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Dogs and airport security

April 19, 2013
Dog Vizsla Pups Collage Photos by Kathleen Riley
Dog Vizsla Pups Collage Photos by Kathleen Riley

Have you ever flown with your dog? Was it in the cabin with you or underneath in the cargo hold? Or perhaps you shipped a dog and that is an entirely different scenario.

With any luck, your dog is lying down in the airline-approved pet carrier (these may also be called crates or kennels) and you have your tickets/boarding passes in your hot little hands or on your smart phone, with very limited additional carry-on items. For our purposes, we’ll imagine you are ready to head to the TSA check point.

Your companion will need to be shown to the TSA agents — and not like you present them at a dog show. With small dogs and puppies, you’ll probably be able to carry them through the metal detector, larger dogs may walk through with you. This is where practicing new experiences will pay off! If you have neglected that part and your dog won’t walk through, you’ll be invited to a secondary screening party. Okay, perhaps it isn’t that type of party… If this happens, you can anticipate that the dog will have a visual and physical inspection by the TSA officers.

What about the carrier/kennel/crate? That might go through the X-ray machine, but rest assured that your dog won’t be inside it when that happens. If you have a dog that gets really rambunctious, you can ask to be taken to a private room so your fur family member is less likely to bust out and take a running tour of the airport. If — for whatever reason — you need to be patted down, ask to put your dog back in the crate, no sense asking for trouble in case your dog becomes protective of you and tries to bite a TSA agent.

Traveling with pets is a lot like the Boy Scouts motto — always prepared. Get to the airport early, and that means earlier than you would normally get to the airport. Don’t carry along a lot of extra stuff — trust me here, you will need free hands to get through security and move through the airport easily. I know this part seems like a logical step, but you would be surprised — don’t take your pet out of the carrier until after you have taken off any items that need to be placed in bins to be scanned. I know, seems so easy, but if you are traveling during the Eukanuba or Westminster weekends, I guarantee you’ll see that tip ignored.

This tip is crucial to your success too. Have a leash to put on your dog and loop around your wrist. Yes, I know your dog is the one dog in the universe that won’t get spooked at the TSA check point, but do it for me anyway. This is a place that is confusing and full of people who are terrified of flying — no dog in their right mind wouldn’t notice the tension of airport travel.

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

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From → Animals, Cats, Dogs, Pets, Safety, Travel

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