5 Tips for Flying with Your Dog

In order to keep your pet safe and calm, it's useful to prepare for trips on planes.

More than 500,000 dogs travel on airplanes each year in the United States. If you are taking to the skies any time soon with your dog, the American Kennel Club has created this checklist to ensure your dog’s safety on his journey. 

1. Research airline guidelines. Familiarize yourself with your airline’s regulations as it will list weight restrictions, crate and temperature requirements, as well as certain embargoes (due to the time of year, weather or even certain breeds), among other guidelines. Look up requirements, such as vaccinations, blood and parasite testing, licensing requirements, destination airport regulations or quarantines. 

2. Visit your veterinarian. During this visit, you and your veterinarian should discuss whether your dog is healthy enough for air travel, if he possesses the right temperament for the potential stress of air travel and if a sedative would be necessary. Most airlines require a certificate of health within a specific period of flying.

3. Get your pet accustomed to the crate. Training your dog to stay in his crate before travel will give him more security and less anxiety. Use the crate as his “home” and create a friendly atmosphere for at least one week before your planned travel. 

4. Purchase essential pet travel supplies. This includes airline-approved pet carrier and bedding, leash and collar, name tag with your contact information, a supply of sealed pet food, any medications, dog treats and toys. Chew toys are recommended, rather than plush or squeak toys.

5. Confirm and book reservations. Contact your airline before you book your ticket to be sure your airline has not met its limits on the number of pets they will carry on your flight. 

For more information on traveling safely with your dog, visit the AKC website at www.akc.org.

SOURCE:Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer, American Kennel Club

How did Manny the Frenchie start? What do you think caused him to get so big?

We started Manny's Instagram page as just a way to share photos with family and friends. After a while, we noticed people we didn't​ know started following him too, and it just kept growing. We think that there were a lot of things that made him so popular. He's very cute, so all of his pictures are adorable. He’s also always had this unique quality about him — he likes to sleep in the sink. His videos got lots of attention as well, especially the ones of him sleeping in the sink or "Frenchie talking". 

How do you ensure that you will have a safe trip traveling with Manny?

Luckily, Manny is very easy going when it comes to travel. He has travel bag that he jumps right into and has the best naps in. I always make sure he has light meal and goes out well before a flight and again right before we leave for the airport. He seems to know the routine and just loves being with us. We have yet to travel internationally, but hopefully we will soon.

What kind of precautions do you take and products do you use to make sure your trip goes seamlessly?

We do get asked if Manny is given any medication before trips; he’s not. He has always been very good in both cars and planes. I always make sure to pack his favorite snacks and toys. When we travel, he has his own little backpack with everything he needs. I always make sure to pack a "safety kit" just in case. It has wipes, wound cleaner and ointment, gauze, and cooling and/or heating packs. 

What advice do you have for anyone traveling with their pet this holiday season?

I would definitely not make your pet come along if they don't do well travelling. I'd also recommend to make some trial runs if your pet is not use to travelling, especially in the car. For long trips, make sure you secure them in case of an accident. If you're flying and your pet isn't used to being in a bag or crate, I would leave it out at home and give lots of treats when they go in on their own. 

Obviously, everyone loves Manny. Do you ever have any meet ups with your fans?

We have events all the time where people can meet Manny. Sometimes we'll share that we'll be at a certain location for a while so fans can have a chance to stop by. It’s always fun when we run into fans randomly on a walk or at the airport. 

What has been your biggest takeaway in this whole adventure with Manny?

We find it so rewarding to be able to give back in lots of ways with Manny. We've raised so much for several amazing organizations, and we now have our own non-profit. It has always felt so good to have someone tell us that Manny has brightened their day in some way. We've been able to help lots of people and animals through this adventure, and we're hoping we can continue to ​​do it for a long time.