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    Updated on Dec 6, 2019. Posted on Oct 22, 2019

    13 Tidbits You Might Want To Know Before Traveling Or Flying With Your Dog

    Here's everything you'll wanna know.

    Hi, I'm Farrah and this is my dog, Gizmo. I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with him. Usually, I fly from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) over the holidays. Because of this, I've acquired a wealth of knowledge when it comes to traveling with your dog, so I'm here to share some facts if you're thinking about flying with your own pet!

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

    1. Take your dog on a long walk/hike before your flight to ease their anxiety, tire them out, and ensure they do ALL their business.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

    This might go without saying, but I've found that if I take my dog on a two mile or longer walk, he's pretty pooped by the time we get on the plane, which means he's more relaxed for the flight.

    2. If you have an anxious dog, talk to your vet first if you want to go the medication route.

    Beavera / Getty Images

    It's safe to give a small amount of Benadryl to your dog, but talk to your vet for proper dosage for your pet's size and weight first.

    3. There are pet relief areas in most airports. If you can't find one, someone who works there will know!

    dordor_2 / Via

    Once I was walking Gizmo through the DFW airport and a nice lady stopped to tell me where the nearest pet relief station was located. It was so nice! Some are nicer than others, but it's a good idea to take your pet there before you board.

    4. If you're on a flight longer than three hours, make sure your pet is staying hydrated in their carrying case.

    Amazon / Via

    Unfortunately, unless you have an emotional support or service animal, your pet must stay in the approved carrying case the entire flight. However, I ordered one of these collapsable water bowls for dogs so I could fill it up with water from my water bottle during the flight and offer it to him by sticking it in the carrier.

    5. Bring extra pet food and treats and store them in your pet carrier's side pocket in case you're delayed.

    Sanjagrujic / Getty Images

    I once experienced an EIGHT-HOUR airport delay with my dog. Did I have food, water, and treats for him? Absolutely! Did I forget my phone charging cable in my suitcase that I'd checked? Yuuuuuuup.

    6. Obtain your pet's health certificate from your vet before you fly.

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    I will say this...I've never been asked to show my dog's health certificate at the airport. BUT it's still good to have one in case you get stopped. Your vet will know what to give you when you schedule your appointment.

    7. Make sure your airline knows that you are traveling with a pet before you arrive at the airport. If your pet is not a service/emotional support dog, you will need to pay a fee.

    Delta / Via

    All this requires is a simple call to your airline. Tell the agent that you need to put a dog on your reservation. Most airlines can only have a certain amount of animals on board, so you want to do this to make sure your pet can come with you — especially around the holidays.

    8. FYI: You're going to have to go to special services to check in with your pet. Get there early because the line could be long.

    Cat-scape / Getty Images

    I'm not sure why regular check-in can't process the pet request, but at both LAX and DFW I've been told only special services can check me in with my pet. Because they also deal with many other special requests, the line can be long and there might only be one or two people working. Make sure you get there with enough time.

    9. Put a T-shirt or small blanket that smells like you inside the carrier to ease their anxiety.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

    I forgot where I heard this, but a familiar scent can be calming to some animals. Putting a familiar shirt or blanket in the flight carrier might help them doze off during the flight and sleep better.

    10. Make sure you purchase a pet carrier that fits the size requirements for the airline you fly.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

    I use this Sherpa pet carrier (pictured above, $26 from Amazon) and have never had a problem flying with my dog on American Airlines, Delta, or Virgin. It's roomie and fits under the seat in front of you, and the soft, cushy padding seems to be comfortable for my dog.

    11. It's usually fine to take your pet out of the carrier and walk them on a leash once you're off the flight.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

    If it's not OK, someone will tell you. Some people wait until they are at the baggage claim. Remember, they're gonna want to stretch their legs, too!

    12. A pet backpack is a nice way to take your dog with you places, too.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed, Amazon / Via

    I recently purchased this pet backpack ($24 from Amazon) and I. LOVE. IT. If I'm going on a long hike and my dog gets too tired, he's extremely content getting a piggy back ride in the backpack. It's breathable and sturdy.

    13. And finally, if you're going on a road trip, investing in a dog car seat is a good way to make sure your pet stays safe too.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

    There a ton of different dog car seats on Amazon for both large and small dogs. I couldn't find the one I own, but it's similar to this one. It's a good way of ensuring your dog isn't walking all over the place and stays settled while you drive safely.