How to Travel with your Dog on an Airplane

Updated April 17, 2017

When taking a trip by aeroplane, you can arrange to bring your dog along, too. Airlines work with flyers to make the flight experience better for everyone, including pets. Before taking your dog on an aeroplane, you should learn what to expect and what issues to consider so that there are no surprises.

Choose an airline with a pet policy that fits your needs. You will need to call the airline or visit its website to determine its pet policy. Don't get discouraged if some smaller airlines don't accept your pet. Large airlines such as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have pet policies that will allow your dog to travel in the cabin or as checked baggage.

Purchase an appropriate kennel for your dog that is small enough to meet airline requirements but large enough to allow your dog to feel comfortable. For example, Southwest Airlines requires that dogs fly in a 19-inch-long by 14-inch-wide by 8.25-inch-tall kennel if they will be flying in the cabin. Purchase the kennel a month or two your trip so that your dog can get used to it.

Make reservations early. Many airlines have specific requirements for how many dogs are allowed on each flight. For example, American Airlines allows only seven dogs to fly, with two dogs in first class and five allowed in coach. You will want to make your reservation as early as possible to ensure that you and your dog will be able to fly together.

Check in with your dog at your airline's check-in counter. If your dog is going to fly in the baggage compartment, you will present your dog with the rest of your baggage at the check- in counter. However, if your dog will be flying in the cabin, you will need to provide all the necessary paperwork, such as a ticket.

Walk your dog through the security checkpoints. The Transportation Security Administration states that your dog will never be put through the X-ray machine. Instead, you will walk your dog through the metal detector. If your dog will not or cannot go through the metal detector, it will be searched by a TSA agent.

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About the Author

Kate Taylor is a professional writer based in Lafayette, Ind. She has served as an online copywriter in areas such as pet care, education and landscaping. Taylor is working toward her M.B.A. at Loyola University Chicago.