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Tips for flying your dog or cat safely

tips for flying your dog or cat safely

When it comes to flying your dog or cat interstate or overseas, it can be a little daunting for both of you. Fortunately, Jetpets have been doing this for 27 years, so here are some tips to help you prepare your dog for flying in Australia and overseas.

With a team of trained and experienced consultants, handlers and vets, their whole focus is on the safety and comfort of the traveling pets.

Get your dog used to a crate well before the flight

  • It is really important to crate train your pet, or at least familiarise your pet well ahead of time with their travel crate.
  • A good way is to place the in an area where your pet likes to spend time and slowly introduce it to them in a positive way, by giving them treats and their toys in the crate.
  • Don’t force them in or immediately shut door, get them used to being in there, relaxed and comfortable before closing the door very briefly and slowly extending the time you close it for.
  • You want them to feel safe and positive about the crate, prior to the travel, as it can help keep them calm during their journey. For more tips on crate training your dog, click here.

Food and water

  • On the day of travel, Jetpets don’t recommend feeding pets a big meal within 8 hours of travel, as pets can get travel sickness just like humans. However, a light snack is okay.
  • They recommend giving pets plenty of water prior to travel. During travel, Jetpets ensures pets stay hydrated throughout their journey.


  • It is recommended to avoid sedating your pet for travel as it can be harmful to them during the flight. It can lower their blood pressure and cause dehydration.
  • Resident Vets recommend Adaptil collars for dogs (put them on a week or so earlier) and Feliway products for cats as an alternative way to help pets feel relaxed as possible during travel.

Ensure you are calm to avoid creating stress or anxiety in your pet

  • Another important factor is for owners to remain calm so their pet doesn’t pick up on their stress.
    Jetpets transported around 70,000 pets last year around Australia and the world, and they aim to help make it as stress-free as possible, but they need you to stay calm too!
  • If your dog suffers from anxiety then it is important you work on this well ahead of time. Click here to read about the signs of anxiety and click here to ensure you aren’t reinforcing anxiety in your dog.  For tips on separation anxiety, click here.

Why use Jetpets to transport your pet

  • Jetpets also work with you to arrange the most direct flights, the most suitable crate size for your pet, and will monitor the weather so that they can change the flights if extreme weather is predicted for the comfort and safety of your pet.
  • It can be nerve racking when flying your dog if there are flight delays or cancellations, choosing Jetpets means they can keep your pet safe and secure in their transit lounge if there are flight delays or cancelations. If your pet makes a mess in their crate prior to the flight, Jetpets are able to send a staff member to clean out their crate.
  • The also offer a door to door pick up and drop off service, or you can check your pet in yourself at their transit lounges located near the airports in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
  • Their transit lounges located allow pets to spend time outside of their crate prior to travel, in a climate controlled environment. Their pet handlers will take dogs for a walk prior to the flight to ensure they have had time to use the bathroom and to stretch their legs.
  • Jetpets Vets are also located at the transit lounges and are available to perform health checks on all traveling pets. For domestic travelers they can do a check if requested, or if they deem necessary, but they will perform health checks on all international travelers.

To find out more or to contact Jetpets before you book your flights, visit their website.

About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog training, minding and walking business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.

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