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After the checkride: Fly with a petAfter the checkride: Fly with a pet

They just want to be with you

Dogs make wonderful flying companions.

Preflight April 2019If your four-legged best friend rides in a car without problems, it’s likely she’ll be fine in an airplane too.

Get your dog acclimated to the airplane first—let her sit in the backseat a few times while it’s shut down. The first time you try flying with a dog, bring along a two-legged passenger to help wrangle the animal. Don’t feed the dog before you take off, to prevent airsickness. Keep your first flight short to gauge how the dog reacts to cockpit noise, altitude changes, and other unfamiliar parts of flying that may frighten your pet the first time in the air. Mutt-Muffs makes ear protectors for dogs, but it may take some time and patience to get your dog acclimated to wearing the Mutt-Muffs.

Dogs travel easily in crates, so long as those fit in the back of the airplane. Otherwise, you may want to fit Fido with a harness that can be attached to the backseat seat belt, so that he can’t move around too much while you’re in flight.

As your pet gets more familiar with travel by air, remember to bring water, a dish, toys, and other items she might need to make her happy and safe.



Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.

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