A Beginners Guide: DOG Air Travel

A Beginners Guide: DOG Air Travel

Whether your dog is traveling with you or you are flying with your dog, in both situations you need to understand dog travel regulations.  Air travel with dogs is a complicated procedure and requires a lot of preparation in advance.   For example, your dog has to be eight weeks older to travel with you.

Moreover, your pet must be in good health to get flying permission. Many airlines do not allow pets to travel that are ill or violent. 

Dog Travel Regulations

You cannot fly with your dog without a pet passport. It is a collection of required documents used for getting the entry into the destination country.  For example, in the United States, you must follow these regulations to fly with your dog:

Dog Holding Airplane Ticket
  • A dog must have a 15 digit ISO compliant microchip
  • As a pet owner, you must submit your contact details before travailing
  • Your dog must have a proof of rabies vaccination. Your dog has to be vaccinated at least 30 days before you travel
  • Dogs who are flying for adoption or commercial resale need treatment for hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, and distemper
  • Your  dog must clear the screwworm inspection test before entering the United States
  • You must carry a health certificate approved by a licensed veterinarian

There are two ways you can fly with your dogs depending on their size.

Carry On

If you own a small dog, you can carry it in a carrier and keep it beneath the passengers’ seat.


In case you have a large dog, it is necessary you check it in the cargo.  There is a separate area within a plane’s luggage space where you can keep your pet.

How To Prepare Your Dog For Air Travel?

Preparing your pet for air travel requires you to arrange the following things:

  • You need to buy a USDA approved carrier to keep your pet. It is a small unit with ventilation holes
  • Book a flight and inform airline personnel that you will be traveling with your pet.  If possible, try to fly with a direct flight to avoid travel stress and save time
  • Obtain your pet’s current health certificate from your veterinarian. Update your pet’s vaccination documents

Tips For Dog Air Travelling

These useful tips will guide you on how to travel with your pet:

  • Avoid feeding your dog at least 14 hours before your flight to eliminate any possibility of airsickness
  • Attach a water bottle with your pet's carrier
  • Cover  travel crate with newspaper pieces to absorb liquid
  • Make sure to attach your complete contact information with your pet’s travel carrier
  • Put an ID tag on the dog collar with your contact details
  • If you are making a connecting flight, keep a check on your dog so that it is on the same plane
Small Dog In Luggage

Bottom Line

Overall, flying with a dog needs you to be vigilant. These given tips are guidelines to help you lessen your traveling stress.



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