2023 The Ultimate Guide: How to Travel with a Dog on a Plane?

How to Travel with a Dog on a Plane
How to Travel with a Dog on a Plane

Are you planning an adventure and searching for how to travel with a Dog on a plane? Travelling with a dog on a plane can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires careful preparation and adherence to certain guidelines. 

In this ultimate guide, we will explore everything you need to know to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey during travel with a Dog on a plane.

Preparing for Air Travel with Your Dog

Before you embark on your journey, several crucial steps must be taken to ensure a smooth and stress-free flight for your dog.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

Start by consulting your veterinarian to ensure your dog can travel by air. They will assess your dog’s overall health, update vaccinations if necessary, and provide specific recommendations based on your dog’s breed, size, and age.

Choose the Right Airline

Research airlines that allow dogs on board and review their pet travel policies. Look for airlines that prioritize the well-being of pets and offer appropriate accommodations. Consider cabin vs cargo travel, size restrictions, and additional fees.

Crate Training and Familiarization

Introduce your dog to its travel crate well in advance of your trip. Make it a positive experience by slowly increasing crate time and providing treats and toys. 

Familiarize them with the crate to reduce anxiety and ensure they feel secure during the flight.

Book a Pet-Friendly Flight

When making your flight reservations, inform the airline that you will travel with a dog. Request a pet-friendly seat, preferably in an area with additional legroom or under-seat storage for your dog’s crate. Booking early increases your chances of securing the preferred seat. Here the list of top 20 pet friendly airlines

Pre-Flight Preparations

Completing the necessary preparations to guarantee a comfortable journey for your furry friend is important as the departure date approaches.

Packing Essentials

Pack a travel bag for your dog, including the following essentials:

  • Sufficient food and treats for the duration of the trip
  • Collapsible water bowl and water supply
  • Leash and harness for walking during layovers
  • Comfortable bedding or blanket
  • Familiar toys and chew treats
  • Required medications and first aid kit
  • Recent photographs and identification tags

Visit the Groomer

Before the flight, take your dog to the groomer for a thorough cleaning and grooming session. This helps reduce shedding, eliminates odours, and ensures your dog is comfortable throughout the journey.

Exercise and Toilet Breaks

Engage your dog in a vigorous exercise session before heading to the airport. This will help them burn excess energy and reduce anxiety. Additionally, provide ample opportunities for your dog to relieve themselves before boarding the flight.

On-Board Etiquette and Comfort

Once you’re on the plane, follow these guidelines to ensure your dog’s comfort and good manners.

Be Calm and Confident

Dogs are sensitive to their owners’ emotions, so staying calm and confident during the flight will help relieve any stress or anxiety they may feel. Speak in soothing tones and reassure your dog throughout the journey.

Follow Flight Attendant Instructions

Listen carefully to the flight attendants’ instructions regarding your dog’s crate and any additional requirements. Adhere to their guidelines to ensure compliance with airline policies and the safety of all passengers.

Minimize Noise and Distractions

Keep your dog’s crate covered during the flight to reduce exposure to excessive noise and distractions. This helps create a calming environment and prevents your dog from becoming overwhelmed or anxious.

Provide Comfort and Security

Place a familiar blanket or bedding inside your dog’s crate to provide comfort and security. You can also include a piece of clothing with your scent to comfort them during the flight.

Stay Hydrated and Take Breaks

Offer your dog water during layovers or when the flight attendants permit it. Some dogs may experience decreased need or drink less water due to unfamiliar surroundings. Please encourage them to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration.

Arrival and Post-Flight Care

Once you reach your destination, it’s important to prioritize your dog’s well-being and make necessary arrangements for their comfort.

Find Relief Areas

Upon arrival, locate designated pet relief areas within the airport or nearby. Allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and adjust to the new environment before continuing your journey.

Secure Transportation

Ensure you have arranged for pet-friendly transportation at your destination. Research local regulations and options such as pet-friendly taxis or rental cars that allow dogs. This way, you can smoothly continue your travel plans without any inconvenience.

Settle into Accommodations

Confirm their pet policies in advance if you’re staying at a hotel or rental property. Set up a comfortable area for your dog, including their bed or blanket, water, and food bowls. Familiarize them with the new surroundings gradually to help them feel at ease.

Also Read:

Explore Dog-Friendly Activities

Research dog-friendly attractions, parks, and trails at your destination. Engage in activities that allow your dog to stretch their legs, enjoy outdoor adventures, and socialize with other dogs if appropriate. Remember to adhere to local leash laws and regulations.


Travelling with a dog on a plane can be an enriching experience, but it requires thorough preparation and adherence to airline and safety guidelines. 

By consulting with your veterinarian, choosing the right airline, crate training your dog, and following pre-flight and on-board protocols, you can ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your canine companion. Remember to prioritize your dog’s well-being throughout the trip, from pre-flight preparations to post-flight care.

FAQ – How to Travel with a Dog on a Plane?

Can all dog breeds travel on a plane?

Most dog breeds can travel on a plane, but there may be certain restrictions for brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds due to their potential breathing difficulties. It's important to check with the airline regarding breed-specific regulations before planning your trip.

Is it safe for my dog to travel in the cargo hold?

While some airlines allow dogs to travel in the cargo hold, choosing cabin travel is recommended whenever possible. Cabin travel ensures better temperature control and lets you closely monitor your dog's well-being. However, if your dog is too large to fit in the cabin, take necessary precautions and follow the airline's guidelines for safe cargo travel.

How can I help my dog stay calm during the flight?

To help your dog stay calm during the flight, you can: Familiarize them with their crate before the trip. Use pheromone sprays or natural calming aids recommended by your veterinarian. Provide them with a favourite toy or blanket with familiar scents. Speak to them in soothing tones and offer reassurance throughout the journey.

What documents do I need to travel with my dog?

The required documents may vary depending on your destination and the airline's regulations. You will need an up-to-date health certificate from your veterinarian, proof of vaccinations, and any additional documents required by the destination country or state. Make sure to research and prepare the necessary paperwork before your trip.

Can I feed my dog during the flight?

It's generally recommended to avoid feeding your dog a large meal right before the flight to prevent discomfort or motion sickness. However, you can offer small treats or snacks to keep them hydrated and provide comfort. It's important to check with the airline's guidelines regarding in-flight feeding restrictions.