Guide: Taking Your Dog Airborne

If you buy through links in this article, we may earn a commission. This policy helps support the website's operation. Learn more.

Airlina Approved Carrier

Taking your canine on a plane with you can be stressful for both of you. Besides dealing with the regulations surrounding it and choosing the appropriate carrier, you’ll want to make sure that you can keep your dog as calm as possible in order to ensure that they don’t become overly stressed during flight. Here are some simple things you can do to make for a happy flight with your canine companion.

Carrier Preparation

It’s very important to make sure that your pet is acclimated to his carrier in order to ensure the smoothest possible experience for both of you. You may want to start preparing a week or more in advance of your trip, simply coax your dog into the container and get him used to go places in it. It’s important that they get used to the sounds and feelings associated with motion, and it’s always great to have an excuse to take your dog places with you.

For smaller dogs that will be with you for the duration of the flight you might even wish to consider taking him into busy areas, the confined and crowded areas inside an airplane cabin can be a bit harsh on both of you but if you take them with you while grocery shopping and doing other activities where you’ll encounter a lot of people you’ll be able to get your friend used to both the hustle and bustle and their carrier at the same time.

Physical Preparations for Your Canine

There are a few extra things you may want to do before the two of you go on your adventure. You’ll be in a confined area with other people, so you’ll definitely want to make sure that you bathe your dog within a couple of days of going out.

Something else you might not have considered is trimming your dog’s nails before going. If they’re too long you may have some trouble if they snag a nail on the carrier, this can cause injury and it’ll be a little while before you’ll be able to get it taken care of.

And finally, you’ll want to exercise your dog the morning before your flight, they will be confined for an extended period after all so it’s best that you make sure they’ve burned off some energy before you go. With some appropriate timing and the right dog, your pet may just spend most of the journey sleeping, which is sure to keep both of you in a much calmer state of mind.

On the Plane

It’s highly ill-advised to break the rules on the flight and let your fluffy little pal out at any point. You may be tempted if he has an accident or vomits, but it’s really best for both of you if you wait until you land to take care of these issues.

Because they’ll be in the crate the whole time you may want to teach your dog how to drink from a sports bottle so you can keep him hydrated with minimal fuss while you’re flying. You can bring an empty bottle in with you and fill it before boarding from a water fountain, this little trick will save you a lot of stress.

If your dog is particularly high strung, you may want to consider speaking with your veterinarian about a tranquilizer, but this is generally advised against. Provided you got your dog used to his carrier properly you’ll find that you have no issues.


Taking your dog on an airplane can make both of you quite stressed, but as long as you keep calm your friend is certain to trust you. With a few simple preparations the both of you will be able to fly stress-free, and you’ll be happy to know the whole affair is much simpler than it seems at first glance.

Images credits:

Related Articles

Pet Carrier Backpack:

ibiyaya Airline Approved Pet Carrier Backpack
The Airline Approved Pet Carrier Backpack by ibiyaya is a great option for carrying small pets like toy breed dogs, puppies, cats, and even rabbits. It allows your pet to see the world outside and get used to crowds and sounds, thus you can use it for preparing your dog before the trip. This marvelous pet carrier is perfect for taking it aboard as a piece of carry-on luggage as well.
Soft Sided Tote for Small to Medium Dogs & Cats

Travel Water Bottle:

Tuff Pupper PupFlask Portable Water Bottle for Walking
You may consider to purchase the Convenient Travel Water Bottle for Dogs or train your pup to drink water from the ordinary one to keep your pet hydrated during the flight.


Susan Cropper

As a veterinarian practicing for 48 years, Dr. Cropper brings her priceless experience to all our readers. She is currently taking care of her two rescues, Ollie the Greyhound and Bryce the Pitbull mix, that is why she always sees things as a veterinarian and a pet owner simultaneously.

View all posts by Susan Cropper |