Flying in a Plane With a Dog

 Wednesday Apr 10,2024
By  Lancaster Puppies

Summer is quickly approaching, and with it the excitement of barbecues, family gatherings, and vacations. For dog owners, however, traveling with your dog can be stressful. If you are planning a getaway that requires flying, dog owners are left with the decision to find a dog sitter, or navigate the tricky process of flying with your dog. As dog owners ourselves, we understand the difficulty of leaving your pup behind when you go on vacation, so we did all of the research to make flying with our dogs a possibility! Let’s take a look at what steps you need to take to fly with your dog, and some tips and tricks to take the stress out of the process for you and your pup. 

Preparing to Fly With Your Dog

Choosing an Airline

Flying with your dog can be daunting, but with the proper preparation, it can be the ticket to enjoying hikes and adventures with your dog. First, we recommend researching airline policies. Each airline has different rules and regulations when it comes to flying with your furry friend and understanding these policies will help you make an informed decision on which airline is best for you and your dog. We’ve provided links to some major airlines’ policies below so you can get started on your research. 

Vet Check-Ups

Another important step in preparing your dog for travel is taking them to the vet for a checkup. Flying can be a stressful experience for your dog, it is important to make sure they are in good health before taking them on vacation. Also, many airlines require that your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations, and your vet can provide vaccination records that you may need to fly. Also, some airlines require a health certificate issued by a veterinarian to prove that your dog is healthy and fit to fly. 

If your dog gets anxious in new situations, you can also consult with your vet about medication to ease the stress of flying for your pup. 

Crate Training

Unless you have a small dog that the airline will let you bring in the cabin, your dog may have to be crated and stowed safely in the cargo bay. In this case, it is important that your dog is crate-trained. Many breeders will already have their puppies crate-trained, but we have put together some helpful crate-training tips to get you started.

Packing to Fly With Your Dog

Dogs need to pack to travel, just like you! As we discussed earlier in the post, be sure to pack all of the airline’s required documents and health/vaccination certificates. Also, be sure to attach your dog’s identification tags and your contact information to your dog’s collar. 

You should also pack plenty of food, water, and treats to keep your dog hydrated, fed, and happy throughout your journey. Since you can’t take liquids through security, we recommend bringing a portable doggy bowl in a carry-on bag to fill up once you are through security. We also recommend packing familiar items like toys or blankets to comfort your dog during the flight. 

Checking Into a Flight With Your Dog

The day has come for you and your dog to fly together for the first time. This is an exciting day, but it can be filled with nerves as you prepare to leave the house. Making a checklist to go through the day of your flight can relieve stress and give you peace of mind. We also call the airline directly before flying with our dogs to make sure we have all of the proper documentation the airline requires.

It is always a good idea to arrive early for your flight, especially if you are flying with your dog. This will give you time to get through check-in and security without rushing, which can cause stress and anxiety for your dog. It will also give you time to uncrate your dog (depending on airport regulations) and take them to designated potty break areas. 

Doggy Bathroom Breaks on an Airplane

Depending on the length of your flight, your dog may need to relieve itself while in the air. This may sound like a nightmare, but with the proper preparation, it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Having a conversation with your flight attendants is a courtesy, and they also may be able to help in the event of an accident during the flight. Whether your dog is flying as cargo or under the seat in front of you, we recommend lining their crate with absorbent pads. We also recommend packing some cleaning supplies in your carry-on as a courtesy to your flight attendants and other passengers. 

If your dog has a history of potty issues, you may want to consider doggy diapers to contain accidents. 


Flying with your dog can be stressful, but being prepared and following these steps can unlock some incredible adventures for you and your pup.