There is no doubt that most of us love our pets and are up for taking them with us everywhere we can. Its amazing to note that most dogs love going for a trip in the car. Mind you its not clear if it's the car they love so much or just being with their owner.
All those Private Pilot dog lovers would be more than happy to take their canine friends with them on a flight. In fact some of them do. After the first few times you can pretty well determine how the dog is going to react to flying, but it can be a little unpredictable the first few times. Its not like being in a car where you can just pull over because the dog is nervous. Perhaps a wise idea would be to give the dog some preliminary training.
The first thing you want to ensure is that the dog will remain independent even if she / he is a little apprehensive. You do not want your dog to be jumping around the plane and into your lap when you are trying to fly your plane. Its very important that you have a well trained obedient dog that is going to listen to your commands. Especially the command to sit. That way you will be more assured that you can talk the dog through its nervousness. If you dog has been in the habit of roaming around your car and sitting in your lap when driving then you will need to break him of this habit before you attempt flying with him.
If you dog is crate trained then this is perfect for you. The first few times you fly simply take the dog and crate for a flight. You will get a chance to see how the dog is going to react. You can also do this a few times to see if the dog will get over his fear safely for both of you. If your dog is not crate trained then do not attempt to adjust the dog to the crate and flying all at once. You will not be able to determine which is adjusting the dog. In addition, it is too stressful on the dog.
Noise control is going to be another issue you are going to have to consider. You know yourself what the engine noise does to your ears. A dogs hearing is much more sensitive than ours is. You will need to protect the dog by finding some protective hearing. Once again, do not introduce these to the dog a few minutes before your flight. Dogs do not like surprises especially when it comes to their ears. Practice putting the ear protectors on your dog a little each day and for longer periods until he becomes comfortable with them.
Collars and harnesses can be a good safety feature as well. You can use these to keep your dog in his seat without the restraints of a crate. Once again, be sure your dog does not mind being confined before flying. You do not want to be dealing with dog problems when your flying requires all of your attention.
You know your dog better than anyone does. Assess the dog fairly and determine honestly if you think the dog would enjoy flying with you. Do not put your dog through a nerve-wracking ordeal if he is the nervous type just because you want him with you.