Flying With Older Dogs

How to Fly Safely With Older Dogs

Arranging pet transport logistics can feel overwhelming no matter what kind of pet you have, but moving with older dogs can be especially stressful.

The good news is that this process is possible to carry out safely with the right preparation and attention to detail. We’ve helped many older pets move (some multiple times), and based on years of experience our experts have put together the following tips to help you move your senior dog safely.

Special Considerations for Moving Senior Dogs

Note: Every pet move is a little different, so let these tips serve as general guidelines and contact a PetRelocation Specialist to learn more about your specific relocation options. We'd be happy to help!

Vet Visits

First and foremost, check in with your vet before planning to relocate your older dog. Requesting a geriatric exam to uncover any underlying issues and taking the time to ask questions are essential steps, as the information your trusted vet provides can be the key to helping your dog have a safe trip.

Travel Crate

As with any pet relocation, it’s strongly advised to spend some time crate training your dog in the weeks before your move, especially if they’re not used to spending time in the kennel. When dogs feel comfortable in their crate and see it as a safe space, they are likely to feel more calm during the trip.

Food and Water

Older pets often have more sensitive stomachs, so we recommend offering food mindfully (small amounts at least 2-3 hours before departure). Hydration is highly important for all pets, so be sure to make plenty of water available before and after the flight and make sure water cups are securely affixed to the inside of the crate and filled at check-in.

Pet Friendly Airlines

Not all airlines offer the same level of care when it comes to transporting pets, so take the time to research your options and choose a carrier with an established pet safe program. Your PetRelocation Specialist will advise you further on this matter to make sure your dog is always kept in a temperature controlled environment, given water when needed, etc.

Setting an Example

Pets pick up on your emotions (especially older dogs who are probably strongly bonded to you), so for their sake, do your best to stay calm and positive during your move. We know it’s easier said than done, but exercise, deep breathing, and discussing any concerns you have with your Relocation Specialist can all help.

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