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Calming your Pet when Flying

"Airport rehearsals are a must. Arrive earlier so that your pet will get used to the noises, the hustle and bustle and won't freak out when you arrive at the airport."

We all love traveling. And what's more exciting when we travel (and fly!) together with our furry best friends!?

But calming your pet when flying, with the endless security measures, regulations, extra fees and the urge of your doggie or kitty to pee or poop, can be a total nightmare!

Here, we'll help you ready for the skies with your pet at his most calm behavior so the both of you can sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

Groom your pet before flying

Grooming your pet before traveling will keep him calm in your flight as he will feel comfortable in his own fur and will have lesser dramas of itching and scratching. Grooming will also make your pet more presentable.

Arrive at the airport earlier

Airport rehearsals are a must. Arrive earlier so that your pet will get used to the noises, the hustle and bustle and won't freak out when you arrive at the airport. These will also help him adjust to the variety of smells and sights and won't be intimidated by it. If he's anxious and scared to walk upon your arrival, don't drag him! Allow him to explore and adjust on his own pace.

Get your pet a comfortable carrier

Flights can be exhausting and since pets must be kept inside their carriers or crates the whole time, you will want to provide your pet a carrier where she can move freely and stretch every time she finds the need to. To keep her company, you can also place some of her favorite toys or chew toys inside for a more positive travel experience. Also choose a carrier where you are able to extend a finger or two for a head scratch or an ear rub so your pet will feel secure and know that you are just right beside her.

Note: Get your pet accustomed to using a carrier weeks before your actual travel date so she won't be shocked with the sudden lock up.

Place any clothing you have in the carrier

We must admit, there are pets who experience separation anxiety and will go crazy whenever their parent is out of sight. One thing you can do in calming your pet when flying is to place a piece of your used clothing or a clothing with your scent inside the carrier. Know that your scent is very calming to your pet and helps them feel secure.

Bring her favorite treat and a water supply

When traveling, you're not really supposed to give a full meal to your pet and get them full because they might vomit or experience GI upset and you will not want that. Instead, you can bring her favorite treats and offer one piece at a time. Also don't forget to bring water supply in a water-drip container to avoid it from spilling.

Prepare a pheromone collar

Pheromone collars are collars that produces the pheromone hormone. This is the hormone mama dog releases to calm down her puppies. The pheromone collar, if worn on your pet, are great when calming your pet when flying specially on stressful situations you two might encounter during your flight. There are also pheromone sprays available so you can use it every time you feel your pet is constantly seeking for your attention, excessively moving in the carrier, begins barking, has an increased urge to go out and in times where there's a great deal of turbulence.

Let your pet wear diapers

Cat Diapers

Luckily, the plane has lavatories for us but our pets don't. Controlling the urge to pee or poop can be a difficult task and many fail to do so.

That's why pet diapers for your cat or dog is very handy when flying! Diapers will prevent your pet from peeing or pooping inside the carrier and will also prevent any unwanted odor that might disturb passengers.

You can also opt to put a pee pad as a bedding for double protection, in case your pet's diaper gets full and starts to leak.

Airline Policies for Pets

Delta Airlines. Flying with pets with Delta Airlines are allowed on almost every flight within the United States, Canada, U.S. Virgin Island but not to Hawaii. All household birds, cats, dogs are also allowed in cabin travel (carrier will be stowed under the seat in front of you) except for snub-nosed breeds.

Now if your pet doesn't fit in a carry on carrier, the only way to travel him is through Delta Pet Cargo. Service dogs, however are an exception. They should be able to fit under the seat in front of you and will have to be extremely behaved to avoid disturbing other passengers.

Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines flying with pet policy allows your pet to travel in cabin with you. But unfortunately, pets are not allowed in international flights. Your pet also must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease for the entire duration of the flight.

However, Southwest Airlines does not accept pets (cats or dogs) traveling without a Customer and will only accept carry pets; pets are not permitted as checked baggage.

American Airlines. American Airlines flying with pet policy allows pets to travel in-cabin or as cargo but doesn't accept in cabin pets on flights to/from Hawaii, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, or on transatlantic flights. They also require carriers that are constructed of wood, metal, or plastic; and they must be leak-and-escape-proof. Carriers should also be made of padded nylon and have ventilation on two or more sides.

United Airlines. United flying with pet policy allows domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds (excluding cockatoos) to travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S.

A customer traveling with an in-cabin pet cannot be seated in the bulkhead or an emergency exit row. Also, customers with pets cannot be seated in a United® Premium Plus seat because the footrest limits the storage space under the seats. Moreover, only two pets per flight are allowed in premium cabins on select aircrafts due to limited storage space under the seat.

Your flight can either become a nightmare or a positive experience if you are prepared enough. Though calming your pet when flying can be challenging, you and your pet will do just fine if you know what to do.

Safe skies ahead!

"Diapers will prevent your pet from peeing or pooping inside the carrier and will also prevent any unwanted odor that might disturb passengers."

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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