1) Book ahead
Each flight only has few in-cabin spots for Spot. Be sure you reserve yours now. There is a fee to fly with your pet. Here are the airline contact numbers http://www.tollfreeairline.com/ but, if you get held up on hold, try http://gethuman.com/ which gives you the numbers that get you to an actual person. When you get through, be sure to ask about any and all requirements they have for traveling with your pet in cabin with you. For example: Your in-cabin pet counts as one of your carry-ons. Good to know.
2) Check out maximum carrier and pet size
Airlines have slightly different sizes for both carriers and pets. Soft-sided carriers can be a bit larger as they give when pressed. Your dog should look comfy lying down in the airline-approved carrier, not jammed in. If he is too big, he could be refused by any airline.
3) Go to the veterinarian
Get a check up and a health certificate. Health certificates generally last 10 days so set it up within that time frame. While you’re there, discuss any concerns you have or medications you might need. Be sure you have enough heartworm & flea/tick preventative (and that your pet is up-to-date with both) and discuss upset stomachs. Change in water and stress can throw off a dog so have what you need should that happen.
4) Update ID
In a perfect world, your pet is both micro-chipped and has updated, relevant ID tags. Pip has these charming enamel ones (hers is a heart) and even after a great deal of wear and tear, hers are still easy to read.
I suggest printing: REWARD + an active cell number. If you are going out of the US or won’t have cell service, invest in a tag that lists a friend’s cell who will be available to help.
Now your dog is all set and you can focus on your own travel plans! Have a great trip!