Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Dogs Vets
How to Travel With a Dog by Plane
Traveling with your dog by plane can be a smooth experience with proper planning and preparation.
Here are the key steps to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for both you and your furry friend:
- Check Airline Policies: Before booking your flight, review the specific policies of the airline you plan to use. Each airline has different regulations regarding pet travel, including fees, size restrictions, and breed restrictions. United Airlines, for example, offers information on their website about traveling with pets.
- Pet Carrier: Invest in an airline-approved pet carrier that meets size and ventilation requirements. The carrier should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, sit, and lie down comfortably without touching the sides or top.
- Health Check: Visit your veterinarian to ensure your dog is fit to fly. Get necessary vaccinations and health certificates as required by the airline or your destination.
- Booking: Inform the airline about your intention to travel with a pet when booking your ticket. Airlines often have a limited number of spots available for pets in the cabin, so book early.
- In-Cabin or Cargo: Depending on your dog’s size and the airline’s policies, you can choose to have your dog travel with you in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Smaller dogs often travel in the cabin under your seat, while larger dogs may need to go in cargo.
- Comfort and Calm: Bring your dog’s favorite toys, blanket, and some treats to keep them comfortable and calm during the flight. Consider acclimating your dog to the carrier before the journey.
- Security and Identification: Ensure your dog wears a secure collar with identification tags. You should also have a leash and harness readily available.
- Food and Water: Feed your dog a few hours before the flight and avoid giving them a full meal right before departure. Offer a small amount of water to keep them hydrated.
- Security Screening: Be prepared for security screening at the airport. You may need to take your dog out of the carrier during the screening process.
- Arrival: Upon arrival, make your dog’s comfort a priority. Allow them to stretch and relieve themselves as needed.
Remember that the specific requirements and procedures can vary by airline and destination, so it’s essential to double-check the latest guidelines and regulations provided by the airline you choose to fly with.
- United Airlines – Traveling with pets
- Condé Nast Traveler – The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines of 2023
- Flying With a Dog: Everything You Need to Know – CN Traveler
- American Airlines – Travel information for pets
- How to Travel With a Dog on a Plane – Whole Dog Journal
- Flying with Your Dog in the Airplane Cabin – VCA Hospitals