Taking Your Dog on an Airplane

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Luckily for dog owners, these animals travel by air better than cats. If the dog is accustomed to car travel, then air travel shouldn’t be a problem at all. Use the following dog air travel tips for safe and pleasant airline travel with your favorite canine friend.

Tip #1 Your Dogs Health before Air Travel

Not only is dog air travel better for your dog if the dog is healthy, but it’s actually the law. Federal law requires that a dog has been certified within 10 days of the trip to be healthy, vaccinated, and free from contagious diseases. This is a very important for any pet travel, large or small.

Tip #2 Excessive Temperatures

Ensure the safety of your dog during air travel by never flying with your dog while temperatures are over 85 degrees or under 35 degrees, on either end of the flight. Crate air fans are a good way to prevent overheating for your dog.

Many airliners put “heat embargos” and/or “cold embargos” on dog air travel during the summer and winter months respectively. This means that the airliners prohibit dog air travel during these times. This shouldn’t be seen as a problem, because the airlines do it to prevent disease or death, and guarantee a safe flight for your dog.

Tip #3 Overseas Dog Air Travel May Involve Quarantine

For international dog air travel, keep in mind that some isolated countries, such as New Zealand and England, quarantine animals arriving by air. Before traveling and booking reservations, familiarize yourself with the laws, requirements, and procedures of your particular destination. Unless your flight is non-stop, remember that you may have to deal with regulations in multiple places.

Tip #4 Don’t Tranquilize Your Dog During Air Travel

Although rationalization may seem like a good idea during canine air travel, it isn’t. Tranquilizers are the leading cause of death or sickness of dogs during air travel. A dog can’t receive immediate or professional medical care during air travel, so unnecessary medications do more harm than good. In fact, many airliners reject tranquilized pets as a safety precaution.

Tip#5 Obedience During Dog Air Travel

Training your dog before airline travel is the best way to ensure a good flight. Unfortunately, even short air travel means hours of separation between owners and their dogs. Your medium to large size dog will be confined to a shipping crate for the entire flight. You can help relinquish the strain and discomfort on your dog by preparing him for dog air travel beforehand. Do this by getting your dog used to being inside a travel crate for extended periods of time. A crate cooling fan is also a great item to have for summer travel. Also, make sure your dog works well with strangers, namely in busy, frantic, or uncomfortable environments. This will do wonders for traveling with your large furry companion.

Tip#6 Using Tags During Dog Air Travel

Thanks to horror stories of lost or misplaced dogs during dog air travel, airlines have improved their handling of dogs. Nonetheless, on both the dog’s collar tags and the crate, place your dogs name, your name, your phone-number, and a special emergency number of someone not traveling with you. This is extremely important.

Tip#7 Professional Pet Air Transporters

Consider using a professional pet transporter for your dog air travel needs. These professional companies ship many pets to many different locations. Thus, they are knowledgeable about the specific regulations that will affect you. Professional pet transporters can offer much help for your dog air travel needs. In fact, many airliners have stopped allowing the general public to book dog air flights. Some top rated professional pet transporters can be found at Iata.org or uShip.com. These airliners will only deal with professional companies.

Whether you have help or are going at it yourself, keep all these dog air travel tips in mind when considering and preparing for flight. Keep your dog’s air travel safe, humane, and pleasurable. They will thank you for it.

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