Everyone dreams of bringing their four-legged family member on all of their trips with them, right? This dream isn’t always pawsible for jet-setting pawrents, but for humans with small pups, flying can be a reality.
If you’re lucky enough to travel with your pooch, there are a few things you should keep in mind for your dog’s safety and well-being.
Here are a few of our best tips on flying with your pup in-cabin with you:
Make sure your dog is the right size to fit under the seat comfortably.
Unfortunately, the size of your dog is important when deciding if you can bring him in-cabin with you. Airlines have strict regulations when it comes to the size of pet carriers. They must be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you (therapy or service dogs are an exception).
Typically dogs around 15 pounds or less can fit comfortably in the mandated size of the airline-approved pet carrier.
Make sure that your dog has the right temperament to fly.
While I’d love to say that any dog can travel easily, it’s just not the case. High-stress dogs or dogs with high anxiety levels might not be the right choice to take with you on a plane. The reason for this? It’s simply not worth the stress for your poor pup.
Not to mention, some airlines require your pup to be well-trained, or quiet to fly. Vocal dogs might not be the best choice for a small aircraft. If you think your dog would be particularly scarred by taking flight, do him a favor and keep all four paws on the ground. There are wonderful doggy resorts or dogsitters available to take great care of your pup while you hit the beach.
Find a pet carrier that your dog is comfortable in.
Make sure to look up your airline’s requirements in terms of the size and type of carrier that you are allowed to bring your pet in. While each airline varies slightly, most require the carrier to be between 16 and 19 inches long or less, and about 10 inches tall. Don’t try to make your pup fit in a carrier that is too small for him, it could stress him out even more.
Also, an important thing to note is that your dog’s carrier will now become your carry-on. That means that you are only allowed to bring one other personal item in the cabin. You will have to stow the other carry on to keep your dog by your feet, try to choose a carrier with extra pockets on the side for your book, magazines, etc. that you might want to keep handy.
Pack all your dog’s necessities.
While baggage often gets lost in translation, it’s important to make sure you have enough food, toys and treats to get your pup through a few days when you land. Make sure to bring a non-spill water carrier, and maybe a bone to keep your furry friend occupied during the long flight.
Don’t be alarmed if your pup doesn’t touch his favorite rawhide that he usually devours. This could just be due to travel anxiety. Similar to when humans get butterflies when they lift off!
Call ahead to reserve a space for your dog.
Most airlines only allot a certain amount of dogs to fly in-cabin, so make sure to call way ahead of time to book your pup’s spot and make sure there is room for him. Sometimes when flying with your pup you are allowed to board first – yes, dogs are V.I.P. – and you are usually given the middle seat, as there is more room.