What You Need To Know for Flight Travel with Dogs

Posted on: August 7, 2017

Traveling tends to be a stressful process and adding a furry friend makes it a little more complicated. But never fear! I have all the insider tips for you whether it’s domestic or an international flight! I have included some of my favorite travel accessories as well! You may be sent to the product listed through an affiliate link! I only link the items I love!

You can find more information regarding documentation for international travel in this post here.

Dogs can travel on commercial flights in one of 4 ways:

IN CABIN: Dogs can travel with an adult in an airline approved carrier stowed under the seat in front of you. Different airlines have different weight restrictions so call ahead previous to booking.

We have been using this pet carrier for all our travel in cabin and I love it! The mesh paneling offers breathability, yet I have the option to cover the mesh for less outside distraction to the pups. Most passengers have no idea I’m traveling with pets when I use this bag!

I also love this black carrier as well as this one that’s a bit more stylish. This one has wheels which is life changing!

CHECKED BAGGAGE (CARGO): Dogs traveling with a passenger that are not permitted in the cabin can be transported as checked baggage in the cargo hold.

Your pet must travel in an IATA compliant pet crate and meet certain other requirements depending on the airline. It is considered best to have only one animal per container, but the IATA rules state that two animals can share the same container if the animals are under 14kg (30lbs) and are of the same species and compatible. It is up to the airline to set their own rules and most of them do.

I would recommend these pet crates made by PetMate since they meet all the airline requirements! You can find more information about crate specifics here!

MANIFEST CARGO: Unaccompanied or very large pets will travel as manifest cargo in the hold.

SERVICE/COMFORT ANIMALS: Service and Emotional Animals can travel in the cabin with a disabled passenger on many airlines.

Traveling with a service/comfort animal requires specific documentation. Please call your flight carrier while booking to confirm details regarding service animals on board.

**check with your airline for complete policies. Some airlines don’t allow in cabin pet travel or cargo.

Helpful Airport Tips:

BUDGET FOR EXTRA FEES: Flying with dogs will cost you a bit extra! Prices can range from $50-$500 if you are flying as cargo and average $125 in cabin.

PET COMFORT: If your dog is traveling as cargo, place an old t-shirt or sweater in the kennel. It will smell like you and provide some comfort! Some airlines also require water and food in the kennel when they are traveling as cargo.

PET RELIEF AREAS: Some airports have indoor/outdoor pet relief areas in the terminals. You can find what airports provide this service with an easy google search! If the airport doesn’t contain a relief area, find a private restroom and put down a puppy pad!

SECURITY SCREENING: Pet will have to be taken out of carrier and a carried through metal detector. Put the pet carrier bag in the scanner first so you can easily place the dog back in the bag and collect your other things. Your hands will likely be swiped by TSA as added security.

KEEP YOUR PUP ON A LEASH: This is a common courtesy to other travelers, especially those with pets! I usually leave mine in the bag to avoid added stress.

My Favorite Pet Travel Accessories:

 

poop bags. leash. food carrier. collar. rope toys. pet carrier bag. artificial turf.  travel-tainer. collapsable water bowls.   

xoxo

1 Comment

  • Tara

    this is SUPER helpful! the first time i traveled with my chihuahua was a bit of a test (and she was a little drunk on benadryl). excellent tips!

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