Flying With Your Havanese Dog
Travel demand is predicted to be at an all-time high! Shipping a pup in cargo is dangerous, however Havanese meet the guidelines to travel safely with you in cabin! Preparation is key for every in-cabin flight. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or overseas vacation, Royal Flush Havanese is here to help make your travel an enjoyable and a stress-free experience! Read below for great tips to prepare to travel with your Havanese dog!
Carrier training is the most important step in flying with your small dog. The key is to help your pet feel comfortable and safe inside the carrier before a flight. This step must not be overlooked, as it takes patience, time, and lots of love (and maybe treats!). You should invest at least two weeks to one month doing daily carrier training before your pet’s first long-haul international flight, and a few days minimum before a domestic flight. Otherwise, the trip can be a nerve-racking experience for the animal. Daily training is crucial for success!
We recommend starting slowly. Have your dog explore the carrier for a few minutes a day, and then gradually closing it up once it voluntarily goes inside for the third or fourth time. Increase the training time every day with the intent of creating a safe haven inside the carrier. Depending on the length of the flight, you’ll want to train your pet to feel comfortable there for at least 1-3 hours before travel day. The more at ease your dog feels inside the carrier, the better it will cope with the flight.
Research the flight requirements:
Besides rabies regulation, there are specific requirements if you’re traveling abroad.
To find out exactly what requirements you need to meet, you can get more information on USDA APHIS.
Booking a flight with more than one layover
Although when booking a flight, it tends to be easier and the most cost efficient, you should fly direct with your small dog whenever possible. They don’t know where they’re going and how long it takes to get there. Even one seemingly quick layover can add more stress to your dog’s little body on a long travel day. A great tip is that if the flight is longer than 11 or 12 hours, we recommend breaking up the travel. The shorter the journey, the easier it’ll be for your dog. A break in between long travel will help your pup de-stress and enjoy the remainder of the trip. Plus, you both get to explore a different place before reaching the final destination!
Make sure your pup is tired!
Before any flight, it’s so important to exercise and play with your dog. As the old saying goes, a tired dog is a happy dog! The day before travel give your dog extra playtime. The key here is not to force your dog into intense physical activity the day of traveling but to just add an extra 15-20 minutes of exercise and playtime to help it sleep through the flight. The longer it can sleep on the plane, the smoother the ride will be.
Being strategic with food and water
People traveling by air tend to have an extremely low tolerance for “misbehaving” dogs, especially when it comes to accidents. No one wants to sit next to a dog (regardless of how adorable) who just wet the floor (or who is barking/wining excessively. Preventing accidents by strategizing feeding times and water and food portions, before and during the flight, in addition to potty breaks. Never fly your small dog on a full or empty stomach. The ideal feeding time should be roughly around two hours before heading to the airport, this will allow time for your dog to digest and relieve themselves!
If you are on a short flight (five hours or less) a pea size amount of Nutrical rubbed into their gums halfway through should suffice until you reach your destination.
If your flight is longer, you should offer small amounts of fresh water every four hours or so. You can also serve small portions throughout the flight to balance preventing accidents and ensuring that your dog has enough to eat.
Be Prepared for Accidents.
No matter how potty-trained your small dog is, accidents can still happen in a new environment, especially a stressful one.
Even with all the time you have spent doing carrier training, accidents may still occur. Whether you’re walking your dog inside the terminal or flying in-cabin, you should have poop bags, pee pads/newspaper, dog wipes, and hand wipes handy, so you can quickly clean up after your dog should an accident occur. Pack these essential items inside your personal item or carry-on, where you can easily access them.
Remember to be patient if you catch your dog in action. Your pup has either held it in for a long time or feels anxious in an unfamiliar environment, so a negative correction should not be made — just clean it up and move on.
Respect others on the flight/in the airport
Everyone loves to show off their gorgeous dogs. Although you’ll meet many who are like-minded dog lovers, you will meet others who are indifferent, scared or may not even like dogs at all!
Always try to keep a low profile. The last thing you need is a disgruntled passenger making a complaint about your dog’s behavior.
Monitor/Enjoy your flight.
Make sure to keep an eye on your dog. Most will sleep directly though the flight but it’s always good to have their favorite toy or treat on hand if they seem restless or anxious!
Traveling with your dog can certainly deepen your bond and allow you to make new connections and lasting friendships around the world. May airlines, accommodations and establishments are now catering to dog owners to make traveling as easy and enjoyable as it can be! Royal Flush Havanese is here to help you make your dog’s health, comfort, and safety a priority when enjoying your travels!