How to Fly with a Dog

Should you fly with your dog? If so, how can you make the trip as safe as possible?

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
7-minute read
Episode #60

Why I Don’t Fly with My Dogs

I used to fly with my dog Izzy years ago. No catastrophe ever occurred, and usually the airline personnel were kind and helpful. In pre-9/11 days, one airline even used to allow me into the baggage handling area with Iz, so I could watch her crate being loaded on the plane.

But then there was that other airline. The first time her crate was put out on the luggage carousel instead of brought to me on a handcart, my complaint got me a hundred-dollar gift certificate, an apology, and a promise that nothing like that would ever happen again. On the very flight I booked with that gift certificate, guess what? My crated dog was dumped on the carousel. That was the end of that. Izzy, Juni, and their housemate cats love our pet sitter, and there’s something to be said for vacations where I don’t have to get up early to take anybody for a walk.

For a travel alternative, please see my other episode on dogs and car safety.

Send your questions and comments to dogtrainer@ quickanddirtytips.com, and I may use them in a future article. I Twitter as Dogalini, and you can also find me on Facebook, where I post links to articles and videos and respond to your questions. Thanks for reading!


The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers pet travel tips here, including how to spot and avoid pet-shipping scams and how to evaluate a travel kennel.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has this terrific downloadable brochure with advice on all forms of travel with pets.

ASPCA tips for air travel are here.

Humane Society of the United States advises against air travel for pets here.

The AAA offers a brief, clear rundown of transport regs here.

Here’s an example of an instant tag you can make for travel. I’m not endorsing any particular company or tag, but it’s a nice extra that this one has a reflector.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).