Taking a holiday with your loved one!

(That’s your loved pet in case you wondered where I was coming from😉 )

I have only ever flown once with a pet. That was back in 2008 when I flew one-way from London to Los Angeles on a British Airways flight when coming to live with Jeannie. Yes, I was alone in the cabin but I was not alone in the aircraft. For in a special part of the hold devoted to carrying animals rode Pharaoh.

I will never forget that day when I had to travel to the unit at London Heathrow Airport where dogs, and other pets, were dropped off about an hour before I was due to check-in to the same flight.

For this reason.

Every other time that Pharaoh had been left by me at the kennels when I was going away on business, or some other journey, Pharaoh had always barked in sadness at being left. I always got back in my car feeling a traitor for having something to go to that didn’t involve dogs.

So in this instance I was fully expecting Pharaoh to really sound out how unhappy he was at being left. For it was a very unfamiliar place on an unfamiliar airfield and he was being ‘processed’ in a manner that he had never experienced before.

So the time came that the attendant had Pharaoh in the flight cage and I had to turn my back and walk out of the area where some thirty minutes before Pharaoh and I had entered. I was expecting terrible sad howls. But not a single sound came from Pharaoh. To this day I like to think that he knew that he and I were on our way to the greatest and most wonderful life-changing event of our whole lives. Going to live with Jeannie and all her animals!

OK! Got that off my chest!

I love guest posts for all sorts of reasons but most importantly of all because you dear readers also like guest posts.

I was approached by Brenda Leary with her offer of writing a guest post for Learning from Dogs. She gave me a choice from a number of essay titles and, as you might expect from my introduction, I chose an article from Brenda about flying with your pet.



Tips to Flying With your Dog


Flying With Your Pet Made Easier

Jetting out for a well-deserved vacation? If you plan to go with your furry friend, we have great news for you. While traveling with pets may evoke tension and constant hair pulling, find out how to travel with a dog on a plane with these excellent tips.

Select the airline

Not all airlines allow their passengers to travel with their pets. The first step is identifying pet-friendly airlines and their pet limit. Once you get an affirmative answer, make the reservations immediately before you lose the seat.

Obviously, you cannot have your dog sit a few rows behind or in front of you; make sure to book two seats adjacent to each other. Depending on the airlines you choose, you could fork up to $100 for a one-way trip.

Compare different rates from various carriers and select the most affordable one. Alternatively, leave your pet with a sitter or a family member while you vacation.

Health checks

Similar to humans, pets need a full medical check- up before boarding a flight. Make an appointment with your veterinarian at least ten days before the trip. Have your dog vaccinated and give him any extra shots that he needs.

Obtain a health certificate and be sure to bring it to the check-in counter. Your vet will suggest packing a first aid kit with gauze and pet medications in case of emergencies. If you are traveling overseas, investigate the health care requirements of your destination.

Buy a dog carrier

When traveling with your pet, you need to keep him as comfortable as you possibly can to calm his nerves long enough until you land. Find a carrier that is spacious enough, so your dog or cat has some wiggle room to stretch during the flight.

The recommended size of a pet carrier is sixteen to nineteen inches long, and ten inches tall. Test out your carrier days before the trip and observe how your puppy behaves when he is locked in. If he shows signs of anxiety, try a different carrier until you find one that pleases him. If your dog weighs more than fifteen pounds, the airline will advise that he travels in a hard-sided kennel in the plane’s stowaway.

Pack wisely

When traveling with your kids or alone, packing is a crucial step that can make all the difference between a smooth or long flight. Similarly, pets behave like children and we gladly oblige and treat them as so.

Bring your pet’s favorite toys to keep him entertained (read: distracted), during the flight. You cannot underestimate the power of a dog bone on a trans-Atlantic flight! Airlines do not provide in-flight menus for pets. Pack enough food and water to last the duration of the trip.

Remember, traveling with your puppy counts as a carry on which leaves you with one carry on. Put your creatures of comfort in your bag and utilize the space on the pet carrier such as side pockets.

Arrive early

If you are traveling alone, you can expedite the check-in process by using mobile boarding passes. This convenience is not possible when traveling with your furry animal.

Traveling with your pet means additional time spent at the security desk while checking in. Pets do not go through x-ray machines; you will need to carry the dog through the metal detector and have the dog cage inspected separately.

To avoid last minute rush and a near-miss of your flight, arrive the airport earlier by at least one hour so you can comfortably go through these procedures without frowning.

Leash your dog
As we mentioned earlier, pets do not go through x-ray scans so you will have to remove him from the carrier for a separate inspection through the metal detector. If your pet is already showing signs of anxiety, they may attempt to make a run for it upon release from the cage.  Make sure to have a leash on their collar to prevent this from happening. Besides being a total nuisance to other travelers, running after a pet across the airport is hardly something you wish to do. Tag the leash and carrier with your dog’s name on it and your contact details. You can also insert a microchip in your puppy days leading up to the journey. When traveling with your dog, planning ahead gives you ample time to research on how to travel with a dog on a plane. Make a list of luggage items for your pet and other travel companions and counter-check before leaving the house. Buckle down and enjoy a smooth flight.


I asked Brenda to let us know a little about herself. This is what she said:

brenda-learyI’m Brenda Leary. I have a passion for dogs. My ambition is to found a community for dogaholics that everyone could share useful knowledge about dogs.
I’m here to break down all the complex dog’s tips/advices and try my best to give you the stuff that is actually useful and works!
Follow my steps at Cuddle Your Dogs to discover dogs’ daily routines, tips and advices on caring for a dog/puppy and many, many things about this wonderful world.

5 thoughts on “Taking a holiday with your loved one!

  1. Strange enough to ponder how we humans have accustomed ourselves to shooting through the sky in metal tubes from one end of the planet to another … stranger still to ponder what must go through the bodies and minds of animals! Nice story, Paul, with a happy ending❤

    1. That’s an interesting aspect. It never crossed my mind what Pharaoh must have made of the flying experience. He didn’t seem to show any signs of stress after we landed in LA nor signs of jet lag.

  2. Glad to make Brenda’s acquaintance, Paul! Her information was incredibly useful because if we ever end up having to fly to a destination rather than drive, Mags will be primed and ready to go. Pharoah must have known he was on his way to an exciting adventure. He probably could sense that you were looking forward to joining Jeannie.

    1. Thanks and, yes, it was a great post from Brenda. I’m hoping there will be more from her. Whatever Pharaoh could or could not sense what was happening there’s no doubt that I was transmitting body language at full volume! 😀

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