Wondering how to take your dog anywhere you go?
Flying with a dog used to be very simple: Get a secure crate, feed your dog with a simple meal or treat it in its cage as checked luggage and that’s it. Now there are many things that you need to know when planning to fly with your dog.
It is true that animals have proven effective in curing mental, psychological, or emotional diseases. But, it is not possible to stay inseparable all the time because of the flights and housing restrictions. So, you should be aware of the rules that can help you live and fly with your emotional support animal whenever you want.
This blog explains everything that you need to know when preparing for an air travel with Coco.
Can you Fly a Dog on a Plane?
Yes, you can fly with a dog on a plane but only if it is a service dog or an emotional support dog and you have a valid ESA letter along. However, the process of taking your dog along with you on the airplane has become more complicated.
The previous system was, well, too simple and lacked the necessary security measures. Besides ESAs, service animals have also made it to the list of animals traveling on board.
To make sure that everyone is safe, including the animals, airlines have introduced some pet travel rules and policies. These policies include everything from the breed, height, weight, temperament, and size requirements of your dog, or any other animal. This is why you must educate yourself and know about these policies.
How to Fly with a Dog
There are a lot of reasons to travel in the cabin with your pets. Long trips and moving to another place are only two of such reasons. When traveling, you have two choices of either traveling with your dog in the cabin or in the cargo hold.
However, it depends on the size of your dog and the policies of the airline. In either case, you will need a real ESA letter to carry your dog with you. The letter must be written by a licensed mental health practitioner or therapist.
But before that, it is important to know there are different requirements for different airlines. For example, if you are traveling on American Airlines, you will need to know about their rules for flying with a dog.
Air Carrier Access Act
According to the Air Carrier Access Act that was passed in 1986, service dog owners have the right to travel in the plane with their ESA. According to the act, your ESA can join you in the cabin if it could fit under your seat and the airlines permit you to bring them along.
That means that if an ESA owner possesses a legitimate, valid emotional support animal letter, they could be allowed to air travel with their pet without any additional fee.
Tips for Flying with a Dog
If your dog is a legal ESA according to United States law, then you are allowed to bring your pet on a plane for all flights.
There are some guidelines that you need to know about flying with a dog from booking to landing at your destination.
Below are the tips to fly with your dog safely:
1. Check the Airline Policies for Flying with a Dog
Airlines have a list of pet carrier requirements that you have to follow if you are traveling with pets.
There are some airlines that allow dogs to travel with their owners in the cabin such as North American airlines. But only the small dogs can fit in the carrier under the seat in front.
Flying with a large dog in the cabin is not permitted as it could be dangerous for the humane society. As a result, you will have to take your pet in a crate underneath the plane in the cargo hold.
In 2018, ESAs were restricted to dogs and cats above the age of 4 months. Because of the rise in accidents.
Some airlines do not allow certain types of dogs and cats because of their inability to regulate temperature. Similarly, some airlines only allow short-nosed breeds if the temperature at the departure and destination airports does not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Research Your Flight options
If you are traveling with a dog, look for non-stop flights and avoid flying during holidays when airports are busier than normal.
If your dog is flying in a cargo hold, look for early morning or late night flights when the temperature is not too high.
3. Get In Touch with Your Airline
Online booking would not be a great option. Always check with the airline and make sure the plane has space for you and your dog. Also, submit the valid documentation and ESA traveling request yourself well before the boarding time.
4. Take Your Dog For a Health Checkup
Once you have booked a ticket, head to your vet for a proper health checkup of your pet and get a health certificate stating that your dog is healthy enough to fly. You will need this certificate for your departure and return.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, talk to your vet about the feeding schedules, as dogs almost fly on an empty stomach which is not good.
5. Prepare Your Dog For the Flight
Make sure to consult your vet about what to feed your dog. Sedating them is definitely not a good idea. Sedatives can increase the risk of heart and respiratory issues.
After you arrive, take your dog for a walk.
If you are flying and have a layover, stretch your legs and your dogs at the pet relief area of the airport.
6. Consider the Laws of Traveling Destination
Before flying with a dog internationally you should check their laws. Every country has different ESA laws. So, an individual should get an idea about the laws of the traveling destination before planning a vacation.
This needs to be done to avoid any trouble or complicated processes in the country you’re flying to along with your dog.
7. Bring in a Good Carrier or Crate
Most of the airlines follow the pet carrier guidelines of the International Air Transport Association. A person can bring along a good carrier or crate for the dog to fit onboard.
The carrier should be big enough for the dog to stand up and move around. Moreover, its size can differ in various airlines but must not be larger than 19 inches.
Tips for the Airport Stay
Arriving at the airport before time is a good idea to find a better place for you and your dog. Many dogs and other animals feel uncomfortable when staying away from the outdoors for an extended period of time.
In case your dog is like that, try to keep him calm by running your hand in his coat and giving him some healthy treats.
Airports are very busy places and not suitable for anxious dogs. However, if you must travel, try your best to keep him calm and try to get a seat near the front side of the plane. This is especially useful if your dog is traveling in the cargo.
This will help you get off the place quickly and without any delays.
Tips for Post-Landing Period
After arriving at your destination, your priority should be to get your dog outside as soon as possible. We know that it is not possible for a single person to do it and this is why we suggest that you travel with your friend or someone who could take Coco out. You can take care of the luggage and arrange for the ride.
When booking a ride, make sure the company allows dogs and other animals into their vehicles. When using Lyft or Uber, you can ask the driver directly since they leave the decision to them.
If you are on a trip for work purposes then hiring a pet sitter is important to take your animal on regular walks. Moreover, research and find some dog-friendly restaurants in your area.
All the states of the US have dog-friendly restaurants and knowing about these 50 restaurants in the 50 US states will help you dine out with your dog easily.
Air Traveling with a Dog In Cabin
Different famous US airlines have comprehensive airline pet policies for in-cabin travel. Usually, some airlines avoid accommodating large or medium-sized animals.
Therefore, it is better to spend additional time reading policies before traveling with your dog. Some of the airline policies are discussed below:
Flying with a Dog - American Airlines
This airline permits 7 pets per flight in the cabin and you have to pay a $125.00 fee each way. Call ahead to make sure that your special furry cargo gets a spot. Furthermore, the weight of the dog must be under 20 lbs and the carrier must fit below the passenger’s seat in front.
Flying with a Dog - Delta
Delta is considered the best airline for pets as it allows most dogs in the cabin to have a fee of $125 per flight. The carrier must also fit underneath the seat. Moreover, newborn puppies are also not allowed and must be at least 10 weeks old to enter.
Flying with a Dog - JetBlue
JetBlue allows 4 dogs in the cabin with a weight of not more than 20lbs including the carrier. They provide other facilities for the animals like branded airline dog crates and pet carriers however, an individual has to pay $100 each way.
Flying with a Dog - US Airways
US Airways permits 6 pets per flight along with a fee of $125. The dog must fit in the airline dog carrier or you’ll have to buy another seat on the plane with no additional fee.
Flying with a Dog - Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines only allows the traveling of emotional support dogs or cats in the cabin. They don’t need any additional documents but only require an ESA Letter from a licensed mental health provider.
Flying with a Dog - United Airlines
They also require proper documentation like other airlines at least 48-hours before the flight. However, they have some safety regulations as to where the dogs on the plane should stay in the aircraft’s cabin.
Flying with a Dog - Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air is an affordable American airline. The airline allows small animals like small dogs and cats breeds on board and offer in-cabin travel only. Allegiant Air charges $100 for 1 way flight. It has specific carrier requirements and it should not be more than 9" x 16" x 19" (22 cm x 40 cm x 48 cm).
Flying with a Dog in Cargo
Other than in-cabin, your dog or animal can travel in the plane’s cargo also. However, there are a lot of risks involved in it. But, if you have to leave your dog in the cargo, consider the following safety tips:
- Get your animal examined by a veterinarian to treat any underlying health issues before your travel
- Try to reduce your dog’s anxiety by placing his favorite toy or another item to keep him calm during the travel
- Try to take direct flights to reduce the in-cargo duration
- Use animal-specific services like Pet Relocation to transport your dog safely
- Give crate training to your dog and make him feel safe and comfortable inside his crate or carrier
- Trim your dog’s nails to avoid any unlikely situation
- Update your contact details on your dog’s harness and ID tag
- Keep your dog and his carrier’s photo with you in case it has been misplaced and you need help locating it
While all of these steps will keep your dog safe, it is better that you keep your dog in the cabin with yourself. There are a number of incidents when the animals injured themselves during the trip, so keeping your dog close to you will prevent any such situation.
How Do We Help You?
We, at RealESALetter.com, help those suffering from mental health conditions.
We firmly believe that dogs can significantly help in providing help to people with mental health conditions.
How to get your ESA letter for an ESA dog? The process is very simple and consists of a few steps.
Step 1: Fill an online questionnaire to identify that you have any kind of emotional or psychological disability.
Step 2: Our therapist will review and analyze your application.
Step 3: If you are qualified, you will get a hard copy of your ESA certificate within 24 hours.
Isn't it easy, right?
Contact us and qualify for your ESA letter now!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I take my dog on a plane?
You can take your dog on a plane if you have a valid emotional support animal letter. Along with the letter, you need to have a health certificate that the dog is healthy to be around people. Moreover, you need to seek permission from your airline before the flight and see if they allow you to bring the dog in the cabin along.
How much does it cost to fly with a dog?
The usual cost range of flying with a dog is between $100-$150. However, different airlines charge different amounts for bringing a dog on a flight. This cost may be varied based on your dog’s size and the weight of the carrier.
What size dog can I take on a plane?
Airlines only allow small dogs on a plane. These dogs should have a safe pet carrier that can fit under the seat since they aren’t allowed a separate seat. The preferable size range is 9" x 16" x 19" (22 cm x 40 cm x 48 cm).
How stressful is flying for dogs?
According to expert vet recommendations, flying can be very stressful for dogs. However, it doesn’t mean that it causes any health issues for them. You can simply relax your dog by caressing them or giving them their favorite treat or toy to play with.