There are several crucial things you can do in order to make the flight for your pet more bearable. In any case it will stressful for an animal, so your task is to minimise the possible stress as much as possible. In return, this will minimise your own stress.
Start giving your pet sedative medications
Veterinarians as well as animal psychologists is to give your animal sedative medications before flight as almost always this experience is extremely stressful for an animal especially in the case when one cannot travel on board the plane and have to be in a luggage compartment. Yet, you should know that it is not enough to just give such a medication to your pet several hours before a flight. It will be a way more effective if you start giving such medications to your pet around 10-14 days before your flight.
Many sedative medications have a cumulative effect which will be more intensive after several days of using a substance.
Let your animal to get acquainted with a pet carrier
Even if your pet has never travelled before, it can still be shocked by the perspective of staying locked inside a carrier. of course, if your pet has already learnt what happens after getting inside such a carrier, it is possible that the animal will be even more stressed.
A good idea is to let your pet get used to the perspective of travelling inside a pet carrier. In order to do it, it will be sensible to leave an opened carrier in some place where the animal love to spend time. You can encourage your pet to get inside by leaving a treat or a favourite treat inside. Be careful and never force your pet to get inside the carrier! Even if you do not manage to motivate the animal to do so, just leave the things as they are. Forcing the animal to get inside can stress the one even more and already give it a rather negative experience which will make thing sonly worth when it is time to travel.
Do not give your animal any food around four hours before the flight
Of course, you might be worrying about your pet getting hungry during the flight which can add up to the overall stress. There is such a possibility, however, it is sensible to refrain for feeding animals before flight as it can easily trigger nausea in them. Yet, you can take some treats for them and give them to your pet during the flight.
Remember to take a blanket for your animal and water
A blanket will be very useful for covering the carrier if you see that the animal is getting too agitated. Of course, water and some food is needed for an animal as well. Wet tissues and a plastic bag for litter can be handy too.
Inform the crew about an animal flying in the luggage compartment
Unfortunately, not all of the animals can be transported on board the plane and in some cases, the owners have to leave their animals in the luggage compartment. Needless to say, this can make an animal even more stressed. In some situations, the conditions in the compartment are not even suitable for animal transportation.
It is crucial to inform the crew about the animal staying in the luggage compartment so that they can regulate the air in the compartment making the temperature warm enough for an animal. Of course, it is also crucial for getting the animal carrier out of the luggage compartment.
Vaccinate your animal early enough
It is not a secret that an animal has to be vaccinated in order to be able to travel by plane. Yet, not all owners are aware of the fact some vaccines have to made in advance. For example, a vaccine against rabid cannot be made right before a flight since the international rules require a thirty-day period between the vaccination and the flight. This is needed for an animal to be able to develop an immune system against rabid. This is what you should take into consideration before flight.