Would you like to go on holiday with your dog? When flying with a dog, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to make your darling as pleasant a flight as possible.
In this article, you will learn exactly what you should pay attention to and how you should prepare yourself and your animal friend.
Which dogs are allowed to fly?
Not every dog breed is allowed to fly with every airline. List dogs and blunt-nosed or short-headed dogs in particular are often not allowed on the plane or only under strict conditions.
Short-headed dogs get shortness of breath more quickly when stressed. Snub-nosed dogs have difficulty breathing at high temperatures and can suffer serious damage to their health .
If you are not sure whether your dog is suitable for a flight, then it is best to consult with your veterinarian .
What is important when flying with a dog
If you want to fly with your dog, you must also notify the airline in good time. With many airlines, you have the option of registering the animal transport up to 24 hours before departure . You can also book the ticket with your own flight.
Cargo hold or cabin?
Only small dogs are allowed in the cabin, as they are part of the “hand luggage”.
Large dogs , on the other hand, are to be treated as “special baggage” and come into the cargo hold. For this purpose, you must carry your own transport box . Some airlines also offer their own transport boxes. Each airline has its own special regulations when it comes to flying with a dog. The best thing to do is to simply call the booked airline and get information.
The transport box
It is important that you choose the right transport box for your beloved four-legged friend, because the flight itself is excitement enough. The boxes should be al dente, impermeable to water and well ventilated .
Many airlines have precise specifications for the transport boxes. For example, the size must be adapted to the dog so that it can lie, stand and turn in it. You should put an absorbent insert in the transport box so that nothing leaks. On the box you can put both the name of the dog and your address and phone number.
For the flight in the cargo hold, it would be good if you place water and food for the dog in the transport box. Just like a toy or a T-shirt that smells like you.
Selection of transport boxes for flying with a dog
Preparation of the dog
Flying with a dog means additional stress for both the animal and the human. That’s why you should prepare your four-legged friend for it in the best possible way. To get him used to the transport box, you can set up the box in the apartment and place a treat in it every now and then. So the dog can connect the box with something positive. It is also advisable to reward the dog when he goes into the carrier or sleeps in it.
Before the flight, you should really let your dog work out – for example with a long walk. The dog should be outside the box for as long as possible and it is important to calm him down by playing and petting.
Many veterinarians do not recommend sedatives. The wrong remedy can lead to a circulatory collapse in the cargo hold, which is often a very traumatic experience for the dog.
Documents for the flight
Of course, when flying with a dog, you must not forget the dog’s documents. Within Europe, you need the EU passport for your dog. This includes the registration number and proof of rabies vaccination. The rabies vaccination must take place at least three weeks before the start of travel within the EU. You can get the card from any authorized veterinarian. You should also pack proof of dog liability insurance and in many cases you still have to take out international protection .
Luggage for the dog
It is important to pack the most important things not only for yourself, but also for the dog. So you should take a first aid kit, tick tweezers, muzzle, poop bags, treats, travel bowl and a bottle of water. It can also be helpful to write down the number of a veterinarian or veterinary clinic in the resort beforehand. To make the dog feel comfortable even on vacation, you can take a blanket or your favorite toy from home with you.
Entry requirements for dogs
In order to avoid nasty surprises, you should familiarize yourself with the entry requirements of the holiday country, because flying with a dog can quickly lead to problems. This involves leash and muzzle requirements, required treatments and the list of prohibited dog breeds.
Cost of flying with a dog
It is best to find out about the costs of flying with a dog before booking.
TUI fly, for example, charges a processing fee of euros per animal in the cabin and flight route on international flights and 47.60 euros on domestic flights. Carriage in the cargo hold costs 60 euros per animal on international flights and 71.40 euros for domestic routes. (Status: January 2023)
Is a flight really the right solution?
A flight is only the emergency solution for dogs. They are exposed to extreme stress and many studies show that the dogs are traumatized after the flight in the cargo hold. So think carefully about whether there is another alternative . Even longer car journeys are less stressful for the dog than medium and long-haul flights. There is also the possibility to leave the animal in an accommodation (pet hotel). The beloved four-legged friend is properly cared for and both humans and dogs can enjoy the holiday. However, if you see no other way out than a flight with a dog, then make sure that you book a direct flight . The shorter the flight, the better.