So you like to go to places with your dog – and now you are considering taking it by plane? While flying allows you to reach amazing destinations in just a few hours, it also comes with challenges when you want to bring your puppy. Not every dog will enjoy or even tolerate flying. Before booking a trip, be sure to consider the pros and cons and decide based on your dog’s individual personality whether to bring it.
Where will your dog travel?
Unfortunately, dogs must be carried in a crate in the cargo area of the aircraft, unless they are a helper dog. This can be very scary for many dogs and stress can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Not what you want to start your vacation with!
If your dog is a helper or service dog, it can be ridden in the cabin. It is therefore crucial that he behaves very well. He has to:
Stay by your side (even for a few hours) Sit down and lie down when you tell him to have a well-trained “Stay” command Of course, be fully trained at home (a cabin accident would be a big problem) According to CASA, all helper dogs should be passed the PAT test
Airlines that allow dogs in Australia
In Australia, the airlines that fly with dogs are Qantas, Virgin Australia and Rex. Contact them directly if you do not use a specialized pet travel company and plan to do it yourself. The most important thing to remember is to book your pet’s flight before your own due to limited space. Always talk to your airline to discuss available options.
How does your dog react to news and stress?
Traveling by plane is different from anything your dog has experienced. From the sensation of pressure accumulated in his ears over the sounds and smells of the plane, to the navigation in the big and noisy airport, he will have to process many new sensations in a very short time.
For dogs that are already anxious and stressed, this can be too much. Especially rescue dogs or more reserved breeds could close under pressure or even act.
Barking, drooling and shaking or potty accidents inside are common stress reactions in dogs.
If you already know that your dog is on the more anxious side, do not take him on a plane – it would probably be too much for him.
If your dog is very attached to you, taking him on vacation is not just fun, but sometimes a necessity. For some pups it is not possible to leave them with a babysitter or in a kennel for boarding. You will miss them so much that you might even refuse to eat if you leave them at home.
For these very affectionate dogs, taking them by plane is much less stressful than not taking them. They are just happy as long as they are with you. If your dog is struggling with this level of separation anxiety, bring him on a plane – he will be happy to be with you.
Taking puppies on planes
Keeping puppies and adolescents on airplanes is a complex subject. On the one hand, young puppies usually do very well. They are still sleepy most of the time and there is a chance that an 8 or 10 week old puppy will just nap during the flight.
On the other hand, even a slightly larger puppy can be a nightmare for a plane …
Once the dog is 4 or 5 months old, it will not want to sleep at all. A dog in its teenage phase is very energetic and rarely settles in new and exciting environments. They want to explore everything, smell everything and chew everything. You should absolutely avoid taking a dog between 4 and 12 months during your flight. It will probably be impossible to keep him calm.
Pros to take your dog on a plane
If you take your dog on a plane, it can happen if he has the right disposition. If he is polite and calm, you can:
Take it to many new places you can’t reach by car Be at your destination within hours instead of driving for days Keep your dog anxious about separation close to you and happy on board Cons of taking your dog on a plane
However, not every dog will do well in air travel. These factors should make you think twice about flying with your puppy:
Dogs need to ride in the load area, which can be very stressful for them. Especially rescue dogs and shy puppies can’t handle the noise and bustle of the airport. risk such as brachycephalic or flat-faced, and tolerable breeds
Whether taking your puppy by plane is the best option for you and your puppy will always depend on his specific personality and traits. You know your own dog best. Make the decision to take it or leave it at home based on its tolerance to stress, the level of anxiety at separation, excitability and last but not least its size.
Unlike a car, you can’t just stop a plane if your dog whines, barks or vomits. Be honest with yourself when assessing whether flying is the right mode of transport for your puppy!