Dogs Aboard! 7 Lessons Learned While Flying With Our Dog

dachshund dans un sac de transport kurgo explorer
We travel everywhere with our miniature dachshund. Here are some things we learned over the years while flying with a dog.

We have been travelling with our dachshund Mocsing since she was six months old. We are no experts, but we regularly go on holiday with our dog. Flights with dog in the cabin are common. Our miniature dachshund been on trips for more than 10 hours. The flights were not direct though. She had an hour or two in between. The longest we had to go was an 8 hour non-stop flight.

Flying With a Dog for the First Time

Ohlalala, the time we spent learning about IATA standards and reading the instructions for dog bags in the cabin. It’s very hard to find a bag that fits most airlines…and allows our relatively long dog to be comfortable. Our magic solution is the Kurgo dog carrier bag for small dogs. This dog carrier bag is extraordinary and we use it for every trip. Be warned, you may spend hours looking for the proper cabin bag.

What We Learned Flying With Our Dog

Every person, dog and situation is different. We go on adventures with our little wiener every time. It’s important to remain flexible and adapt when one travels to new cities or countries with a dog in tow.

Priority Boarding is Nice

We pay a lot for the dog plane tickets but that doesn’t give us the right to board in priority. However, all that being said, as soon as the call for children and people needing assistance is made, I may ask if we can board right after. Sometimes it is incredibly stressful to have folks want to poke, pet, prod, photograph the dog while you wait in line. It’s not easy to board when you have a dog. You can’t put your dog under the seat without disturbing someone. In some cases they let you through, in others… no. I usually ask when I can tell my dog is already stressed and boarding is chaotic. The people who work at the Montreal airport are really patient and don’t hesitate to tell you when it’s yes and when it’s no without ever creating a bad atmosphere. I love my airport.

Your Dog’s Carrier Bag Should Have at Least one Outside Pocket

It’s impossible to travel without a bag that has at least one pocket that is easily accessible while you are carrying the bag. This pocket should contain everything you might need during the flight. There is no room to put a second bag under your seat in addition to the dog. Your backpack or suitcase will be upstairs and you’ll be at the window…not easy to reach what you need. We are lucky that we travel as a couple, so the organization is easier. Our infallible travel bag: the Kurgo Explorer.

Toys and Treats are a Must When Travelling With a Dog

In the beginning, our dog was really picky about food. We found out that some dogs are really suspicious and don’t want to eat or drink in stressful places or situations.

We’ve been testing alternative ways to de-stress her during the flight. There are treats with natural remedies in them to help the dog relax. Our verdict? It doesn’t work well enough to be effective.

Most airlines don’t like it when you sedate your dogs. However, our vet always prescribes sedatives that don’t put our dog to sleep. She can stay alert and report if there is a problem but she is not anxious. For those who have a dachshund, you must be familiar with their pronounced tendency to anxiety…We never leave without the prescribed sedatives!

The big lesson we learned is that our dog does not cry or move too much during the flight. She stays calm, just like us ?

Your Dog Will Probably be Cold in the Plane Cabin

We put a nice little blanket in Mocsing’s bag. It makes sure she can stay warm. Air circulation is not always great in the cabin, especially around your dog. It may be too hot for some dogs, so it’s up to you to plan accordingly. It is forbidden to take your dog out of his bag during the flight. We therefore advise you to take a cooling mat or blanket to put your dog at ease.

Not all Dogs Pee During Travel

It’s very hard to find a place to walk your dog. It’s a nightmare for us. Our dog only wants to pee outside. Only outside. You can’t motivate her if there’s no grass. As a result, she really doesn’t want to pee before the flight. At first, we were very worried but we realized that she can hold it in without any problem.

Keep all the Dog’s Documents Handy

We are always asked for proof that we paid for the theft of our dog. We are often asked for the vaccinations and the veterinarian’s certificate so we keep everything within reach.

Our airplane trips with the dachshund in the cabin are regular. Everything goes very well when we apply the basic principles…and we don’t travel on Air Canada Red.


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