Dog Air Travel Tips You Should Know

Dog Air Travel at a Glance

Each year millions of pet owners choose to travel by air. Many of you do not have a pet sitter to leave your dog with or you may select not to leave your best friends behind when you travel. If you are choosing to travel with your pet dog by air, it is important that you learn as much as you are able to on the subject. This article contains essential information regarding dog air travel.


When you are traveling with your dog by air, airlines normally require you to make reservations well in advance. This will ensure that you and your pooch both have space available on the airline that you choose to fly with. Many times, airlines will actually make special accommodations to pet owners. These may include flights that have very little stops or evening and night flights to ensure that pets are kept cool. Try to arrange a non-stop flight. If your pet requires an airline pet carrier, these arrangements will be made at the time in which you reserve your flight. If you have your own carrier make sure it is a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in. (see link to "airline pet carriers" below)

airliner Cabin or Cargo

If you are traveling with your pet dog on a major airline, many of these companies allow an individual with a small dog to board with the owner. However, these dogs must be suited in a carrier that is considered “soft”. The dog and carrier must be situated in the area that is in front of the seat in which you are assigned. If it does not, then the pet dog will not be permitted to travel in this manner. The next choice in which your dog will travel by airplane will be in the cargo department.

Some Considerations Before leaving

When choosing to indulge in dog air travel it is essential to obtain a clean certificate of health from the vet and carry it with you. This acts as an assurance to the airline that your pet carries no health risks and poses no danger to the general health and safety of airplane personnel and other passengers. During the check up, many pet owners visit the possibility of obtaining a mild sedative for their pooch to take during travel. These sedatives are chosen to benefit the stress that the dog may experience while traveling by air. (Check with your vet and also the airline as some airlines do not allow tranquilizing your dog). It is also a great idea to ensure that your pet has proper identification, the vaccinations are up to date, and proper contact information at this time. This way, if your dog should get lost, you can be contacted appropriately. You will find a travel check list by clicking on the car travel link below. There are a number of essential items you will need when traveling with a dog and preparations to take care of.

Another consideration when contemplating air pet travel is temperature. It is not recommended traveling in temperatures of over 85 degrees as it is very hot in the cargo area and this is a danger to your dog. Conversely, a temperature below 35 degrees is also not advisable. Some airlines put "heat or cold embargoes" on dog travel during summer and winter months.

Tip: Overseas travel may involve quarantine. (familiarize yourself with the laws and requirements of the country you will be visiting)

By following these basic guidelines and doing your homework on rules and regulations for dog air travel and accommodations, you and your best friend will have a great trip!

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"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
.......Immanual Kant