Having a pet is an amazing privilege. It is also a huge responsibility and, as a flight attendant, having a pet comes with a whole host of additional challenges to consider.
Is it Possible to Have Pets as a Flight Attendant?
The Short Answer:
Yes! It is absolutely possible to have a pet as a flight attendant!
But it isn’t easy. Trust me, I know; I have a dog myself.
That said, I cannot imagine life without my dog, and all of the extra work it required to keep him while flying was 100% worth it.
Should Flight Attendants Get Pets?
I’m not here to tell you if you should or should not get a pet.
However, I do believe that when you get a pet you are making a commitment to that animal to love and care for it, for the rest of its life.
If you aren’t sure what that looks like when you happen to be a flight attendant, keep reading because I am going to walk you through a few important considerations, that might better equip you to decide whether or not you think you should get a pet.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet
Most of the following considerations apply to anyone who is thinking about getting a pet, but as a flight attendant, it is even more crucial to have your ducks in a row before you actually go adopt a pet.
There are a few main considerations in regard to housing:
➡️ Do you live in a house or an apartment building?
It is important to take this into consideration when thinking about the space you have to offer a pet, especially if you are considering getting a dog. Some breeds make better apartment dogs than others.
For example, despite their size, Greyhounds are perfect apartment dogs. They don’t bark, they like to curl up into tight spaces, and they really only need one good long walk per day.
➡️ Do you have the landlord’s permission?
This is especially important when you are renting a home or living in an apartment building.
It’s always better to ask for permission rather than wait and ask for forgiveness, after all your security deposit will hang in the balance.
➡️ How Much is Pet Rent?
Oftentimes if you rent a home or apartment landlords will charge you a little extra a month to house your fur baby.
In the US Pet Rent can range anywhere from $20-$100 a month.
➡️ Does your neighborhood have a pet convenance?
My old neighborhood had a convenance agreement, which limited the number of pets we could have and dictated certain rules for pet conduct in the neighborhood.
For example, in my old neighborhood, despite the fact that my parents owned the home, we could not have more than three pets at a time, dogs were supposed to be kept on leash at all times, and if cats were allowed outside, they had to have a collar with their address on it.
We also had to have a fence at least six-feet tall if we were going to let dogs out into the backyard unattended.
These convenances often apply to both renters and home-owners so it is good to check into this no matter what.
You know the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child?” Well, the same can be said for a pet, especially when you work as a flight attendant.
You will be away from home a lot, so you need to make sure you have a support team that will help care for your pet in your absence.
The best supports are:
These supports are great because they are also usually willing to help you out for free.
Of course, you need to ask them if they are willing to be partially responsible for your pet, ideally before you need that help.
I would also recommend having a regular pet sitter that you can rely on, and who can get to know your pet well.
I would recommend developing a good relationship with a pet sitter even if you would normally rely on friends and family to look after your pet.
Pet sitting can cost anywhere between $15- $75 a night depending on your pet and whether or not you expect the sitter to stay with your pet overnight.
Pet hotels are another option.
I know tons of flight attendants who drop their pets off at pet resorts and in the US, you can pretty much rely on there being at least one pet hotel close to the airport.
Pet hotels usually only accept cats and dogs and tend to run you about $40-$80 a night.
Pet Paradise has locations across the US and located near most large crew bases. They offer discounts and added flexibility for flight crews with their Jet Perks Program.
Schedule and Lifestyle
Flight attendants have weird schedules, there’s no denying that.
But Pets thrive on schedule and routine, so you do have to consider whether or not your schedule would be healthy for them or not.
It’s best to ask yourself the follow questions and answer them honestly.
➡️ Do you sleep at home every night? (When you aren’t working)
Most of us will answer “no” to this question, and that’s OK.
But do you sleep at your house every night when you aren’t working, or do you end up elsewhere?
➡️ How much spare time do you have for pets? (When you are home)
When aren’t you out flying how much attention can you give your pet?
And believe me they will want to make up for the time they didn’t get to spend with you while you were gone.
So, if you are always busy even when you are home, be honest about that. Some pets require more attention and time than others.
If you don’t want to sacrifice your free time to walk your dog, for example, don’t get a dog.
Pets are expensive! Here is a quick breakdown of all the expenses you can expect to encounter when you have a pet.
- Adoption Costs
- Healthcare Costs: monthly medications, surgeries, vaccinations, regular check-ups
- Equipment: collars, leashes, GPS chips, litter boxes, etc.
- Toys & Extras
Some types of pets are more cost-intensive than others. So, it’s important to make sure you get a pet that matches your expendable income.
Conclusion: Is It Possible To Have Pets as a Flight Attendant?
The best things in life are neither free nor easy, and this is absolutely true when it comes to pets.
It is possible to have a pet while working as a flight attendant, and it is even possible to give that animal the best life. But it will take a lot of love, effort, and money to ensure that your pet is cared for when you are in another time zone.