Once a pet owner has made that journey to take the little fella on a plane trip in-cabin, the next hurdle to clear is taking it the distance – can you finagle the challenges of a long plane flight?
The PEE PEE issue
Most flights will easily allow for the little critter to hold it. This challenge becomes a bigger issue with international flights that can be ten hours long. There is some sound advice from those veteran pet travelers out there who can shed (no pun intended) some light on best ways to broach a pet’s comfort on a long airplane trip. The biggest issue by far is holding it. It is always sound advice to allow the pet to take a long walk to relieve the bladder before leaving for the airport – or better yet before boarding the plane. Common sense also guides to reason that it’s best not to encourage a lot of drinking or eating just before the flight.
Having the Right Pads
There are two kinds of pads that are needed for the long plane flight. These pads will serve two purposes: first, to absorb wetness and general moisture from the air to keep the pet comfortable; secondly, as a wee wee pad for the most obvious use…catching accidents. A good suggestion is to place a small size pad in the bottom of the carrier to absorb uncomfortable moisture. In dire need, these small pads can serve to catch any small accidents. For a heftier solution, pack some larger more substantial pads just in case. If the dog becomes agitated and signals that urination is eminent, the owner can take them in the airplane bathroom, spread out the larger pads on the floor and allow the dog to relieve its bladder.
Limit Food and Water
Even beyond limiting water before getting on the plane, it is best to take it easy on giving the pet food and water even after boarding a plane. Pet owners grimace at the notion of limiting water to a pet during a long plane flight. Just remember that when dogs sleep at night, they typically go nine hours or more without eating or drinking as well as not going to the bathroom. It’s reasonable to think that they can survive a nine-hour flight without suffering an undue amount of discomfort.
Utilize the Airport Pet Facilities
Most airlines recommend arriving early. In some cases, this advanced arrival is supposed to be three hours ahead of time for an international flight. If steps are taken to do research on the airport, a pet facility might be among the services they offer. Often, they provide open areas to walk a pet. If a pet owner takes advantage of an airport pet facility, the four-legged critter can get nice and tuckered out at the park and be ready for a nice long nap on the plane.
Out and Open or Quiet and Contained?
Some pet owners chose to take their dogs out of the carrier once on the plane. Be forewarned, that may work beautifully as many pet owners report – or it could spell disaster. There are reports on the opposite side of that coin, where the dog goes from calm and settled while in the carrier – to hyper, jumping, spazzing out and generally being the object of anger for a tired flight attendant. Might be a better idea to resist the temptation of being the loving rescuer.