In The Know by Yahoo
Why you can trust us

We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we believe in. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

7 products you need if you’re traveling with your dog on a plane, according to a proud dog mom

If your dog is gearing up for air travel, you should consider a few things before making the journey. You want your dog to feel comfortable, calm and at ease when you reach your destination, which means more than packing extra food and treats. Last holiday season, I traveled with my 6-month-old toy poodle by plane for the first time and learned quite a few things.

Quick Overview
See 2 more

For one, most airlines and many destinations require proof of your pet’s vaccinations, so make sure they’re up to date (especially on their rabies vaccination) and talk to your vet about acquiring the proper health certificates.

Second, you’ll want to make sure you get to the airport early to check in. If you don’t usually stick to the two-hour early rule, you need to start. If you called your airline to pre-book your pet, they’d still need to approve your carrier and ensure that your pet fits inside properly at the airport. Of course, you’ll also have to pay the pet fee once you’re there. The in-cabin fee for small dogs under 25 pounds usually ranges from $95–$150 each way, and their carrier counts as your carry-on. Therefore, you’ll have to pay to check your bag as well. Larger dogs flying in the cargo hold can cost up to $1000, depending on the flight. (FYI, fees don’t apply to service animals.)

Each airline outlines its carrier size requirements for pets flying in the cabin, but most say that it should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, ventilated on at least three sides and big enough that your dog can comfortably turn around inside. There is a whole other set of rules (and risks) for dogs traveling via cargo hold.

For my in-cabin pet, I learned that some airlines, like American Airlines, will ask your dog to demonstrate standing up and turning around in their kennel. To keep my dog calm and comfortable in his, we practiced weeks before our trip. We left the carrier open in our home and tossed treats and toys inside, and once he seemed to like going in there, we started to zip it shut. Then, I’d even put him in it under my chair as I worked for a few minutes at a time. He learned to take a nap in there, like a dog crate, and now is pretty comfortable, even when flying may feel like a new, stressful situation. When I take his carrier out, he even gets a little excited and jumps in on his own. It’s like a magic bag. He never knows where he’ll end up when he comes out; grandma’s house or the beach.

Of course, make a checklist and don’t forget to pack the basics: Dog food, poop bags, treats and a leash and collar. Based on my experience, here are seven more things to make pet travel a little easier so you can keep your dog happy and healthy no matter where you go.

If you’re traveling by car, a carrier or a dog car seat is a good idea for keeping your pet safe. However, if you’re flying, an airline-compliant pet carrier is essential. Sherpa makes a lot of dog carriers, but I went with the deluxe version. It’s incredibly stable, meaning the soft sides won’t collapse on your dog’s head, no matter which way they move. It also has a wooden stability board on the bottom that’s wrapped in a waterproof material, and it comes with a soft, machine-washable faux lambswool liner to provide some cushion.

Available in multiple sizes.

$13 at Native Pet

Talk to your vet about calming supplements or prescribed sedatives if you’re worried about your pet’s stress levels during travel. However, these Native Pet Yak Chews are a favorite of my dog for keeping him busy and distracted. They’re a high-protein, hard cheese chew made with yak milk. Unlike a bully stick, they don’t stink, splinter, or cause a mess and are easily digestible. My dog is a small, 10-pound poodle, and it takes him weeks to finish a medium-sized one.

My dog gets more treats when we travel (and more table scraps when visiting family). To help keep his digestion in check, my vet recommended this Purina Pro Plan probiotic. You can get a powder to mix into your dog’s food or choose the chewable option. My dog thinks the chewable is a treat and eats it right up.

Native Pet also sells an all-natural Probiotic Powder you can mix with their food that costs half the price and a Pumpkin Powder that my picky eater doesn’t seem to mind when his stomach is out of whack.

Your dog is going to need water. This water bottle can hold up to 14 ounces and has a built-in bowl. Simply press the button to fill the bowl with water and let your pet drink from it. If you’re traveling by plane, you can fill it with water at the airport after security. I especially like that it’s all one piece, so it’s easier to carry and keep track of. Plus, it’s easy to slide into your dog’s carrier mid-trip.

Spray it in your dog's carrier or on a blanket before you travel.

$30 at Chewy

My dog can get a little anxious in new situations, so my vet recommended this non-drug solution, Adaptil Spray. The spray’s smell mimics the natural pheromones a mother dog emits to keep her puppies calm. (It doesn’t smell like anything to humans.) In turn, this spray can help your dog feel more at ease. While I don’t think it’s a total miracle worker — and it’s not going to knock your dog out or anything — it seems to help my dog feel calmer and realize that it’s time to lay down or go to sleep.

Available in more colors.

$29 at Wild One

I usually put a small plush toy along with a Native Pet Yak Chew in my dog’s carrier while traveling. Once we get to our destination, I have a couple of his favorite toys and usually give him a new one to keep things exciting. I recently gave my dog this Wild One Tennis Tumble toy, which keeps him busy on his own for a while. Essentially, it’s like a puzzle: It’s a tennis ball stuck in an ultra-durable barrel. He has yet to get the tennis ball out, but it is possible.

Available in multiple sizes, starting at $24.99

$25 at Chewy

It’s hard to know what the temperature will be on a plane, let alone in your dog’s carrier under the seat. If your dog seems too hot, give them ice cubes or put this cooling pad on the bottom of their carrier. It’s also great to use if you’re traveling to a hot destination and want to keep your pup cool there. I recently purchased one of these for my dog, and it really works. After a walk on a hot day, he likes to come inside and sleep on it.

More from In The Know:

TikTok is obsessed with this original 1950s pink kitchen: 'Why did we stop making these?'

This $10 shampoo is the industry's best-kept secret for curing bald spots and dryness: 'It's a miracle, actually!'

I just found the perfect knit maxi dress on Amazon for $50, and I’m buying it in more colors

Want to deep clean your home like a real adult? Over 50,000 Amazon shoppers swear by the BISSELL SteamShot

.The post 7 things you need to pack if you’re traveling with a dog on a plane, according to a proud dog mom appeared first on In The Know