Under the Seat and Standing Up

dog in plane
Dog owners who are flying with their pups

Traveling tends to be one of the most difficult experiences for pet owners. Among the various ways to travel with your pet, air travel presents the most difficulty. Unfortunately, when you have to get somewhere fast, flying is your best option.

However, there are conditions for flying with a pup that you and every dog owner should consider before scheduling an air travel. Although, you need to remember that these conditions may differ from airline to airline. This is especially true for international regions, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. Therefore, you need to check with your choice airline for specific information.

9 Useful Tips on Air Travel with Your Dog

1. You need to acquire a health certificate for your dog.

All airlines require an array of different limitations, most of which have a few things in common. The first and most obvious is to have a clean bill of health certification from your veterinarian that was dated within the last thirty days.

2.  You have to consider the weight and size limitations.

Weight restriction for pets is about 10 pounds. This limits the cabin to smaller breeds. Do keep in mind that weight limitation may also include your dog and his kennel. This is often limited to approximately 20 pounds.

Dog carriers must be designed to fit under the seat in front of you. On average, it should be about 9 inches in height and 18 inches across. Virgin America has one of the highest dog weight limits, and reasonable size accommodations. It allows dogs up to twenty pounds to enjoy a cabin flight.

3. Your pup must be able to stand up and turn around in his carrier.

The rule designating your dog’s ability to stand up and move around is to ensure that your pup is comfortable. After all, you wouldn’t like it if you had to travel in a tight sardine can.

4. You need to hand-carry bare essentials for your dog.

Since you are bringing your pup with you, this means that it’ll likely be replacing your carry-on bag. This means you’ll have to check-in any other luggage you have. So, be aware of what you will need during your air trip – including water, food, and potty bags.

5.  There is often an extra cost for bringing your pup into the cabin.

You don’t have to pay extra for your average carry-on bag though. The extra fee varies radically but often ranges from $75 to $150. It is highly recommended that you shop around for the best deal.

6. Airlines may blackout dates for pet travel during the winter months.

This could be done unexpectedly, which means that last-minute plans aren’t always going to work out the way you wanted them to.

Many airlines are working to become more accommodating to pet owners and their furry friends. There are limitations to how much they can handle though. This means that there is a set number of pets per flight for many of these airlines. Jet Blue, for example, only allows four pets per flight. This is yet another reason why a pet owner needs to plan as far ahead as possible to make sure their pup can make the flight.

7. Many flights will not allow dogs to fly to Hawaii. 

Be sure you take into account your destination when you are planning your trip – especially if you’re traveling to another country, such as the UK, Europe, and even Canada. However, Air Canada has a dog-friendly pet policy.

8. Certain breeds are not allowed.

Snub-nosed pups have a difficult time breathing in certain atmospheric pressure. This is probably why they are not allowed. Be sure your pup can handle the flight safely.

9. Don’t forget to check your local and landing airport for dog handling procedures.

There may be certain areas and locations where you’ll need to go or travel through (where you may be able to feed and care for your dog’s needs).

Flying with your pup can be an adventure and a difficult challenge at the same time (unless you properly prepare for it). If you’re traveling with your pup, be sure to call ahead and schedule a flight early enough to ensure you don’t run into any hitches at the airport. Just remember that your dog isn’t an item you can stuff and cram under the seat in front of you. Make sure your dog will fly comfortably so he can enjoy the journey and his time with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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