Can you take a small dog on an airplane?

Small dogs, cats and household birds can travel in the cabin for a one-way fee, collected at check-in. They must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you.

Traveling with your furry friend is a great way to make any trip more enjoyable and memorable. However, it is important to make sure that you are properly prepared when taking a small dog on an airplane. There are a variety of important considerations to make before deciding whether or not this is the right choice for you and your pup. The good news is that airline policies have become increasingly pet-friendly in recent years, allowing small dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, as long as they abide by certain regulations. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to transporting small dogs on an airplane, covering everything from the necessary paperwork to the best preparation practices. With this information, pet owners can make an informed, responsible decision when it comes to traveling with their canine companions.

As checked luggage or shipping cargo

The only other choice for larger dogs is to fly as cargo in a pressurized, temperature-controlled space that is similar to the passenger cabin. As shipping cargo, also known as manifest cargo or air freight, these dogs essentially travel as checked bags on the same flight as you or unaccompanied. Again, check with your airline. For instance, Delta Air Lines won’t let you reserve a pet shipment through Delta Cargo until 14 days prior to departure.

Although the Humane Society of the United States generally advises against it, larger dogs can only be transported in this manner. Also not all airlines will transport dogs as cargo. For instance, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways only provide in-cabin transportation for small dogs and cats.

You must abide by airline regulations regarding your dog’s age and weight regardless of whether you choose cabin or cargo. United Airlines, for instance, demands that puppies be at least 2 pounds or 10 weeks old.

Using a dedicated pet shipping company is another way to go. You can find one at International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, an industry organization.

Most pet-friendly airlines

We did a deep dive into the nine largest U. S. analyzing 11 different factors to determine the top airlines for animals Example criteria included the number of pets permitted per passenger, whether pets were permitted in the main cabin, and the cost difference between cargo and cabin pet travel.

Heres how we ranked airlines that are pet-friendly.

The top pet-friendly airlines are Alaska Airlines, American and Hawaiian. Avoid flying with your dog on United, Delta, and JetBlue if it’s a top priority.

Travel Tips for Taking Dogs In-Cabin

1. Train your dog to stay calm.

Your dog must maintain composure during the flight to avoid being forced into the plane’s cargo area. It is necessary to follow instructions when traveling with emotional support animals abroad.

2. Exhaust your dog before the flight.

Prior to your trip, try to slightly exhaust your dog by upping the level of activity. A sleepy animal will be less likely to become anxious on the flight and will probably behave better.

3. Limit access to food and water before the flight.

Limit your dog’s access to food. Consequently, there will be a lower likelihood that they will need to “defecate or urinate” while flying.

Additionally, if an animal eats right before a flight, they might get motion sickness. You should feed them the night before if you are flying in the morning.

As a full stomach may cause discomfort during travel, Air Canada advises feeding your dog four to six hours before departure.

4. Get your dog used to it’s travel carrier.

You want to make sure that your dog doesn’t experience any stress during the trip.

Allow your dog to become accustomed to the carrier if you plan to use one so that they feel somewhat at home inside. Give your dog lots of treats to entice them into the carrier, and then allow them to play and rest there as much as possible.

Put some of their favorite toys in their travel home as well for added comfort.

5. Learn everything there is to know about the airport you are flying into and out of.

The majority of airports have designated areas where pets and service animals can rest. It is actually a legal requirement that all U. S. Pet relief areas are available in airports for pets and working animals to rest. Take pictures of the airport maps so you won’t have to look around aimlessly looking for a place to rest on the day.


How do you travel with a small dog on a plane?

Your small pet dog must always be contained in its carrier while flying. While on the aircraft, you cannot take the animal out of the carrier. Only the entirety of the seat in front of you can accommodate the carrier holding your dog. Carriers cannot be placed in an overhead bin, on your lap, or anywhere else.

What size dog can you bring on a plane?

In general, your dog is allowed in the cabin if its carrier fits under the seat in front of you. Therefore, a dog up to about 20 pounds is appropriate.

How much does it cost to fly a small dog?

The price of flying a dog may vary depending on the airlines you select. The price is typically between $100 and $125 plus any additional fees you might have to pay before flying.

How much does it cost to put a dog on a plane?

Depending on a number of factors, taking your dog along on a domestic flight could cost anywhere from $150 to $1,000. For an international flight, you might require a little more money than this. Depending on your particular pet, where you’re flying to, and the airline you’re flying with, the price of such a trip will vary.