How Do Dogs Travel On Planes? – All You Need To Know

How do dogs travel on planes

Do you have a dog, and often wonder whether the airlines can allow you to travel with him or her? Look no further; here is all you need to know about how dogs travel on planes.

What To Consider While Flying With Your Dog


As posed in the questions, ensure you research all the airlines going to your destination and know their policies.

If you want to travel, preferably avoid holiday periods due to busy airport schedules.

Preferably opt for one-plane airlines without changes in any stop-over.

If your dog has to travel in cargo, ensure it is during an average warm temperature, they shouldn’t be that high.

Moreover, go in-person to book your flight rather than booking online to explain that you will be traveling with your dog.

Some airlines tend to limit the number of pets on a flight.

Check on your destination if they have restrictions with a dog arriving. Be ready to be charged an extra fee!.

Health Check

Before traveling, it is crucial to check your dog’s health to see any underlying issues that might be there.

Also, ensure you get a health certificate from your veterinary that shows your dog is fit and can fly on a plane.

Most certificates last for just 30 days, so ensure you get it once you have secured a plane ticket.

Have A Carrier Or Crate

If you have a young puppy or kitten, you can carry a crate, put it there then put it under the seat.

However, ensure it is large enough for the kitten or puppy to stretch when need be.

It should also be durable, have sturdy handles with a leak-proof bottom. The carrier also needs ventilation on its opposite sides.

It should be labeled appropriately with the dog’s details, contact details, destination, and any other necessary information.

Prepare Your Dog Psychologically For The Flight

If the dog will stay in the crate or carrier, be sure to prepare it mentally so that it gets used to it.

Also, note the food you should feed the dog during the journey.

When you reach the airport, follow all the guidelines, and ensure your dog is okay to prevent any distractions.

Size Of The Dog

The size of the dog matters.

This determines whether it can easily fit under the seat comfortably or be in the cargo area.

Hence, dogs who are 15pounds and below easily fit under the seat comfortably.

The dog also needs to have the right temperament.

If their anxiety levels are too high, it might be troublesome. This is because it may cause a lot of danger while on the air.

If the dog is too big, you might be forced to carry it in the cargo.

Pack All Your Dog’s Necessities

The same way you will pack your luggage, ensure you also pack the right necessities for your dog.

Pack enough food, treats, bone, and toys for your dog.

Remember to carry the dog’s blanket for the flight to ensure it stays warm due to the cold conditions that might be there.

Most times, you might be given the middle seats because there is more room there, and you will board among the first people.

Use A Dry Fur Pad

On the dog’s carrier, you can line a dry fur pad that will help to keep away moisture and keep your puppy comfortable.

Also, if it needs to go to the restroom, ensure you lead it there to ensure it relieves itself fully.

Feeding Routine

Ensure you take your dog on a walk on the day of the flight. Limit what you feed the dog that morning and remove its water bowl early enough.

While on the flight, you can offer the dog an ice cube that works towards hydrating the dog and keep them busy.

Let the dog pee before boarding. Before boarding, look for a pet relief station to ease the dog.

Also, while onboard, keep observing the dog, and when it’s time to go to the bathroom, carry pee pads.

You should then lay them down, and it will be much easier to clean up the mess.

This will reduce the chances of the dog messing up the whole flight experience.


The breed of the dog also determines whether you can fly with it on a plane or not.

In some cases, the short-nosed breeds are generally not allowed because of previous disastrous encounters.


Once you arrive, ensure you get a place where your dog can go outside. When booking a taxi, ensure you get one that allows dogs on board.

It is quite crucial to travel on the plane with someone else to take care of the baggage while you take care of the dog.

This is because of the many policies that need to be followed.

Dog’s Travel In The Cargo

If the dog has to travel in the cargo, ensure it doesn’t have any health issues.

This is to help prevent anxiety or trauma while traveling.

The carrier needs to be really strong to ensure they don’t chew and open it and start wandering in the cargo area.

The temperatures there usually are unpleasant, thus ensure your dog is comfortable with all the necessities.

If your dog is in the cargo, be sure to remind the flight attendants to adjust to the right temperature.

Ensure you provide the required food within 4hours of checking.

On the carrier, ensure there is water, treats toys, and some food.

The best way to carry the water is through a water bottle. It is crucial to have absorbent potty pads in the carrier.

Direct flights are much better, and if possible, fly on the same plane as the pet.

Also, provide a travel label on the carrier for easy recognition while in the carrier and for its safety.

Also, talk to your veterinary to know whether your dog is fit to be in the cargo area.

The risks include dehydration, heart failure/stroke, injuries, escape from the carriers, respiratory failure, stress, anxiety, and paw injuries.


Remember only in exceptional cases should you use a sedative or medication on the dog before flying because they may cause adverse effects.

Once the flight is over, be sure to check for any signs that show the dog is not okay. Thus, ensure you go to see a veterinary for the safety of the dog.