Simply because thousands and thousands of pets are safely transferred from one destination to another via the airlines, does not mean that dog owners do not need to take responsible precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their family pet. After all, it only takes one incident to change your life forever when your dog becomes seriously injured or dies because of a lack of preparation on your part.
The first thing to consider is whether your dog needs to travel at all. The second thing is whether your dog needs to travel by airplane, or whether dog transport via train or car is a possibility.
The best time of day for your dog to travel is when the outside temperature is at a medium level. So if you're traveling in a warm climate, early morning or the evening are the best times. Conversely, if you're traveling in especially cold weather, the middle of the day is best. This will help ensure that your dog does not overheat, or catch a chill.
Puppies and small dogs can usually travel in the passenger compartment with you if you are also traveling on the same flight. This is desirable, since it minimizes the potential for stressing your dog, and significantly reduces the potential for your dog to suffer from separation anxiety. Puppies, in particular, can suffer long term adverse effects from experiencing separation anxiety in such a situation. You will need small transport dog crates or pet carriers for small pets for travel in the passenger compartment. You could even splash out and invest in stylish pet carriers you'll be able to use for other types of travel.
Not all dogs can easily cope with the experience of being locked up in transport dog crates and placed in the cargo hold during an airplane ride. Every dog owner knows what his or her dog's personality is like. Trust your gut instincts on whether or not you think your dog can handle the flight.
Separation anxiety is a real condition that should not be overlooked. It is estimated that almost 20% of all dogs suffer at some level from separation anxiety. These personality types make very poor candidates for dog transport by airplane, unless they can travel in the passenger cabin with you (which medium and large dogs obviously cannot). Such dogs should not be left alone and when their condition reaches elevated levels, it is not uncommon for a dog to literally chew through a metal cage in the attempt of trying to escape, causing severe injuries that can cause the dog to bleed to death. It may be possible to treat your dog with natural anxiety remedies, or you may even want to talk to your vet about a sedative if you think your dog will react badly to being transported.