Kevin and I don't have children, but we have one fur baby named Jack. When Kevin and I found out that we were moving to Germany with Kevin's job, I immediately started preparing Jack for the big move. Of course, I never wanted to take him on an airplane because I know how traumatic it can be for a pet. However, leaving him in The States was out of the question for us so we did our best to make the transition as smooth as possible. I wanted to share with you a few things that helped make the flight more comfortable for him during the move.
1. CRATE TRAIN YOUR DOG:
We crate trained Jack as a puppy. However, the crate that we used was not airline approved so we had to go out and get a new one. He made the transition between kennels very well and now prefers his new kennel over his old one. He loves his crate and even goes in there when he is scared, it's his safe place. Here is how I helped him make the change:
- The first thing I did was simply set up his new crate next to the old one. That way he could get used to it just being in the room.
- Next, I started to throw toys and treats in the new kennel and had him fetch them. That way he was comfortable going into the kennel.
- Then, I started making him go into the kennel for treats and keeping him in the kennel for short periods of time while I was still home.
- After about a month of getting him used to the new crate, I was finally comfortable with leaving him in the kennel when I left the house.
2. VISIT YOUR VET EARLY:
Kevin and I moved internationally so the first thing we had to check was the laws on vaccinations in Germany. Also, most airlines have specific rules for animals on board. Check with your airline about what is required to have your pet traveling with you. Most airlines require that all vaccinations be administered at least a month before your flight date. So, visit your vet early and get everything in order so you will not have to stress later.
3. BRING EXTRA FOOD TO KEEP WITH YOU:
When Kevin and I checked into our flight we were informed that it was delayed 12 hours! Luckily, there was a pet area at the airport where we could take Jack and he could get out of the kennel. What I was most thankful for was that I remembered to pack a gallon size bag of food for Jack in my carry on luggage. This way I was not in a scramble to find something to feed him during our extra wait time.
4. BRING TOYS WITH YOU IN YOUR CARRY ON:
Once we landed and got settled into our hotel, the only thing Jack wanted to do was run around! He had to let off so much energy. He had made a LONG journey and wanted nothing more than to bounce from bed to bed. Luckily, I packed a tennis ball in my purse so I was able to play a little fetch with him!
5. SELECT A TRAVEL PLAN WITH DIRECT FLIGHTS: We didn't live close to an international airport so initially we were going to have to make a connecting flight. We didn't like that idea so instead, we rented a car and road tripped it all the way to the closest international airport so we could get a direct flight to Germany. The flight is already long enough and I didn't want Jack to be in his kennel any longer than he needed to be.