General Travel

Air Travel With Dogs

It’s easy to assume that air travel with dogs is much easier than with cats. The truth is that is really depends on the temperament of your pet and how well you’ve prepared them for the journey. You need to get your dog ready for a long plane ride in unfamiliar conditions by acclimating them to frequent travel. It is critical to take them for long car rides and even walks around the airport terminal to get them used to the commotion and sheer number of people. Once your dog has gotten a good feel for traveling with you in the car, the next step is to get them ready for their crate. The crate should be a fun, relaxing place for them. Don’t force your dog into the crate but rather leave treats and toys in there so they begin to associate the crate with all the things they love. So much of air travel with dogs begins before you ever get on the plane.

Air Travel With Dogs

The Requirements

Many airlines, cities, and hotels place certain restrictions that don’t apply to cats. For example, many airlines restriction dogs to weights below 25lbs in the cabin to under 75lbs as luggage. Also, you need to beware of airline breed restrictions since several domestic and international carriers don’t allow pit bulls, some shepherds breeds, and others due to their poor reputations (which we don’t support at all – dogs are as good or bad as they are trained, irregardless of breed). Speaking of breeds, many of those lacking a snout, like pugs and bulldogs aren’t allowed by airlines due to the risk they present. These breeds tend to have breathing trouble and the dry air and high altitude of the airplane can be especially uncomfortable for them. When calling airlines about flying with your dog, be sure to mention the breed as well and find out if there are any specific restrictions.

While it is no necessary in most cases, be sure to have all of your dog’s health and shot certificates handy as staff may ask you for them when booking or picking up your dog. Bring a leash as well since you’ll have to remove your dog from his or her crate so it can go through the X-ray machine as part of the routine security check. Depending on how restless or anxious your dog is, you are allowed to leave a toy or bone in the crate so your dog can keep busy during the flight.

Dog Air Travel Restrictions

You won’t be allowed to leave food or water for your pet as staff won’t be allowed to feed your dog anything. Save yourself the time and effort of packing anything extra for your dog – in fact it’s best not to feed them 6-12 hours in advance of a flight so they board with an empty bladder and stomach. A good long walk of an hour or more is also a good idea so your dog will be tired and sleep throughout the entire trip.