dog getting ready to fly at airport

How to Train and Prepare Your Dog for Flying

Flying is never a stress-free experience. From purchasing your tickets to packing your bags and finding the correct gate at the airport, it’s a lot! Adding a dog into the mix just means you’ll need to spend more time preparing before the day of your flight to ensure a smooth transition from point A to point B. Follow these steps to set yourself and your dog up for a great flying experience! 

Visit the Vet 

Schedule an appointment with the veterinarian before booking a flight. During the appointment, the vet will examine your dog and determine if it’s safe for them to travel on an airplane. If they’re cleared for travel, your vet can provide a travel health certificate. Tape one copy of the certificate to your dogs’ crate on the day of travel and keep one on your person. The vet may also be able to offer medication to ease your dog’s anxiety before you travel. 

Purchase a Carrier 

Once you know it’s safe for your dog to fly, it’s time to start getting the essentials together! Purchase an airline ticket for yourself and your dog. Then, purchase a travel carrier. Travel carriers come in a variety of sizes to fit your dog’s needs. Smaller dogs can sometimes be kept in their carrier right below your seat on the airplane. Larger dogs that have larger carriers will fly in the cargo area of the plane. 

Practice Makes Perfect 

If your dog goes into the carrier for the first time on the day of your flight, it’s going to be a stressful experience for everyone. Practice putting your dog into their carrier and letting them stay inside for longer periods of time. Even if it’s supposed to be a short flight, delays can occur with little warning. Load the carrier into your car and drive around to let the dog get used to the feeling of movement while they’re confined. The more acclimated your dog is with their travel carrier, the better! 

The Day of Your Flight 

On the day of your flight, try to exercise your dog as much as possible before arriving at the airport. This helps to get out excess energy and your dog will be more likely to rest during the flight. Attach a small bowl inside the carrier for water and another for food. Arrive at the airport an hour earlier than you would if you were flying solo. This gives you extra time to get your dog settled and transferred to the cargo loading area if that’s where they’ll be riding. Remind airline employees at the time of check-in that you’ll be flying with a dog. 

Contact Argos Dog Training

Flying with your furry friend may seem stressful, but as always, practice makes perfect! Have patience with your dog and do the prep work beforehand. If you’re struggling to train your dog to spend more time in a carrier or behave well in public, don’t panic! Contact Argos Dog Training today to schedule a consultation with the leading dog training expert in the Boston area. We offer a variety of dog training programs to address all different behaviors.