Flying with just your regular luggage can be stressful enough with preparing boarding passes, seat selection and weighing suitcases but how does this go when you bring your four-legged friend along?
Flying with a dog can be a little nerve-wracking, especially for first-timers and the cost can cause your trip to skyrocket. Here is a little guide to flying with your dog in the US and the costs that can be associated with it!
Can I book a normal flight?
In many cases, the answer to this question is yes. However, with any special kind of luggage there are many requirements, costs, and bookings you must consider before boarding your flight with a pup!
First of all, you need to weigh and measure your dog. If you are lucky enough to own a small dog then all you need to do is purchase a flight-friendly dog carrier. This carrier can sit under the seat in front of you in a similar way to hand luggage.
Many different brands sell carriers aimed at flying with your dog and the cost can be anywhere from $25 to the thousands of dollars a Louis Vuitton pet carrier can cost you!
You need to check with your specific airline to see if your breed of dog is even allowed on the plane. It is also suggested that you notify everybody involved in your flight that you will be flying with a dog. This is because some planes are only allowed to carry a small number of dogs in one flight.
If your dog has a slightly more short or stubbed nose, then you must fly with them in the cabin. Dogs with a brachycephalic facial type are not allowed to fly in the luggage hold section of the plane. This is due to some breeds suffering from in-flight breathing difficulties.
If you are the owner of a dog that is too large to fit in a carrier or under the seat in front of you then you will need to fly your dog in the hold section of the plane in a specially designed crate.
The area of the plane in which you will be allowed to sit may also be a little more restricted than usual. You may not be allowed to purchase a seat in first class, business class, or in an emergency exit row if you are flying with your dog.
Unfortunately, some airlines prohibit bully breeds like pit bulls from flying in the cabin. If you own one of these breeds it is best to discuss it with your airline before purchasing your ticket as your dog may need to fly in the hold section of the plane.
How stressful is flying for your dog?
A new environment, changes in pressure and tight space packed with strangers can all be pretty stressful factors for even the most season of flying pups. Flying is not recommended for nervous, elderly, or very young dogs due to the stress it would cause them.
I have a large dog but want him in the cabin, now what?
This is very dependent on your airline but some airlines will allow pet owners to pay the carry-on pet fee and purchase the seat next to theirs to place the crate of a larger dog on. This is very much a factor that is dependent on the type of flight and the airline you are flying with so it is definitely worth checking with your airline before you buy a seat for your pup that they won’t be allowed to use!
Are there any rules for flying with a dog?
Most airlines will require a certificate from your vet to say that your dog is healthy enough to fly with you. This certificate will only be valid for 30 days and most airlines require it to be made within 10 days of your flight. You will need this certificate for your flight there and back so be sure to consider this when planning your trip since forgetting it could mean your dog is unable to fly.
How do I make my dog comfortable at the airport?
If you need to take your dog for a bathroom break at the airport, most international airports will have a puppy toilet within the terminals. They are most often used for service dogs but regular dogs are allowed to use them as well! You must also bring along a container for your dog to drink from and enough food just in case your flight gets delayed!
Are there other rules for service dogs?
Service dogs have a completely different set of rules from regular dogs. They will still need to be paid to come on the flight but there are many exceptions to rules that only apply to service dogs for example the size of the dog that is allowed in the cabin.
How much does flying with a dog cost (in the US)?
The cost of just bringing your dog on the flight can be between $95 and $125 each way. This can also be more if you choose to purchase a seat for your dog and you will need to pay for a carrier for your dog. The ticket price can vary a little depending on your airline.
You should also factor in the certificate of health and the vet visit for your dog which can be around $50 per trip and any possible vaccinations your pup may need for visiting a new place!