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Dogs and Airline Travel: Safety, Comfort — Yes, Rules Too

Dogs and Airline Travel: Safety, Comfort — Yes, Rules Too

Flying on a jet with my pets for vacation? Wow– just tell me when and I’ll pack my bag!

Chip here. Traveling on an airline sounds so exciting to me, but a little scary because I see stories on the news sometimes about dogs who get lost or worse. Then again, we’re probably safer traveling by jet than we are running around the neighborhood with all those cars and stuff, not to mention the cats that are out there.

I keep hoping my pets will take me on one of their trips like that. Sure, I’ve gone visiting a few times, but more often end up going to the “doggie hotel” when they on their trips. I know they think I enjoy myself — okay, it IS nice to have my own little room and talk with dogs all day. Some of them like to talk all night, too, though. And I miss my own room at home.

Now that so many people hotels let dogs stay I’m hoping my pets will take me along, especially if they want to fly somewhere.

Dogs Flying on the Airlines

Did you know that dogs are able to fly places on jets even if their pets aren’t with them? I don’t think I would want to do that because it doesn’t sound like much fun being on vacation without my pets, but everyone’s different.

When we travel with pets there are options for some of us. I read about some smaller dogs, smaller even than me I think, get to travel up in the people area of the plane with their pets. Some of them have these great airline approved crates and kennels when they do, too.

Dogs who are bigger, especially giant ones like Reilly, can still fly but have to travel in the cargo area of the plane along with the suitcases, golf clubs and other stuff. Not nearly as nice but still on the plane. You can’t use one of those cute little pet carriers for that, either, but in airline approved crates and kennels, which aren’t nearly as nice but do protect against getting bumped around.

I will some pictures of some carriers I recommend, both small and large, below so you can check them out with your pets.

Travel Guidance for Our Pets

I found this great page from the International Air Transport Association, a group that represents airlines, that talks all about having pets travel on planes. You might want to check this page out with your pets as well. I think they have some great tips there, including these.

  • Guidelines regarding the right size crates to use for larger dogs going in the cargo hold so they have room to turn and lie down comfortably while flying. They also say that some airlines have their own guidelines, too.
  • Pets should let us become familiar with the crate in which we will travel for weeks ahead of time so we have less stress on our trip.
  • Make sure we get enough water before we fly but reduce our food the day before. A small meal (yeah, I know Reilly, you hate small meals) a couple hours before we fly will help keep dogs calm.
  • Take us out for a walk before leaving to go to the airport and then again when we arrive, before we check in with the airline.

You and your pets will find more helpful information on that page and probably on the website of the airline you’ll be using for your trip. Don’t forget to check the requirements for any hotels, too.

Most of all — have a GREAT trip!




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