If you’re planning to fly with a large emotional support animal (aka a dog), we’ve put together some tips to make your trip and life more enjoyable and less stressful.
Before you arrive at the airport
Call the airline
After booking your flight, make sure to call the airline and let them know you’re traveling with a large ESA. Try to reserve a bulkhead seat, allowing you and your doggie more room.
Keep in mind Southwest does not reserve seats, so make sure to show up early.
Exercise your dog
Take the dog to the park, give him a long run to wear ’em out.
Do not feed your dog
Prior to the flight, avoid feeding your dog, which should reduce the chance of motion sickness. Also, limit your dog’s intake of water.
No new treats
Along those same lines, limit any new treats within two days of your flight, as we’re looking to avoid an upset stomach.
Items to bring on the plane
The following items can help keep your doggie comfortable on the plane:
- A blanket with the familiar smells of home will help establish a bed or border.
- Pee Pads, for those times your dog has got to go.
- Thunder Shirt are helpful for a dog who is not used to flying.
- A collapsible bowl. Remember to really limit the amount of water provided to your dog.
- To combat motion sickness, vets suggest 1mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight. All dogs are not the same, so contact your vet to get the precise dosage for your dog and always double check the dosage of your pills.
- Last, but not least, your dog’s favorite toy to help pass the time.
What to do after you arrive at your destination.
You’ll have already scouted out the airport’s pet relief area, so head there. Remember to give your emotional support dog a big hug and thank them for their service!