6 best tips on flying with your pet (and I travel with my dog at least 5 times a year)
She's been flying since she was three weeks old, so she's adjusted to high altitude, cabin pressure and weird passengers, but I've been on flights where other dogs are not in the same boat (uh... plane). Trust me. I know it's challenging at first. Dogs like routine, they like familiar environments and they also want to use the bathroom mid-flight. To make your flight seamless (for both you and your pup), you better do these five things before you board!
1. You have to, have to, have to call the airline to register your dog. As soon as you book your ticket, call the airline to let them know you're bringing your pup. Just get it out of the way. Even though some airlines let you notify them online (like United and Southwest), I always call to speak to someone directly for peace of mind. If you're traveling with a service animal or emotional support animal, there are different rules, and speaking with a human is required anyway, so just get in the habit of picking up the phone.
2. Use the bathroom before checking in. The last thing I do before heading to the airport is take Ruby to "potty." Get it all out. Even if your flight is only an hour, you have to remember there's another hour after check in, the travel time to get to the airport, waiting for luggage after the flight and the travel time from the airport to the hotel. You never know if an airport will have a pet relief area, and you don't want to take the chance when you get there. It makes me feel so much better knowing Ruby won't have to go for a while.
3. Don't give them salty treats on flights. In fact, limit their treats to a handful. The more they eat, the more they'll want water. The more water they drink, well... do the math.
4. Don't sneak a dog on a plane. I know someone who does this. It's weird. Let's talk about this dog, who has no idea he's being snuck on a flight, yelled at for making noise, shoved hidden in some bag, literally submerged in total darkness on an entire flight to stay concealed. I mean, poor dog.
5. Let your dog know you're there. If it's your pet's first flight, and they are in their carrier under the seat in front of you, don't hesitate to remind them you're there. Pet them, sing to them without looking crazy, do whatever you do to raise their level of comfort.
6. Pet rules on a private jet are as chill as you'd expect. Ruby's taken a few private jets, and she loves it. The rules are so chill, and I basically get to hold her in my lap. She loved our last flight with Surf Air, and Surf Air LOVES on-board pets. They actually made this cute pet-friendly video for National Dog Day.