(469) 450-7040 info@BarneysRanch.com

If you and your family are going on vacation and you’ve decided to take your dog along, read below for some tips on how to travel on a plane so that you, your dog and your fellow travelers have a pleasant flight.


Are you and your dog leaving on a jet plane? Read below for tips on how to make the trip as pleasant as possible.

  • Many airlines allow just one or two dogs on each flight. That means that if someone books before you, there may be too many dogs already on the flight. So book early!
  • You need to have a pet carrier for the dog’s flight. If your dog is a large breed, he’ll probably be flying in the cargo hold, so the carrier/crate should be hard-sided (made of plastic). If your dog is small enough to fly in the cabin with you (and you’ll need to check with your airline to see what breeds are “cabin-suitable”), a soft-sided carrier will be more comfortable for your dog. The carrier – with your dog inside – must fit under the seat in front of you. In addition, the carrier should be large enough so that your dog can stand, sit and turn around in it with room to spare.
  • If possible, book a non-stop, direct flight. Your dog will thank you from keeping him from having to withstand the onslaught of sights, sounds and smells of several different planes and airports. One plane is enough.
  • Visit your veterinarian. Airlines require a health certificate from a veterinarian that is dated no more than 10 days from your day of departure. (If you’ll be traveling outside the continental U.S., you may need additional healthcare requirements/documents. Check with the foreign office of the country you will be visiting for more information.)
  • Your vet will make sure your pet is healthy enough to fly and will make sure all of his vaccinations are up to date.
  • Write your name and your address on your dog’s carrier. You also should take a current photo of your pet and keep it with you, just in case your pet becomes lost. A microchip ID also is a great idea, if you haven’t done this already
  • Get your dog used to being in his carrier during travel by placing him in it several times before the trip while you take him around town.
  • Instead of letting your dog fly with a full stomach, feed him about four hours before you leave for your flight. It’s even better if his last meal before departure is supper the day before. Always provide your dog with plenty of drinking water, of course. Take your pet for a bathroom break right before you leave for the airport.
  • If your dog is traveling in the cargo hold, leave his water and food dishes (empty) in his carrier so that one of the airline’s employees can give your dog food and water in case of an extended delay at some point before/after the trip.
  • You definitely should get to the airport earlier than you do when not flying with your dog. You won’t be able to check in at the curb or use the self-service kiosk; you must check in at your airline’s counter.
  • Don’t give your pet a Valium or other sedative because they can create cardiovascular or respiratory problems at high altitudes. Your vet may decide that a tranquilizer is best for your pet – but only your vet should make that decision. Follow his/her instructions on administering the sedative to the letter and make sure you place the name of the drug administered and dosage on your pet’s carrier.
  • Once you’ve arrived at your destination, take your dog for an extra-long walk before heading to your room or getting in a car/bus for more travel.

If you’d rather not – or you can’t – take your dog on a long trip with you, consider boarding him overnight here at Barney’s Ranch. Contact us at 469-450-7040 or send us an e-mail message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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