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Matricalm for Cats

Natural Help for Stress Reduction, Anxiety Relief, Behavioral Problems, and Aggression in Cats

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How To Fly With Pets

Pet Care Tips 5 min read
Shorthair cat looking out the window of an airplane

Now that travel is starting to open up again, you may be planning or daydreaming about taking a trip. Whether you’re traveling by car or jet-setting to some far-off destination, it’s important to plan ahead to account for your pets. It takes preparation to find the right pet sitter or to make all of the necessary arrangements to bring your pet along for the journey. Here are our tips on what you should know if you are going to fly with pets.

Planning For Your Trip

It is important to start planning your pet’s trip well in advance. If you want to travel with your furry companion, your best resource is the website of each flight company that you are considering and the website of the embassy of the country you are traveling to. Even if it is a domestic flight, you should consult the local embassy website to check the rules.

You must know that all the vaccines should be up to date, and some flight companies require that the vaccinations be given at least a month prior to the flight date, up to a year. Some companies and countries also require deworming and external parasite prevention. Vaccines usually include rabies and distemper for dogs, and rabies and feline distemper (feline panleukopenia) for cats. Please note that some countries may require more types of vaccines and most, if not all, countries, require the rabies vaccine.

Each company and country has its own rules for flying with pets.

Flying with your pet may sound fun, but it requires planning and willingness to spend hours researching and, often, paying for veterinarian documentation and flight fee.

Each company has its own rules and restrictions for flying with a pet. And more importantly, each country has its own requirements as well, which can vary from a simple document to quarantine and expensive tests. So, start planning months ahead, as sometimes the whole process can take up to six months of performing exams and gathering documents.

Man carrying a white Maltese dog inside of a plastic pet carrier and a black suitcase through an airport. How to fly with pets.

Preparing Your Pet For A Flight

When you are familiar with all the rules and regulations, pay attention to deadlines. When to book your pet’s flight and how to prepare. Flying can be stressful and depending on the flight company and size of your pet, they may have to travel in a separate compartment, other than with you in the main cabin. Either way, the same preparations are suggested:

  • Exercise your pet the day before. Exercise is good to relieve anxiety, stress, and calm the mind and body. If your pet is tired, chances are they will sleep and be less anxious while facing a new situation.
  • Try to calm your mind. If you are stressed, your pet will sense that stress and they will be stressed too. Most of the time, this is more difficult for us than it is for them.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about ways to calm your pet, if needed.
  • Start Matricalm (for cats, rabbits, and pocket pets) or Lesstress (for dogs) a month in advance, so your pet has the time to adjust to the benefits of the herbs to keep your pet calm and relaxed during the trip.
  • Train your pet inside the carrier they are going to travel in. Always use positive reinforcement to associate the carrier to a good and safe place. You can start giving treats to your pet inside the carrier, playing and even feeding them while they are inside it.
  • It is good to pack some of your pet’s favorite toys and blankets. Some companies will allow you to offer water inside the carrier, some will not. Pay attention to what kind of food is allowed in the country of destination, as some countries will not allow you to enter with your pet’s food.
Shorthair cat laying down inside of a pet carrier bag in front of a window with an airplane in the background. How to fly with pets.

How To Pack Your Supplements

We recommend you pack sealed supplements for the trip. Because our supplements don’t have any type of preservatives, they must be kept refrigerated after they are opened, so it is not a good idea to put them inside of a suitcase for longer periods if they are opened. If they are sealed, just make sure they are well packed and there is no risk of breaking them.

Keeping Your Pet Calm During The Flight

The supplements we recommend to help your pets keep calm are Matricalm and Lesstress. Both are vet formulated with herbs that help with stress and anxiety.

Matricalm is an all-natural supplement that provides anxiety and stress relief in cats and dogs and promotes calm behavior. It can help calm aggression and reduces agitation. Its gentle yet effective formula is safe for long-term use.

Lesstress is our natural support for canine stress and anxiety. Because it is a calming formula, it can also help with pain. Lesstress is also formulated to be safe for long-term use.

During the flight, if your pet is traveling with you in the cabin, it is possible to put your hand inside the carrier to keep them calm. Some companies will not allow you to open the carrier or have it on your lap at any time, so it is important to ask if you can do it or not. As a protocol, pets are to be always kept inside the carriers, underneath your seat. Make sure your pet is comfortable inside the carrier and can have enough space to move around inside.

Labrador dog wearing a leash standing in an airport in front of a baggage carousel.

After Your Flight Lands

Once you arrive at your destination, take your pet for a brief walk so they can pee and poop if they want to. Some airports offer a “pet washroom” and this information should be available on their website. Offer some water and cuddle them a little bit. If it is a connecting flight and you still must face another trip, do not offer too much food. Sometimes it is better for them to eat less than what they are used to, to avoid diarrhea and an upset stomach.

When you are finally at your destination, let your pet get used to the place they are going to stay in. Let them sniff around and adjust to the new environment and possible new home. They may appear more tired in the first days, but they should adjust well and get back to their normal behavior after they have had some time to adjust.

We hope you have a safe trip with your pet and we are here to help you if you need us! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team of pet experts using the chat button below.

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca is a holistic veterinarian from Brazil with a passion for natural and integrative medicine. She’s been studying integrative medicine and alternative (and healthier) diets since 2015, and now started to study the power of herbs with the NHV Family. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her golden retriever, Kuga.

Published: August 25, 2021

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