I recently got on a plane with my daughter and her new pup, Chance. Yes, we hopped a flight in the middle of a global pandemic, but a kids gotta get back to college. Truthfully, we were more concerned with ensuring Chance had a successful experience in the air. I wanted to focus on making it an easy and stress-free experience for all of us.
So we started planning: making sure Chance would be welcome on the plane—we flew American and there was some additional paperwork that needed to be done beforehand, including a veterinary sign off. The days of just rolling up to the airport with your pup and casually boarding a plane are behind us.
We used a harness and a leash in the airport and made sure the leash would attach around our waist so that our hands were still free to navigate security and to move luggage around once on the plane. Not surprisingly, many fellow travelers wanted to greet our pup, and the leash and harness kept us in control at all times. The 5 hour plane ride was surprisingly easy and Chance was cool as a cucumber. She remained calm, but often looked to us for reassurance, which was delivered through upbeat tones and loving snuggles.
Disembarking was also less stressful, because we had done the research and selected a rental car company and a hotel that were both dog friendly. Chance is now happily settled into her new apartment in Arizona with my daughter, who is starting her strange sophomore year. I’m glad that Chance is there to help keep her company during what could be a pretty lonely semester! I Hope that you all have safe and wonderful travels with your pups.