Flying with a dog - what needs to be considered?

Planning a vacation puts many people in a stressed mood. Soon vacationers will have to make a huge number of decisions, plan finances and draw up a list of all the essential items of luggage. Accordingly, the organization - but also the anticipation - for a vacation often begins months before the actual departure date. In the previous decision-making phase, dog owners are primarily concerned with whether they should take their dog with them or leave it to a friend or relative for a short time. After all, our four-legged friends are a respected part of the family who are reluctant to leave behind. If it is possible, the dog will be taken along.

Depending on the destination, you have to choose a suitable means of transport. Many dogs are used to driving a car, but we would not recommend a fifteen-hour drive to Italy or Spain, even with the dog as a passenger. Ultimately, as the owner, you probably know best what you can and cannot expect your four-legged friend to do. Otherwise, it may be worth asking a veterinarian for their professional opinion.

Longer trips abroad are usually covered the quickest by plane. Here with us you can read about the advantages and disadvantages of flying with a dog and what you have to consider organizationally beforehand.

Can you even fly with a dog?

When it comes to flying with a dog, every airline has its own rules and regulations. Some of them do not allow any animal cargo at all, with others it depends on the breed of dog.

When flying with a dog, you can always expect a financial surcharge, which can range from 20 to several 100 euros. Among other things, it depends on whether your dog is flying in hand luggage or spends the trip in the cabin or the luggage compartment. Traveling as hand luggage or in the cabin is normally reserved for dogs under 8 kilos. All heavier animals are housed in the hold, where they spend the flight in a transport box. In this case, unfortunately, you cannot take care of your four-legged friend yourself and have to trust, for better or worse, that the airline will ensure pleasant travel conditions even when flying with a dog.

Breeds of Dogs You Shouldn't Fly With

Unfortunately, many things can go wrong when flying with a dog. Not all dogs are in good health to undertake such a grueling journey. It is particularly bad for four-legged friends who have to spend the flight in the hold. You are in a strange place and have no familiar faces around you. In addition, it is loud and smells strongly of kerosene to the sensitive dog's nose. To reduce the stress of their dog, many people use tranquilizers or special collars. Opinions about these approaches are mixed and vary even among professional veterinarians. However, there are increasing reports of incidents where tranquilizers have made the condition of panicked dogs worse, which is why we would advise against them for safety reasons.

Since snub-nosed animals are sensitive to high temperatures, you shouldn't take such a breed with you to hot places. Otherwise they could suffer damage to their health or, in the worst case, even die during the flight. Lufthansa in particular warns of risks of this kind and thus rejects responsibility for such incidents. Other airlines, on the other hand, refuse to take dog breeds that are considered dangerous according to the German breed lists. These include, for example, bull terriers or rottweilers. In addition, when flying with pregnant dogs and puppies, you should speak to your veterinarian beforehand and ask him for an expert assessment.

What you need when flying with a dog

Flying with a dog requires extensive preparation and research. For small as well as large animals, you have to take a transport box with you, in which your dog can stay during the flight. It does not matter whether it is traveling in the cabin, in the hold or as hand luggage. Depending on the airline, the regulations for this transport box can vary. However, it is common that it should be impermeable to water, well ventilated and firm to the bite. To make the journey easier for your four-legged friend, you can get them used to the box before departure. It is advisable to use a dog blanket in the box as it gives off a soothing smell of home.

Many masters think they might be able to dog flying by a few Dog toys simplify and save your four-legged friend a lot of stress through distractions. We do not recommend this, however, as there is a risk that your dog will choke on these toys in excitement. Instead, it should be immediately before the travel get active by taking him for a long walk with play units. Make sure that he does one last business before the flight.

After you have marked the transport box with the name of your animal, your address and your telephone number, nothing stands in the way of flying with your dog. Larger dogs can now be left in the care of the flight crew at the bulky goods counter and smaller dogs accompany you on your direct route to the aircraft.

We wish you a lot of fun and a good and safe flight!