Tips for Traveling With a Puppy on a Plane

Flying with a Puppy on a Plane

If you are planning to travel by air and want to take your puppy with you, there is good news. Many airlines allow puppies to travel with you in the cabin. There are several things to keep in mind to make flying with a new puppy pleasant and safe.

Hazards of Placing Pets in the Cargo Hold

Nearly 500,000 pets are transported by air each year without mishap. However, there are hazards involved in placing animals in the cargo hold.

Hours without water and food may affect the animal’s health. Although cargo holds are temperature-controlled, some airlines bring pets onto the tarmac with the baggage before loading.

In hot climates, animals may suffer from excessive heat waiting to be transferred into the hold.

Pet crates are usually placed in a separate area to avoid injury to the animals.

However, accidents do happen:

• Carriers fall over.
• Pets gnaw on their crates and injure themselves.
• Baggage falls on a carrier.
• Pets suffer from heat stroke, dehydration or respiratory failure.

Some breeds of dogs have constricted nasal passages that affect their breathing which can jeopardize the safety of the dog. When brachycephalic dogs are overheated or stressed, they may not be able to get enough air, which can cause respiratory failure. Some airlines do not allow brachycephalic breeds in the cargo hold or cabin because of the risk of injury or death.

Tips for Traveling with a Puppy on a Plane

Flying with an 8-week old puppy requires planning.

When you make your reservation, be sure to inform the airline that you want to bring your puppy on board. Airlines limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin and allot space on a first-come-first-serve basis, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible.

Here are standard guidelines for flying with a puppy:

• Airlines charge a fee for pets to travel in the cabin.
• Your puppy must be in a kennel that fits under the seat in front of you.
• The kennel must be large enough to allow your pet to stand up, lie down and turn around without touching the sides of the carrier.
• The puppy must stay in the kennel and remain under the seat during the entire flight.
• Your pet and carrier are your carry-on bag.
• The size of kennel allowed depends on the type of aircraft. Call ahead to make sure your kennel is within the dimensions for that flight.
• Some airlines require health certificates for pets. Check ahead to see what is required.

Introducing your puppy to the kennel ahead of time lets your pet get used to the space. Keep a familiar blanket or toy inside, and feed your puppy inside the kennel for several days before the flight.

Airports are required to have pet relief stations. Take your puppy to one just before and just after the flight. During the flight, put puppy pads inside in case your pet has an accident.

By following these tips, you can make sure your puppy is calm and safe during the flight.

Watch the video below to see how Bryan and Hailey travel with their pup Scrappy.