When you begin to plan for a move, the process may seem simple and straightforward. However, the more variables you factor into your plan, the more complex the process can seem. For example, when you factor in a child’s school schedule, you may have fewer options for your moving day than you originally thought.

Once you begin planning for your pet’s needs, you may find that your travel is not as simple as it appeared. Air travel with a dog can be particularly difficult, especially if you have a bigger pooch.

In our previous blog, “3 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Happy During a Move,” we guided you through the basics of helping your canine transition. In this blog, we walk you through preparing to move with your dog on an airplane specifically.

Choose the Best Possible Flying Day

Book your flight well in advance. You should recognize that you may have to make your flight reservation before many of your other bookings and may need to work around your itinerary when arranging appointments with movers, storage companies, real estate agents and other moving professionals.

If possible, choose a direct flight. You may also want to book a flight during a temperate season and time of day.

Go Over Airline Regulations

As anyone who has traveled on a plane knows, many airlines have highly specific regulations about what you can and cannot bring with you. Ensure that your pet carrier complies with all regulations and check for any behavioral restrictions. Some airlines are friendlier to vocal dogs, but others do not allow talkative or hyperactive canines to ride in-cabin.

If you’re bringing a dog bag with toys, treats and any other essentials that your dog may need during the flight, consider packing these items separately so you can get to these items quickly when you need them.

When traveling by air with a dog, you may also need to give yourself more time than you usually would. Most airlines recommend arriving at least two hours before your flight when you have a pet. Plan to wait in line at the airline counter for check-in since most airlines don’t offer remote check-in for animals.

If you have any layovers, check if the airports have pet relief areas or other amenities.

Identify All Stages of Your Move That Your Pet Will Be Present For

As you move, you may have to juggle multiple processes at the same time. For example, you may end up going straight from the baggage claim to your new home to meet your movers. As you figure out these logistics, identify every part of your move that your dog will be present for.

Create a plan to ensure your pooch is safe, supervised and well cared for, even when you are busy handling relocation business. For instance, you may need to drop your dog off at a sitter during the unloading process, or let your pup become familiar with the space you have created for him or her — as recommended in our “Keeping Your Dog Happy” blog — while you arrange the furniture inside your new home.

Plan a Trip to the Veterinarian

You should schedule a visit to the veterinarian to get health and vaccine certificates, as well as a general checkup and a microchip. If you have a particularly high-strung dog, this visit will also give you the opportunity to discuss the calming methods available to you during the moving process.

Your veterinarian may recommend treats or specific training techniques, rather than sedatives, depending on the situation and your dog’s temperament. Schedule this visit at least a week before your flight, so you have time to make any last-minute preparations based on your vet’s suggestions.

Follow the guidelines above to ensure that both you and your pooch are adequately prepared for air travel during your upcoming move. For individualized recommendations based on your move circumstances, trust the expert team at Island Movers.