As the digital nomad lifestyle grows in popularity among young professionals, pet parents are offering tips for traveling abroad with your furry friends.
Flying abroad with a dog – especially a large one – can be stressful, but travel influencer Jackie Gendron says ‘not having to leave them is worth it’.
Jackie, whose TikTok account @jgendron10 has amassed over 87,500 followers, recently took her 63lb Labrador Puck on a trip to Europe.
Admitting that taking a pet abroad can seem ‘scary’, Jackie says that with the right pretravel preparation your dog can be a ‘travel pro’.
He details how to get the necessary documentation from your vet, book your dog’s transport and what steps you can take to reduce their stress level while on a flight.
Jackie, whose TikTok account @jgendron10 has amassed over 87,500 followers, recently took her 63lb Labrador Puck (pictured) on a trip to Europe.
In a video posted earlier this month, Jackie breaks down the process of flying with a dog into four easy steps — all of which happen before you even get to the airport. He explained that to take a dog abroad, travelers need an international health certificate provided by their veterinarian.
He explained that pets must fly in an airline-approved crate, adding that he was able to buy the one he uses for Puck on Amazon. Photo: Jackie’s travel companions with their luggage. Puck’s crate is on the trolley to the right
In a video posted earlier this month, Jackie breaks down the process of flying with a dog into four easy steps — all of which happen before you even get to the airport.
‘First you need to find a vet who can give you an international health certificate,’ he explained, noting how not every vet offers this service.
But if your vet can’t help with certification, there’s no need to stress because Jackie says they can refer you to someone who can.
‘Secondly you need to book your flight,’ she said. ‘They can’t make your health certificate appointment until they have your exact departure date as the appointment needs to be within 10 days of that date.
‘Third, if you are flying the dog in cargo, you need to call the airline and add them to the cargo space.’
Some airlines use third-party companies to transport pets, but Jackie says most will let you add a pet to your reservation as an oversized bag.
He explained that pets must fly in an airline-approved crate, adding that he was able to buy the one he uses for Puck on Amazon.
He concluded: ‘Fourth, you go to the vet’s appointment, get their health certificate and that’s it.’
Jackie cautioned that travelers must book their flights before attempting to make a health certificate appointment with their vet. He told his followers: ‘They can’t make your health certificate appointment until they have your exact date of departure because the appointment has to be within 10 days of that date.’ Photo: Vet A Pak
TikTokers had previously condemned the way pets are transported on planes in 2021 after footage of a dog being carried in a crate on one side of the baggage hold and suitcases on the other went viral in 2021. A grab from the video is pictured above
Several of Jackie’s followers expressed concern about keeping their pets in an airplane cargo hold.
‘I couldn’t put my lab under the plane,’ commented one user.
But Jackie assured her followers that while it was ‘sick’, Puck ‘did really well’ during the flight.
‘The flight is overnight when he usually sleeps, and his crate is fairly spacious considering everything so he’s done really well,’ she said, adding that their vet also prescribed a medication to alleviate the anxiety.
TikTokers have previously criticized the way pets are transported on planes after a video of a handler carrying a dog in a crate on one side of a commercial airliner’s luggage hold, with a suitcase on the other, went viral.
In footage captured two years ago at Canada’s Vancouver International Airport, the dog’s crate was sheltered behind a fabric partition screen and attached to the side of the hold with straps.
The clip, which has received millions of views, has been branded ‘horrifying’ by some viewers.
Is it safe for dogs to fly in cargo?
According to the RSPCA: ‘Long journeys including flights, boarding and waiting on planes can be very stressful and distressing for pets.’
‘Although the hold is usually ventilated and temperature controlled, this may not be the case when the aircraft is on the ground.
‘Delays can occur during flights and regulations may not allow the tarmac to open the hold even during high temperatures. You should consider all these when deciding to use this mode of transport.’
The charity advises people to contact the airline to find out what its ‘pet travel’ policy is before making travel arrangements.
‘By law the transport of animals on aircraft must meet the International Air Transport Association Live Animals Regulations,’ it added.
‘They specify standards for the transport of dogs and cats such as the design, ventilation and size of containers and the provision of food and water. They also say that certain animals are not allowed to travel on planes.’