the removable insert pad that comes with the bag.
Sherpa also makes a bag with wheels on it! This bag is an excellent option for traveling with larger dogs, or for individuals with disabilities.
I-GO2 Plus Traveler
The Sherpa Carrier was the first bag we used, but at this point, Carl has slightly outgrown the large carrier. Since the bag was no longer an option, we switched to the Pet Gear I-GO2 Plus Traveler.
I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find a bag that matched the quality build that the Sherpa offered, but as soon as the I-GO2 Plus Traveler arrived I immediately knew that I found a comparable, if not superior quality level.
The number of options the I-GO2 Plus Traveler offers is my favorite thing about this bag. You can go from using the backpack straps, to pulling the bag behind you using its wheels in under 30 seconds.
It also can be laid flat, and instead of your dog standing upright, your dog can freely lay down and have a makeshift den of their own!
Food & Water
Depending on the length of your trip, I suggest making sure you feed your dog several hours before your flight or drive starts.
Be sure to bring extra dog food with you. Two servings in your carry-on bag should do the trick. Air dried dog food has worked especially well since it contains a lot of nutrients in a compact package.
You never know what may or may not happen with your flight, so your best bet is to be prepared in case of delays.
Try to limit the amount of water you give to your dog before your trip. While Airports will typically have dog relief stations, I have found that most dogs are hesitant to want to go to the bathroom while traveling.
My goal is always to make sure my dog is as comfortable as possible. Be sure to have a bowl or cup your little one can drink out of in your carry-on.
During long trips, I also suggest offering your dog an ice cube from time to time. Carl love’s to munch on them.
What Else Should You Bring?
➡ Puppy Pads- Just in case!
➡ Toys. Traveling is boring for everyone, including dogs. Bring something to distract them. Preferably something they can’t destroy.
➡ Extra food. You never know if your flight will get canceled or delayed. Your best option is to have about two servings of extra dog food in your carry-on bag.
➡ Travel Water Bowl. It’s crucial for them to have something to drink. I carry a water bottle that has a removable bottom compartment that works great for a quick little bowl!
➡ Vaccination Documents. Sometimes airlines or hotels will ask for documents, sometimes they won’t. Always have them with you just in case. I carry a folder in my backpack with all of Carl’s info.
➡ Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time when you first travel with your fur ball. Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean you can’t take them along on your travels.
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