Keeping Your Pet Occupied While Waiting For A Flight

April 16, 2019

Traveling with a pet can be a real challenge. Passing through all the airport stations and security checks with your luggage in one hand and your animal companion on the other could really wear you down. After this entire process, you are faced with one final problem before you board the plane — how will you keep your pet occupied while waiting for your flight?

Here is what you can do

Just like humans, animals could get bored when they spend too much time doing nothing. They need something to keep them busy and entertained or they will throw a tantrum. To prevent this scenario, here are some of the things you can do to keep your pet occupied.

Pack Some Toys

When packing for your trip, do not forget to bring your pet’s favorite toy. It is always good to have something old and familiar to help them feel comfortable in a new environment. If you have some more space left in your hand carry, you may also bring other toys for backup — just in case.

  • Interactive Toys

There are a lot of stimulating interactive toys for different types of animals. There is the interactive food maze that makes snack time more enjoyable for your fur babies. It is a fun game made for a canine or feline who loves a challenge. It works like a puzzle with varying levels of difficulty. He needs to put in some work in order to obtain the treat but not too much to make him frustrated. You may also want to check out treat-dispensing balls, which have a clever way to offer nibbles to your pet. You can purchase one in pet stores and online as well. These interactive toys are perfect not only for travel but also for when both of you are staying in on a rainy day. Your playful pooches can amuse themselves with this fun stuff.

  • Chew Toys

Chew toys can keep your dog occupied for a long period of time. As you may already know, chewing does a lot of things for canines. They do it to get attention, for stress relief, and to escape boredom! Chewing also helps them strengthen their jaws and clean their teeth. When choosing a chew toy, pick one that is both quiet and small. As much as possible, we would want to avoid squeaky rubber bones and other loud musical stuff. We need to take into consideration that some people at the airport are exhausted from their connecting flights and need a quiet environment to rest. Dental chew treats are a great option as well.

Bring A Bed

A dog bed may take up a lot of space inside the kennel. It can be bulky and heavy which are not so travel-friendly. However, it may be a good idea to squeeze one in. If you know you are gonna be stuck at the boarding gate for a long time, bring a small, lightweight dog or cat bed with you. Give your pet an opportunity to have a good, long nap. When he is busy catching the zzz’s, feel free to get some rest yourself.

Stay On A Seat By The Window

Your pets can get stressed out from being exposed to different airport noises. When you start noticing the signs, you need to offer some kind of distraction to help them relax. We suggest you sit on a bench with a nice view of the airport grounds. Let your travel companion stare out of the large glass window and watch the planes take off. Animals are often fascinated by moving vehicles and flying objects. Yours may be interested in flying airplanes!

Pack Treats

It is not always a good idea to give your dog food before a flight to avoid any potty accidents on-board. However, you can get away with giving your dog some treats to reinforce him for being well-behaved. Cow hooves for dogs make a delicious treat that will keep your dog happy. A good boy needs to know that he’s being a good boy so he could continue being one for the entire trip.


Engage your pet in games. You may not be allowed to play fetch inside the airport but there are plenty of fun activities for you and your pet. Tug-of-war is a classic indoor game that you can play with your dog even when he is placed inside the kennel.  This may also be the perfect time to teach him some tricks. It is the perfect activity to teach “leave it” and “drop it” commands.  

Take A Walk Around The Airport

If you have a couple of hours to spare before boarding, you may consider stretching those legs and going on a stroll with Fido. This will benefit both of you!

What happens when your pet is left doing nothing?

It is our responsibility to keep our animal companion in their best conduct especially when around other people. We should find an engaging activity for them to do to prevent problem behaviors to occur. If we do not, here are some of the things you should expect when animals are left with too much downtime.

They will make a lot of noise

Dogs bark to communicate many different things. The same thing goes for cats who meow and birds that chirp. This could mean that they are hungry or that they need to go potty. It is also their way to gain attention or demonstrate aggression. Aside from these, animals making noises can be a sign of uncontainable boredom. So keep that in mind when your dog starts giving you the bow-wows.

They will engage in destructive behaviors

If your pet is left with not much to do, he might go in a property destruction spree. He would start chewing on things he is not supposed to chew. He might also start digging and biting objects.

They will go through anxiety

Some animals experience stress and anxiety when situated in unfamiliar environments. You have to keep your pets engaged in activities they enjoy to divert their attention away from the strange crowd and sounds that may be causing them to feel uneasy.

Keep your pet happy all throughout the trip and you are surely going to have a wonderful time! Click here for more useful information about pet travel.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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