Five Ways to Prepare Your Pet for Airline Travel

Here at Hillrose Pet Resort, we are often asked about how best to handle airline travel with pets. We do have a lot of experience in this area since we are so close to SeaTac airport and we offer layover services as part of our kenneling services. Over the years, we have seen many situations that were less than favorable to the animal, which is part of why we added layover kenneling services at Hillrose. In order to ensure that you ALWAYS do what is best for your pet, here are our five tips for preparing them for airline travel.


1.       Make sure your pet is very comfortable in their crate. Crate training has many benefits for your pet and making travel easier for them and you is one of them. If your pet is acclimated to his crate, he will be much more comfortable and at ease when having to stay in his crate during the flight.  

2.       Check the airline’s pet policy. Most airlines will allow you to bring a small dog on board. They will need to be in a crate that can easily fit under your seat. If your pet will be going into the cargo area, you will be charged a baggage fee for this. Also, most airlines will require a certificate of wellness from your vet issued 10 days before traveling.

3.       Keep them calm by putting the smell of home in their crates.  This is especially important for larger pets going into the cargo area. Know what the security procedure is for your pet before arriving. You may need to remove them from their carrier so make sure you have a leash handy.

4.       Check with your vet regarding any medication you might offer to help keep your pet calm; especially for the cargo area. Also, if your pet is prone to motion sickness your vet can prescribe a medication for this as well.

5.       Once at the airport, allow your pet to take a potty break before loading them in their crate and taking off. Many airports now offer a pet relief area where pets can relieve themselves and stretch their legs.

Airline travel can be a bit unnerving for pets so make sure that you do everything to keep your pet safe and comfortable. Also, it is important to know that during extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, your pet will not be allowed to fly; this is for their safety. In this case, booking your pet a stay at Hillrose is a great option. Your pet will have a home-away-from-home and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your pet is loved and cared for while you’re gone.

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