All animals sometimes face difficulties. If you choose to leave your dog in the cargo hold, keep in mind that it must spend some time alone in a special box, which is an unknown environment. Except being very noisy, cargo spaces rarely have a temperature control. Also, there are numerous cases of animals that have died because of harsh conditions. Do not forget that you have no control over how your dog is treated. Moreover, airport employees are often not sufficiently trained to deal with animals. Since the box may fall during the transport, the dog must be prepared to an accidental kick, vibrations or turbulence. In addition, the flight can cause a painful ear pressure. In any case, such a trip can cause a significant stress for the dog. All things considered, kennels are certainly the better choice when it comes to security. If the flight cannot be avoided, the preparation must be carried out slowly and carefully.
It is highly important that the dog gradually gets used to the transport box since this is an inevitable retreat when traveling abroad. The box should be stable and escape-proof since it often happens that dogs are trying to flee in panic. You could prepare your dog for the crowd by making a few trips to the airport before traveling. You should try with short trips to more peaceful places, then increase the duration of the trips and eventually visit the airport sometimes on the weekends.
Make sure to promptly inform the airline that you want to transport an animal since the cabin quotas in the cargo hold are limited. Inquire about the conditions in cabins, as travel option depends on weight and size of your pet. Also, you should inform in advance about entry regulations and restrictions, depending on the country. For instance, Australia has a multi-week quarantine period for dogs. If a quarantine cannot be avoided, you can visit your pet daily! In order to avoid extremely high temperatures during the summertime, it is recommended to take flights in the morning or in the evening. In addition, if you want to avoid the crowd on the weekends, you can fly during the week. Generally, you should not leash your dog in the box. Label the box with “Live Animal” and red arrows. Your pet can travel with someone else if you have authorized it in writing.
Strong sedative medications are not recommended, since they may trigger additional panic among animal. Furthermore, these drugs frequently affect the temperature regulation of the body, which can be rather dangerous. Take enough time for the trip to the airport and check-in at least 3 hours before departure, since the check-in process for pets may take some time. Hence, you will avoid the unnecessary hassle.