Does anyone have tips for flying with dogs?

asked 2015-05-19 17:27:05 -0600

I have a relative flying into see me who is bringing their 8lb dog. This will be her first time flying on the airplane. Does anyone have any tips to make travel go smoothly for the dog?

edit edit tags flag offensive close merge delete


best advice would be for the dog to be fed 8 hours previous to flight in order to avoid potty accidents. water is fine as long as he went to the bathroom 2 hours prior to flight

Alfredo R.'s profile image Alfredo R.  ( 2015-12-04 11:50:07 -0600 ) edit

3 Answers

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted
answered 2015-05-20 00:28:00 -0600

A few years ago, we flew with our 15 lb. dog in the cabin with us. At the time, here's what we learned: - A limited number of dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin and must be ticketed, or could be turned away. - Each airline has their own measurements and requirements for completely sealed (zippered) carriers. - Airlines require very recent paperwork from the vet. Again I'd check with the airline to find out their requirements. - The vet may prescribe something to relax the dog/help sleep. You may want to test before the flight if it's a long flight. - If the flight is long and/or has a change in flights, research dog potty stops available in the airports, to prevent racing around like a crazy person, trying to all allow Rover to do business and make it on the assigned flight. - Ensure Rover wears his/her ID tags because you may need to remove him/her from the carrier at some checkpoints and walk through carrying the dog. Tuck a leash, some baggies, treats, and anything else that you might need in the carrier's pockets.

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2015-05-20 21:38:10 -0600

The more time your relative has until the flight, the easier it will be to prepare. Your number one friend (and the dog's) for any flight is the crate! If they haven't already, crate train like mad - convince the dog that the world is good, but the crate is awesome.

If they have more time, extend the crate to the car - it's the closest thing most of us have to a plane. The bumpiness experienced in a car ride while crated is a toned down version of the bumpiness on a plane ride. Show the dog that a little bump in the road (or cloud) is nothing to be afraid of. Share a treat (or a few) while crated for the ride.

As an extra punch, they could go to the vet to prescribe something to help calm the dog. Most vets will probably give them Xanax or some other drug similar to it. Bach's Rescue Remedy has a similar effect, and is most natural, if that's important to your family. And it's also easier to find on Amazon.

Hope this helps!

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2015-12-14 17:23:13 -0600

The previous posters have offered good advice. I have taken my 1.5 year-old Coton de Tulear, Avana, on six trips so far. Regarding airlines, you do need to reserve a spot in the cabin ahead of time. Some airlines only allow 3-5 dogs per flight. It's a pain but usually what I do is figure out my flights (be sure that you use the same airline if you have to make a connection), then I call up the airline to make sure there is room for the dog on that flight. Then I quickly book the flight, then I call to make the pet reservation. So far I've flown on Frontier, Alaska and three times on United. This Christmas we're flying on Southwest for the first time.

And it does help to get them acclimated to being in their crate before the trip. Since my dog was a puppy I've carried her around in a large Sturdibag (meets all airline size requirements and it's squishable). Sturdibag is a local company based out in Gig Harbor, WA. Whenever I go on a drive I take her in the Sturdibag (it has slots to loop the seatbelt through, so that the crate doesn't fall off the seat if you stop quick.) I take her to the grocery store and put the bag at the bottom of the cart and wheel her around. I take her in the bag to the dog park, etc. Get the doggie to associate going into the bag with good things, like treats and dog play time.

Pretty soon they won't mind being in the crate, and that will be a big help on a long flight.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Also, if you have a snub-nosed dog, such as a pug or bulldog, be sure to check the airline regulations. Some airlines on some flights do not allow certain breeds because of breathing problems. You'd want to know about this ahead of time.

Margaret S.'s profile image Margaret S.  ( 2016-03-29 11:31:26 -0600 ) edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account. This space is reserved only for answers. If you would like to engage in a discussion, please instead post a comment under the question or an answer that you would like to discuss

Add Answer