Travel guidelines for dogs on airplanes – domestic and abroad Bookmark and Share

Going on vacation is something to anticipate; however, if you have to leave your dog at home then a vacation may not be as fun as you’d like it to be. You fret they are not being correctly cared for, and you miss them. You can take your dog on vacation, so rest easy, even if you are flying, domestic or abroad. Here are some things you should know that can make the trip easier on you and your beloved dog .

Domestic Air Travel Guidelines for Dogs Traveling in the Cabin

Reservations should be made early. While all of the major airlines allow four legged friends in the cabin, they do restrict the number of dogs per flight. Changing from airline to airline, the number of dogs allowed on board the plane per flight may differ, depending on the season; however, some permit only one dog while others may allow up to seven. Making reservations early will help to ensure your and your dog’s space on the flight.

Fees. Holding a pet on your lap in their carrier or in the floor in front of you might require , as you might suppose, an additional expense . Charges ranging from 50 dollars to 250 dollars each way and apply, depending on the airline, and one pet kennel per ticketed passenger is allowed in the cabin. The pet kennel counts as a carry-on bag, so other than one additional bag, don’t plan on taking more onto the plane with you.

Take along the appropriate carrier. Proper ventilation is necessary for your dog, and the airline approved dog kennel must be leak proof. The crate should allow them to stand up, turn around and lie down. Handles are also helpful so that you can carry the carrier easily. A maximum size of 19″ long x 13″ wide x 9″ high is allowed for cabin pet carriers.

Generally no more than 20 pounds combined, you are allowed to have two dogs per carrier, provided the total weight does not surpass airline limits. So, for instance, two Chihuahuas would meet the regulations. You must also carry two pets of the same specie, meaning two dogs; you can’t sneak a cat and a dog inside the same crate .

Regulations – Health. Dogs traveling inside the cabin must be a minimum of eight weeks old. Unless you are traveling to Hawaii, there are no health regulations; however, they do have strict regulations that do not permit pets to fly via non-stop flights into Maui, Hawaii, or Kauai. If you’re flying through Hawaii and have a layover or have to switch planes you will have to have your pet taken to a sterile area until you’re ready to board your next flight. You should always have your dog examined by a veterinarian to be approved for air travel before making reservations . Some dogs, elderly dogs in particular, may not be equipped to manage the stress and atmospheric changes of airline travel.

Domestic Air Travel Guidelines for Dogs Traveling as Checked Baggage

You may need to check your dog as baggage if they are too big to travel in the cabin with you. Below are a few restrictions and guidelines when checking your canine.

You will be charged a fee, in addition to the standard checked baggage fees and you cannot check your dog as baggage if the flight is longer than 12 hours. These fees deviate depending on the airline and the size of the dog and kennel but can be quite expensive.

Carriers must be made of a solid material like wood, metal, or plastic. They must be leak proof. They must have proper ventilation on two sides of the kennel, in addition to the door. Kennels must be escape proof, with doors that securely attach. Additionally, carriers should have handles on them for easy transport by the luggage attendants. In case of a flight delay, carriers must have a water receptacle attached with outside access so that the attendants can give your dog extra water is necessary. Kennels cannot surpass 100 pounds, including the weight of the dog, and maximum kennel size is a series 500, 40″ long x 27″ wide x 30″ high.

Temperature restrictions. To keep your dog safe, there are temperature restrictions, since it can become amazingly hot or cold in the cargo area of the plane. These restrictions include

If the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or the ground temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, dogs will not be accepted.

International Travel both On Board and as Checked Baggage

Internationally, all of the above restrictions apply however there are a few restrictions depending on where you are traveling. To make sure you are allowed to transport your pet into a country, it is critical to always check your International destination.

In the United Kingdom, for example , you are not allowed to bring your dog into the country unless it’s a service animal.

Snub-nosed breeds, like Pugs, due to their breathing problems are not permitted in cargo by many airlines, as well as some other small dogs.As an example, the following breeds are not permitted by United Airlines to be checked as baggage

* Boston Terrier
* Boxer
* English or French Bulldog
* King Charles Spaniel
* Lhasa Apso
* Pug
* Shar-Pei
* Shih Tzu

Europe and Japan requires that your canine be micro chipped, and Japan also requires you notify their Animal Quarantine Service at least 40 days before your scheduled arrival. Additional forms and certifications are also required. 

A generally easy process, taking your dog on vacation with you can wonderful . The trick is to make your reservations in advance and to be apprised of the restrictions ahead of time so you’re ready.

It is also very important that your dog has completed some basic obedience training so he is well behaved for the flight


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