As a human, flying is sometimes one of the most nerve-wracking experiences, even when you know it is safe, efficient and generally very pleasant. If flying can be that troubling for humans, we can only imagine how tough it is on our pets. Both dogs and cats can be transported by plane, as can many other types of pets, providing they are in the correct and approved crates or cages.
For a successful airplane trip you need to prepare your pet for its journey. The following strategies can work with either dogs or cats, plus they also work with other species of pets. Prior to the trip, a trip to the dog groomers is a nice way to begin
Food and Exercise
For your pet's comfort, it's import to limit the amount of food and water their given for the 12 hours prior to their flight. This means that the pet should be fed normally and on schedule and then kept from food or water for approximately half a day. To avoid having your pet go 24 hours without food, you may need to adjust their feeding schedule in the days leading up to their trip. Withholding food and water for 12 hours will prevent messes in the carrier and will also prevent vomiting and possible choking concerns while the pet is in the air.
Exercise the pet really well before they are put in the crate or carrier to get on the flight. For most pets being confined for a long period of time can be tough. They're used to being able to move around and play. Cats can be enticed to chase a piece of string or play with a favorite toy before going in the crate and dogs can always go for a long walk, jog or play time before travel.
Make the crate positive
For a person, a crate or carrier seems confining and restrictive, but for a dog, cat or other pet it can be a safe, relaxing and comfortable place. If the pet already sleeps in the crate or carrier at home or when staying at a dog boarding facility, your work is done as the pet sees this as his or her den. If the crate or carrier is new, start encouraging the pet to spend time in there by placing some tasty treats, toys and comfortable bedding in the crate and praising the pet for spending time in the crate.
Use puppy pads in the crate
Placing highly absorbent puppy pads, on the bottom of the crate will help keep any accidents away from the pet. Covering the puppy pads with a thick towel or blanket will help as well. If you are traveling with a cat, invest in one of the small, travel sized litter boxes that can be attached to the side of the crate that will provide a bathroom area as well as a dry, clean place to sleep.
Finally, try to stay as calm as possible yourself. Your pets are very attune to your emotional state and if you are nervous they are much more likely to pick up on your emotional state.
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