WHAT THE PROS KNOW
Dog Is My
Start by taking him to the airport on days
you aren’t flying, Brent recommends. Let
him experience all the new sights, sounds,
and smells, and if you have more than one
dog, take each separately so one doesn’t distract the other.
Use a fixed-length leash, not one of those
retractable kinds that could let him dart off
into taxiing airplanes, carts, and other traffic
if he gets spooked, Arnold says. If you’ve
trained your dog on basic obedience—sit,
stay, come, and down—you should also be
able to quickly teach him to jump up onto
the wing walk of a low-wing airplane, and
you should be able to train him to “be
calm”—that is, lie still in his spot. That way,
he doesn’t jump around the airplane when
you’re flying, which gets all kinds of complicated. Without that skill, you should restrain
him; more on that in a bit.
You’ll know on the drive to the airport, if
you don’t already, if your dog gets motion
sickness. Puppies in particular have the
problem, and it usually goes away with time,
but if it doesn’t, you can dose the dog with
either a prescription for meclizine from your
vet or with that drug’s over-the-counter versions, Bonine and Antivert, Arnold says.
If Fido is good traveling to other places,
he should be good in an airplane. Plan to
keep him cool and let him look out the win-
dow, Arnold says. Seriously, it works.
Flying with your four-legged friend
BY GREG LASLO
HE WANTS TO GO.
And you know you can’t say no to that face, and truthfully, you
don’t want to. Because here is your chance to take your best four-
legged buddy along for a ride. It’s practically a perfect weekend
two-fer—time with your dog and your airplane.
The idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Dogs fly in general-aviation
aircraft every day, for public safety business, for point-to-point
travel, and just for fun. There’s no reason yours can’t, too—if he’s
good at traveling.
To figure out how you can turn Fido into a real-life “cargo dog,”
we talked to three experts on flying with animals—Dr. Brent Blue,
Dr. Arnold Goldman, and Jon Wehrenberg. With their advice you
can help Fido earn his wings in no time.
HOW DO I GET FIDO READY TO FLY?
Patience and practice. Both will get him comfortable with your airplane,
and each is more about dog training than airmanship, Arnold says.
A WINDOW SEAT? WHY NOT A CRATE?
That’s your call. Arnold’s four Boston
Terriers are pretty well-behaved, he says,
and they’re experienced air travelers, too.
They go right to sleep on the back seat of his
Mooney, much like they’d do in a car.
Admittedly, not every dog is as cool with
If you’re flying alone, your dog should be
crated, fastened in with a car seat-belt harness, or even restrained behind a cargo
net—or he may end up in your lap in a raving
panic. On Fido’s first flights, take a passenger
who can give him attention while you tend
to the flying business at hand, Brent says.
Jon swears by a crate. “In the crate, we’re
both safe,” he says, particularly in the event
of a hard landing, turbulence, or a sudden
stop. He recommends a hard-sized model,
and he secures the two halves together with
vinyl cable ties for extra strength. He lines
it with towels to sop up any “accidents” and