Flying with a pet is not only stressful and possibly dangerous for them, it’s also an exhausting endeavor for you and your travel companions. No matter how relaxed and easy-going your pet is, they’ll always feel some stress over the prospect of remaining inside their travel bag for a couple of hours, or the even more grueling scenario of having to spend the trip along with the luggage. Here are some ways to prepare your pet for a flight.

Learn your airline’s animal policy

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Before you purchase your ticket, make sure to do the necessary research and learn about the different animal policies from each airline. While some only allow for small cats and dogs, others make room for birds, rabbits and other domesticated animals. You can check out this guide which has some in depth information about different airlines and their animal policies.

Make sure everything is okay with your pet

A few days ahead of your trip, make sure to visit the vet and check on your pet, ensuring that their vitals are fine, they’re up to date with their vaccinations, and that they’re fit for travel. Check with your airline about health certificates since some of them require ones that are time sensitive.

Purchase a comfortable pet carrier

A good and comfortable pet carrier can make or break your trip, facilitating the whole transportation process and keeping your pet as comfortable as possible. These carriers should have appropriate ventilation, be easy to transport and they should also be roomy enough for your pet to move around comfortably. Another thing you should account for is the fact that each airline has their own pet carrier standards, making a complicated process even more troublesome.

Make sure they’re fed and hydrated

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Have a talk with your vet about the appropriate feeding and drinking window for your pet. You don’t want them to be dehydrated and starving for the duration of the flight, but you also don’t want them to make a mess of themselves through the trip. Most vets advise that pets should have a relatively empty stomach before flights, that they’re moderately hydrated and that they’ve had enough exercise so they can sleep or relax through the duration of the trip.

Think twice before sedating them

While many believe that sedation makes the whole flight process easier, the AMVA says that pets shouldn’t be sedated since this creates some problems in different areas. Pets who are sedated may not be able to brace themselves properly if there’s turbulence and might also have more trouble breathing. Speak with your vet and try to find the best solution for your pet.

Hopefully these ways to prepare your pet for a flight is helpful.

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