Flying With Dogs
Are you planning to fly with your dog? I know that flying with your four-legged friend poses many worries, especially if you’re a first-timer. You probably ask:
- Is it possible for the dogs to fly safely?
- How will I feed my dog during the flight?
- Where will they put him?
- What will be the cost?
…and so on. Dog friends need to get the correct answers to such questions before they make a decision. There are also some precautions to be taken for dogs’ mental and physical health. Now, let’s answer the frequently asked questions and see if flying with dogs is possible.
Where on the Plane Can My Dog Travel?
There are three different places dogs can travel on an airplane. The first option is that it flies with you in the cabin. Second, dogs can fly in the cargo hold of the plane. Finally, it can fly in a cargo plane. Where your dog will fly is not a decision you can make. Airlines determine where your dog can fly based on its breed, weight, cage size, type of aircraft, and destination.
Generally, airlines will allow your dog to fly with you in the cabin or the trunk if it meets the weight limit and its cage is the size it should be. Otherwise, your dog must fly in the cargo hold. For this reason, before you decide to fly with your dog, I recommend that you read the pet policies of the airline you will fly to in detail.
Is It Safe for My Dog To Fly?
First, you need to make sure that the cage you are carrying your dog in is secure and cannot be opened. If possible, try to prefer direct flights. It can be difficult to stay in the cage for long periods of time and your dog and cage may be damaged during the transfer. Unfortunately, you will not have the chance to intervene in such situations during the flight.
Weather is another point to consider. If you are traveling during the winter months, noon hours will be suitable for maximum temperature. Or you can prefer early or late flights in the summer months. It is also possible to set the ideal temperature and ventilation when your dog is flying in cargo or in the cabin. However, it cannot be said that the same conditions are met for cargo aircraft. For this reason, cargo planes are not preferred by animal friends.
It is safest for your dog to fly with you in the cabin as you can be in control when flying in the cabin. Flying with a cargo plane is already quite risky. Therefore, if we add the restrictions imposed by the airlines, it would be best to leave your dog with a sitter while you’re traveling.
Is My Dog Suitable for Flying?
Many airlines do not allow certain dog breeds to fly. It is hazardous for short-nosed breeds to fly. The majority of dog deaths in aircraft involve the short-nosed dog breed. Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, boxers, and French bulldogs are breeds that are not considered suitable for flying.
Most airlines will never allow dogs with short-nosed breeds to fly because it is too risky. Airlines that will enable short-nosed breeds apply some restrictions. For example, Lufthansa allows short-nosed breeds to fly if their arrival and departure points do not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, Japan Airlines does not allow some bulldog breeds to fly because they cannot regulate their body temperature.
What Are the Weight Limits for My Dog To Fly?
Some airlines have a weight limit of 8-10 kilos. This is usually a maximum of 8 kg for the cabin. Dogs weighing more than 8 kilos are transported in the cargo hold. In this case, it is not enough for the dog to be in the ideal weight range. Another critical issue is the dimensions of the cage and the material from which it is made.
For this, you should check the website of the airline you will travel to for the most accurate information.
How Much Do I Have To Pay for My Dog To Fly?
First of all, you need to make a reservation for your dog—the fees you have to pay to vary. In general, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines are the most affordable airlines.
Taking your dog in the cabin or the trunk also changes the fare. If you have an Elite membership with your preferred airline, your dog can fly more conveniently. The cargo section is much more expensive compared to other sections. In addition, the weight of your dog and the size of the cage change the price.
What Are the Requirements and Restrictions for Flying With a Dog?
- Airlines usually allow specific sizes in your dog's cage. The cage needs to be large enough for your dog to turn around. Airlines determine cage sizes according to their standards. In addition, cage sizes vary depending on whether it is carried in the cabin, trunk, or cargo area.
- Attach a card with your contact information at the top of the cage.
- Put a "live animal" sticker on top of the cage and indicate how it should be transported.
- Lay a soft fabric in the cage so your dog will be comfortable.
- Add water and food bowls inside the cage. Place them in a way they can be easily reached from the outside.
- Be sure to accustom your dog to the cage before the flight. In this way, your dog will be calmer during the flight.
- After the plane has landed, please pick up your dog as quickly as possible and get it out of its cage.
Besides these requirements, there are also some procedures. Flying with your dog is a very complex process.
- Many airports require an international health certificate for your dog. Apart from that, it would be good to have vaccination cards with you.
- You may also need to contact the embassy according to the entry rules of the country you are going to.
Frequently Asked Questions for Flying with a Dog
Is it cruel to take a dog on a plane?
There are different opinions and rules on this subject. For example, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) believes that if your dog is small enough to fly with you in the cabin and can move freely in its cage, it can fly. Likewise, animal lovers find it very dangerous for your dog to fly in the cargo hold. Even if your dog has to fly and can travel in the cargo hold, ASPCA recommends that you have a veterinarian examination before the flight and take a direct flight. As a result, it's okay for your dog to fly with you if you take the necessary precautions and heed the warnings.
Can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane?
You cannot buy a seat for your dog. If your dog has the weight and cage dimensions to fly with you in the cabin, you can place it on the floor under the front seat.
How much does it cost to fly with a dog?
The cost of flying with your dog varies by airline but is usually around $125 each way. This fee is generally for the flight in the cabin. If your dog flies in cargo, airlines calculate online based on the size of the cage and your dog's weight.
What size dog can fly in the cabin?
Your dog usually needs to weigh around 20 pounds to fly with you. However, the cage size and the dog's weight vary according to the airline.
Does flying traumatize dogs?
For dogs, flying is different so it can be stressful. Some dogs can remain very calm during the flight. But both pressure and noise are unusual and frightening for dogs. For this reason, it is beneficial to talk to the veterinarian before the flight and get an idea for calming.
Which airline is the most dog friendly?
Airlines often regulate pet transportation according to safety and government procedures. The important thing at this point is that your dog is safe. Alaska, Hawaiian, and American Airlines top the list of top dog-friendly airlines. These three airlines, which stand out with their dog-friendly policies, are followed by Delta, JetBlue, Frontier, Spirit, and Southwest.
Can my large dog fly in the cabin with me?
Unfortunately, large dogs with no cage under the seat cannot travel in the cabin. Generally, this rule applies to all airlines. Big dogs need to travel in cargo.
Do dogs’ ears hurt when flying?
Dogs' ears are greatly affected by the high altitude. For this reason, your dog may have ringing and pain in his ears. But this pain will go away after a while.
Which airline allows dogs in the cabin?
Many airlines will allow your dog to fly with you in the cabin if your dog's weight and cage dimensions are appropriate. These include American Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air Europe, Turkish Airlines, Air France, Alaska Air, Delta, JetBlue, Lufthansa, and United Airlines.