Button, a 12-week-old mini doodle and I just flew from St. Louis, MO to New York, New York today on Southwest. She was a perfect travel companion throughout so I thought a blog on some of the things I did yesterday to help make flying with a dog go smoothly today would be useful.
- Introduce the carrier, if you have not already.
If your dog is already crate trained, the carrier should be no big deal. I got Button a Bark N Bag Organic Black Denim Soft Sided Pet Carrier – Airline Approved. I’d seen a friend’s and was impressed with the design. It arrived yesterday – more intro time would have been ideal but I wasn’t worried.I unzipped the end door and tossed small treats inside. Button, a card carrying treat-a-holic, went in quickly to retrieve her prize. When she turned around, there I was with another small treat for being in the bag. Pretty soon I couldn’t keep her out of it, as she demos in the picture here. I took that during our first intro session.
- Call your airline to double check her reservation (she needs one).
Looking up the best number on GetHuman.com (bookmark that one), I called to ensure that all was well and to ask if there was anything I needed to do or bring. Since I had to go to the counter to pay for her ticket (yup, you pay to fly your dog with you), I planned my arrival time earlier than usual.
- Pack her bag.
Here’s what I packed for Button: 2 wee-wee pads, 2 bully sticks, 1 nylabone durachew, 3 biscuits (which would keep her occupied while giving her a snack), 3 flushable poop bags, a slip leash (in case either the collar or the leash breaks), her vaccination records (those were not requested but I bring them anyway).
- Tidy Up
Button was brushed and cleaned up. Recently bathed, I did not rewash her but for many dogs that’s a good idea. She did get a pedicure with my dremel as I did not know if she might scratch at the mesh.
- Extra exercise
As I knew that today would be a lot of confinement, I made sure she had lots of exercise yesterday! She played with Pip, romped with me. We took a walk and she sacked out one tired pup last night.
- Big dinner
Knowing that today’s breakfast would be a light one as I wanted to minimize any risk of an accident, she ate a larger than normal meal last night. She had no complaints about that idea.
Yesterday’s preparation helped Button do fantastically today. Next blog: What I did on travel day to make things go smoothly.