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Flying Private With Pets

flying with pets

Your pet is a member of your family, and just like other members of your family, you want your pet with you on your flight.

Whether you're headed on vacation and want all of your family members along, or whether you're simply going on a business trip with a pet that wants your companionship, bringing pets on a flight can be a non-negotiable requirement.

Because of the importance of traveling with pets, we at GrandView Aviation have put together a guide to taking pets on private jets. Continue reading for everything you need to know about flying with pets!

pet friendly private planes

Humane Way to Fly Your Pet

The best thing about private jet pet travel is that it is the most humane way for your pet to fly. On pet-friendly private planes, your pets get to travel alongside you, enjoying all the same luxuries afforded to you.

To truly appreciate pet-friendly private jet charter planes, you have to first understand what it's like for pets on commercial flights.

When you arrive at the airport for a commercial flight, you'll have to take extra time to get yourself through security screenings as well as your pets. As you wait for your flight, you'll have to keep your pet restrained, with little to no opportunities for exercise or bathroom breaks.

When you can finally board the plane, you can only take your pet with you in the cabin if its cage will fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. However, even if your pet's cage can fit in one of these areas, your pet is still stuck inside its cage for the entire flight.

If your pet is too large to be kept with you on the flight, it is placed in the cargo hold. Airplane cargo holds do regulate temperature, pressure and oxygen, but not necessarily as closely as they are regulated in the main cabin. This can put your pet at risk for injury, discomfort and even death in extreme cases. 

Keep in mind that pet injuries and deaths do not happen often on commercial flights, but it's still not a risk you shouldn't take if you don't have to. Even when there are no injuries, a flight can still be uncomfortable when your pet has to stay in a cage the entire time. In fact, as a result of the difficulties faced by pets on commercial flights, the Humane Society of the United States recommends leaving animals with a pet-sitter if you have to fly commercially.

At GrandView Aviation, we do things differently. On a commercial flight, you have basically no control over where your pet is housed during the flight and how they are treated. On our private jets, though, you have total control, and your pet can enjoy the same comforts and luxuries as you.

flying with cats

Enjoy Comfort and Luxury

On our private jets, your pets will enjoy unparalleled benefits. Your pet's favorite benefit will likely be that it gets to spend the entire flight with you, no matter its size, which is often not an option on commercial flights. Flying with dogs in private planes, for instance, keeps them from getting packed in a crate and put the cargo hold — instead, your pet can roam the cabin, snuggle with you or sit in their own seat.

You are also available to comfort your pet if they get nervous. Flights are a new experience for pets, so they might be scared or confused during moments like takeoff, turbulence or landing. If your pets are ever agitated, you will be right there to put them at ease.

At the same time, you also will enjoy peace of mind regarding your pet. If your pet were packed in a cargo hold, you might find yourself constantly worrying about your pet's safety and well-being. On our private flights, there is no need to worry about your furry friend, because you will always find them beside you in the main cabin.

Furthermore, you can always include luxuries for your pet such as treats, blankets, beds and more that you wouldn't be able to bring on a commercial flight. On our charter flights, you can treat your pets like they deserve.

tips for flying with a pet

Tips for Flying With Your Pet

Even though your pet will be with you the whole time, there are still some things you can do before, during and after the flight to make sure the trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Obtain Legal Requirements

Before your flight, make sure you know the legal requirements for flying with pets in both the country you're taking off from and the country you're landing in. For example, in the United States, pets typically must be at least eight weeks old, fully weaned and healthy in order to fly.

You may also need proof of vaccinations and other paperwork. Making sure all of your pet's papers are in order before flying will help ensure a great experience for you and your pet.

Make an Appointment With the Veterinarian

Bringing your pet to the veterinarian within 10 days before your flight is important for two reasons — you can get your required documents, and you can ask the vet any questions you might have.

Your vet can make sure your pet has all the vaccinations it needs and can get a certificate of health. This is also your chance to ask your vet about health requirements for your pet while flying. Often, it's recommended not to give pets any medication or food prior to air travel unless it's medically required, so check with your vet to see what you should or shouldn't give your pet before the flight.

Exercise Before the Flight

Giving your pet plenty of exercise before the flight will help the journey go as smoothly as possible. Taking a walk will help your pet work off any nervous energy they might have from being in an unfamiliar place, and it will help tire them out in case they get excited on the plane later.

Allowing your pet to exercise will also give them the opportunity to go to the bathroom before starting the trip. 

Limit Food and Water Before the Flight

You don't want to starve or dehydrate your pet, of course, but you should modify their food and drink intake before a flight for best results.

Pets will still need to drink water before the flight, but make sure to carefully control how much they drink. It should be enough to keep them hydrated, but not so much that they have to constantly use the bathroom during the flight.

While some water is okay, most veterinarians will recommend not feeding your pet anything before the flight. This will help prevent an upset stomach while on the flight. Of course, this depends on your specific pet, the length of the flight and when the flight takes off, so be sure to consult with your vet about when it's best to feed your pet.

Bring Familiar Items

Because flights are a new experience, pets can get nervous or agitated. Your presence will certainly help combat any nervous feelings, but bringing familiar items from home can help as well.

Some private charter flights request that passengers bring a clean blanket for the animal to rest on to help prevent getting hair on the carpet. However, bringing a blanket from home can also give your pet a sense of familiarity in this new environment.

Other great things to bring for pets on a flight are their favorite toys, beds or blankets. A familiar bed can help ease anxiety, and toys are always great to keep a pet occupied when they might otherwise be nervous. Overall, providing calming or familiar distractions can help make the flight as easy as possible for your pet.

Learn to Use Safety Equipment

Though GrandView Aviation is accident- and incident-free for over 15 years, it's still important to learn how to use safety equipment on the plane. 

Oxygen masks and flotation devices that are designed especially for pets are available to use, so be sure you know how to use them to protect your pet if a situation requires it. Furthermore, while CPR and other first-aid practices for pets aren't commonly needed on flights, it never hurts to learn — you never know when you might need that crucial information to save your furry friend!

Have a Bathroom Plan

Even if you didn't give your pets much food or water prior to the flight, they still might need to go to the bathroom. If it's a longer trip, they might need to go more than once, so you need to be prepared.

Most pet-friendly private jets don't have restroom accommodations for pets, so you'll want to come prepared with whatever bathroom solution you think best. For some pets, a small litter box might be exactly what you need. Other pets might require training pads, and if neither of those work, there are plenty of other products you can turn to, as well.

Whatever strategy you decide on, the important thing is that you have a plan just in case your pet needs to relieve themselves.

Help Them Pop Their Ears

Because animals' ears work the same as ours, your pet's ears will also pop as the plane ascends and descends. It might seem like a minor issue for us, but it can stress out animals because it is often a completely new feeling.

To help them pop their ears, you can offer your pets a treat every time the altitude changes about 500 feet. If you don't have many treats on hand or want a different method, you can also give your pet some water and encourage them to drink as the altitude changes. Chewing and swallowing will both help them pop their ears as the plane takes off or lands.

Provide Post-Flight Snacks and Exercise

Your pet may be tired, nervous or disoriented after flying, especially if you arrive in a completely unfamiliar area. Furthermore, if your pet didn't eat much before or during the flight, they'll probably be hungry! Be sure to pack your pet's typical meal to be eaten after they land from the flight.

Even though your pet wasn't cooped up in their cage, they still probably didn't get all the exercise they needed during the flight, especially if the flight was longer than two or three hours. After disembarking the plane, allow your pet to work off their energy by giving them more opportunities for exercise.

Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits

Now that you know how easy it is to take a pet on a GrandView Aviation private charter flight, and how to ensure that your pet has a good flight, what are the benefits of having your pet along? Obviously, there are some positive emotions that are immediately noticeable when we consider pets — joy, love and companionship are all heightened by owning a pet.

However, there are other benefits that come along with having pets. Dogs and cats, in particular, can reduce anxiety, stress and loneliness, but any pet can have these effects. Perhaps the best benefit offered by a pet is the unconditional love they give you.

Pets can also improve your physical health, especially if you have a dog. After all, taking a walk with your dog gives you exercise as well as your pup! Studies have also shown that owning a pet can help to lower blood pressure.

It's clear that your pet is good for your health, so taking it with you on your next flight only makes sense!

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