Sedating your dog for a flight

Bonnie Beaver, a veterinary behaviorist at Texas A&M University and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, about what you should know before you go.“The most important thing is the owner needs to check ahead with the airlines as to their specific requirements, because each one may be different,” Dr. If you are planning to fly with your small dog or cat in the cabin, the carrier they’re in will likely need to fit under the seat in front of you.Most North American airlines, however, do let small pets travel in the cabin with you on flights -- fees can be steep, while some only allow domestic travel -- provided you let them know at the time of booking.“Pets traveling in the cabin require a reservation to ensure no more than seven pets are booked on any single flight," says American Airlines.Whether you're traveling internationally or staying in the United States, it's important to talk with your veterinarian about your plans — especially if your pet has any health issues whatsoever.

Owners should “very gradually teach the dog that the kennel, the carrier, is not a bad place,” she says.

Many dogs are already used to riding in the car, but for cats, who have a reputation of being less likely to enjoy a travel adventure, getting them comfortable in the car might require a bit more training ahead of time.

“You can even have someone else drop in an occasional treat while they’re riding in the car so they get used to all the motion,” Dr. This will help your pet associate that motion with something positive.

She recommends starting by feeding your dog or cat in the carrier without zipping it or shutting the door.

“Just putting in treats, leaving the opening open and then gradually, after a few weeks of doing that, you may shut the entrance for a couple of seconds, then a little bit longer, a little bit longer,” and so on, she says.

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