I have been asked many times the question about how to fly with dogs in the cabin. So I decided to come up with few suggestions and share my experience about flying with puppies.
Also, in past several years, I have noticed ,that there are much more dogs traveling with their parents.
Here are several things you need to consider when flying with the puppy:
Airlines have a rule for pet dogs, they have to be 20 lbs or less and be able to fit into a airline approved carrier. Dog can be a little over 20 lbs, as long as it fits into a bag, it is ok.
If it is a service dog, then there is no really weight requirements.
The biggest dog I flown with, is my show male. He weights 22 lbs. he is very small, but his weight comes from muscles and just him being so stocky. The first time we flew, I would never forget it. He is a very social dog, and has been on the road many times. However, that was his first time going with me on the plane. He did not know me at all, that was the first time we ever met. He tolerated me at the airport, but once he realized that I took him from his breeder, oh boy! He was not thrilled! He refused to sit in the carrier, he did not want to go under the seat. He was trying to break the bag, the zipper and make sure, on top of it, that he made himself very loud and clear that he is not happy to all passengers on that plane and flight attendants! We made it home, but that was quite an experience and I have learned from that a lot.
So first of all, if your dog does not know the airline carrier, make sure that it is familiar with it and being placed inside it with closed zipper.
Secondly, it is necessary to have travel certificate from your vet which is up to date. A visit to your vet and a small fee will get you set up with the correct paperwork to fly. This has to be done within ten days before flying, if you travel within US. If the travel is outside US, then there is a different time frame for international certificate. In the case of international travel, you have to ask airlines about the time frame of the validity of the certificate, because different countries have different requirements.
Also, when you purchase your airline ticket, you have to tell airline that a dog will be flying with you in the cabin. Some airlines will charge a pet fee, ranging from $50-$125, when you book, while others will charge you when you check in on the day. It is important to book your pets flight as well , because airlines have limit of how many dogs can go in the cabin.
Also, according to any airline rule, puppy is supposed to be in a carrier at all times. Some flight attendants follow this rule, and no matter what will not let you to unzip a carrier . But some attendants will at least let you to unzip it, and pet your puppy, or change the bedding, if necessary.
Usually night flights have worked better for me, because the passengers are usually settled down or sleeping and so are my dogs. Sneaking an occasional snuggle with your dog is also easier and attract lesser attention from fellow passengers and flight attendants as well.
To be continued…..