What happens if my dog barks on a plane? This is the question that many pet owners ask themselves before they fly. And if this is your first time boarding an airline with your dog then you should know what to expect ahead of time to avoid any problems or uncomfortable situations.
We all know that when dogs get scared they will bark and whimper, and this is true especially when traveling on a plane. However, for some passengers, it may be okay! but for others, it can be downright terrifying!
So what can you do when you are 38,000 feet in the air and your dog starts barking mid-flight? What will happen? and most importantly is there anything you can do to prevent it?
What Will Happen If Your Dog Keeps Barking?
1. Complaints From Passengers
If your dog keeps barking on a plane, chances are that some passengers will complain about it. If this happens, it’s important to remain calm and not take things personally as this can only make things worse.
If people do start complaining about how loud your dog is being, the best thing you can do is just apologize politely. In situations like this, the flight attendants will usually help by keeping the passengers calm while you try to quiet your dog.
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2. Relocated To Another Seat
If you are unable to keep your dog quiet dog then the flight attendant may relocate you to another seat in a different area on the plane.
This can happen if passengers complain about how disruptive your dog is being during travel. However, if they do ask you to relocate on the plane due to loud barking from your pet, do not argue with the flight attendant.
It is much better to move when they ask and save yourself from a possible altercation that could end up you being refused on connecting flights.
3. You May Be Ask To Muzzle Your Dog
If your dog is being very disruptive to the other passengers and you can’t keep him quiet you may be asked to muzzle your dog.
This is a good option for those who are unsure if they can control their dog when they bark! or don’t want them barking throughout the flight.
4. Removed From The Plane
If you are just boarded the plane and your dog is already barking then you may be asked to exit the plane. However, this would happen if you have tried everything to keep your dog quiet or if a flight attendant feels that you cannot control your dog.
However, this is very unlikely as the flight attendants are usually experienced with this type of behavior and will give you time to calm your dog. They may even share some tips with you from their experience with other dogs on previous flights.
5. Refused Entry On Connecting Flights
If your dog has been barking throughout the flight and has caused manger distributions then you may be refused entry onto connecting flights.
This can happen if passengers have constantly complained about your dog’s behavior or again the flight attendants believe that you cannot control your dog.
How To Prevent Your Dog Barking On A Plane?
So now that you know what can happen if your dog barks on a plane! Let’s go through some options on what you can do to help prevent this from happening.
First of all, you want to make sure that your pet is relaxed. Dogs can get very stressed out when they are in a new environment or around other dogs that are barking.
If your dog begins to bark during takeoff or landing there isn’t much you can do! However, Once your in the clouds there are some things you can try that can have a positive effect and hopefully stop your dog from barking.
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1. Use A Dog Muzzle
If you think that your dog will bark a lot on the plane and you feel that you may not be able to control them then you should muzzle your dog before you board the plane.
There are some dog muzzles that are designed to prevent them from barking but at the same time, they can still eat and drink.
To use these muzzle correctly simply place them over your pets head and fasten tightly around the neck area, If you’re worried about your dog not being able to pant and drink don’t worry there are muzzle that still allows this while wearing it,
2. Use A Dog Hoddy
Dog’s ears are very sensitive to high noise levels, especially on a plane with things like cabin pressure that can cause discomfort for your dog’s ears.
The scariest part of this for your dog is not knowing what’s going on and as a result, they may start to bark! This is where using a dog hoodie that will cover their ears can protect their ears from any loud noises.
Dog hoddies are available in most pet stores and range widely depending on the type you buy. It may be wise to invest in one if your planning on taking your dog on an airline just to be on the safe side.
3. Try Doggy Treats
One way to distract your dog from barking is by feeding them treats! Treats are a great distraction for dogs and can give you the extra time needed to quieten down an out-of-control pet.
However, there are some precautions that need to be taken when giving your dog food or water on board and make sure they should not eat too much as this can cause your dog to poop or pee on the plane.
With that said, if your traveling with your dog in the cabin then you are most likely going to be prepared and have all the supplies you need!
4. Keep Your Dog Busy
If you can’t keep your dog quiet try keeping them busy by giving them a chew toy or bone in their carrier! Chew bones are a great distraction for dogs as it keeps their mind off barking.
Though, if your dog is still barking after you try this then you should refer back to the muzzle option!
5. Give Them A Sedative
If you think that your dog is going to be a handful on the plane then you should consider talking to your vet about sedatives.
Important: Sedatives are usually given in pill form which will help them feel more relaxed on board. However, always check with the airline before you administer any meds to your dog as some airlines don’t allow sedated dogs on board.
Not all dogs respond well to medication so it’s important you don’t give them any medication without first consulting with your vet!
6. Place A Cover Over The Carrier
If your dog is easily scared then you can try placing a cover or sheet over their carrier as this will help them feel more secure.
Using a sheet can also help your dog sleep better, which in turn will help them stay quiet.
7. Try Voice Commands
One thing that can help calm your pooch is voice commands! After all your dog will be stowed away under the seat and won’t be able to see you!
So voice commands can be very effective and at the same time your letting your dog know your still by their side!
So Why Do Dogs Bark On A Plane?
So now that we have gone through what happens if your dog barks on a plane and what you can do to help them calm down. Let’s take a look at why dogs are barking in the first place, so you know what to expect.
1. Cabin Pressure
The first thing you should be aware of is the cabin pressure and how it can affect your dog. When a plane takes off there are sudden changes in air pressure which for most people isn’t an issue “but for the dog” their ears are much more sensitive than ours.
They can experience things like pooping in the ears and temporary hearing loss and to a dog, this can be very scary and they may start barking because of this.
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2. Noise In The Cabin
Another thing you should be aware of is the noise in the cabin. As mentioned earlier dogs are very sensitive to noise, so if it gets too loud for them this will cause discomfort which is why they could be barking.
This is where using a hoody can come in handy as it will help to muffle some of the noise and hopefully at the same time protect their ears and calm them down.
3. Dog Is Feeling Anxiety
If your dog is feeling anxious about the flight it’s easy to see why they would panic and start barking. Planes can be very noisy which to a dog is very scary and it can be even more frightening for them if they have never been on a plane before.
Changes in pressure as mentioned above can also make your dog nervous and because of this, they may start barking. The best thing dogs need in a time like this is some reassurance so they calm down,
4. Dog May Need The Bathrrom
If your dog is barking in their carrier it may be because they need to use the bathroom. This can be very difficult for them especially during take-off and landing when everyone is trying to sit down!
This is why it’s important to try and take them outside to do their business before you board the plane so they don’t have any accidents.
5. Dog Is Feeling Motion Sickness
If your dog is feeling motion sickness they are likely to feel nauseous. There’s not much you can do about this just make sure they have enough room for them inside their carrier so they don’t feel cramped.
6. Dog Has Had A Poop In The Carrier
This is one of the worst things that can happen is if your dog has had a poop in their carrier! If this happens then there’s a good chance they are going to bark.
The first thing you should do is clean that up as best as possible before the smell spreads in the cabin. Once this has been done try and put an air freshener inside their carrier to help remove any lingering smells.
Before You Fly With Your Dog
One of the most important things you should do before you board a plane with your dog is to make sure you are prepared.
To help you with this here is a checklist of some of the things you should consider taking with you.
- Air Freshener (Non-Spray)
- Airline Aproved Carrier
- Chewy Bone Or Toy
- Food And Water
- Dog Blankets
- Wet Wipes
- Poop Bags
- Dog Muzzle
- Dog Hoddy
A lot of people fear taking their pets traveling but there’s no need! Sometimes our pets just get nervous during take-off and landing times meaning all we need to do is help them relax.
But if they do bark a lot on the plane you now know that there are plenty of things you can do to prevent it.
If it’s something like not feeling well, being anxious, having a poopy accident in their carrier, or even some motion sickness all we need to do is make sure they feel safe and comfortable and this will hopefully stop them from barking for good!
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