How to fly with your dog

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By David Em
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Learn everything you need to know about flying with your dog before you book your trip to ensure you have a smooth trip.

Person holding a black and white puppy.

Airline pet policies

Before you take your dog to the airport, check out the pet policies for the airline that you’re planning to fly with.

Each airline has its own pet policy that covers the number of pets allowed, types, age, and other requirements. Make sure you review all of the rules and guidelines because you don’t want your dog to get turned down when boarding.

The following are links to the pet policies for several of the major airlines:

Carry-on or cargo?

The size of your dog will dictate where they get to spend the flight. In most cases, small dogs that can fit in a travel carrier can fly in-cabin for a fee, which can range from $100 to $200.

Keep in mind that if you bring your dog in a kennel, it could count as your one carry-on item. If that’s the case, you’ll still be able to bring a personal item.

If your dog is larger or you have several dogs, they’ll have to travel in the cargo hold as a checked pet. Airlines also refer to this as shipping your pet.

Flying via cargo can be stressful for your dog and avoid doing it unless it’s necessary.

Preparing your dog for a flight

Before your flight, consult with your vet about what you need to do. They’ll provide you with details on food, water, and health risks.

Next, be sure to attach a photo of your dog and your contact information to the carrier in case something happens.

It’s also important to not feed your dog before the flight because it can lead to discomfort.

Best tools for flying with your dog

A durable and comfortable travel carrier is a must when you’re traveling with your dog. The following are the best airline-approved travel carriers:


Flying with your dog can seem overwhelming because there are restrictions, guidelines, and conditions that need to be perfect. The best way to fly with your dog is to bring them as your carry-on. Make sure you have a durable travel carrier so they have a comfortable trip.

More resources:

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration. He launched Nola & Luna Travel to share expert advice, useful tips, unbiased reviews, and inspiration about destinations across the globe.