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Tips For Safely and Securely Transporting Your Dog on an Airplane

Dog Looking Out Mid Flight

Travelling with your dog can sometimes be stressful, but regardless of whether you need to bring him with you, or you want to bring him with you, getting your dog onto an airplane can be done, if you do your homework before heading to the airport.

There are certain legal guidelines and restrictions for dogs to travel on planes. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) oversee air travel for dogs. The airlines themselves all have different regulations, so it's important to check with your carrier before planning to take your dog with you.

Most of the major airlines generally have written rules for travelling with dogs. These guidelines mean the airline cares about the safe transport of dogs specifically, and animals in general. Small dogs can sometimes be taken on board the plane with you in approved carriers. Larger animals must stay in the cargo area. If you must fly with your dog, no matter what airline carrier you use, there are important guidelines to consider:

Dogs on Airplane
  • The dog should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned.
  • The dog cannot be ill, violent, or in any kind of physical distress.
  • According to the ASPCA and many veterinarians, as well as most airlines, pets should not be sedated for air travel. If you are concerned about your pet being anxious during travel,please discuss this with your veterinarian. Make sure that your pets nails are trimmed to avoid snagging on objects or surfaces.
  • The travel carrier must meet the airlines standards and be large enough for the pet to lie down comfortably, turn around, and stand freely.
  • Mark the crate with "Live Animal" and "This Side Up". Include your name, address, and telephone number in case he or she gets lost or misplaced in transit.
  • Try to book a non-stop flight and take temperatures into consideration. During the summer, book to fly at night when it is usually cooler. Some airlines now refuse to transport dogs and other animals in hot or humid conditions.

By following these simple guidlines, you and your dog can travel safely with minimal stress to you both. If you have any questions or concerns about air travel with your dog, our dog groomers in Toronto will be happy to answer them.