How to Travel With a Puppy on a Plane

puppy travel on a plane

Traveling with a puppy on a plane can be both exciting and stressful. Whether you are moving to a new home, visiting family and friends, or going on a vacation, bringing your furry friend along can add an extra layer of joy to your trip. However, before you start packing, there are several things you need to know to ensure your puppy’s safety and comfort during the journey. In this blog post, we will discuss tips, airline guidelines, equipment, and food and water for traveling with a puppy on a plane.

Tips for Traveling with a Puppy on a Plane

  1. Consult with Your Vet

Before you book your flight, it’s essential to talk to your vet about your puppy’s health and readiness for travel. Your vet can advise you on the necessary vaccinations, health certificate, and any other medical requirements your puppy needs before traveling.

  1. Choose the Right Flight

When traveling with a puppy, it’s essential to choose a direct flight if possible. This minimizes the time your puppy spends in transit and reduces the chances of delays, lost connections, and missed flights. Additionally, try to book a flight that departs during a quiet time of day to avoid crowds and noise.

  1. Use an Approved Carrier

The airline you choose will likely have specific requirements for pet carriers. Make sure you select a carrier that meets the airline’s standards for size, material, and ventilation. The carrier should also be sturdy and secure, with enough room for your puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

  1. Introduce Your Puppy to the Carrier

It’s essential to give your puppy time to adjust to the carrier before the flight. Start by leaving the carrier open in a familiar area of your home, and gradually introduce your puppy to it by placing treats, toys, and bedding inside. Once your puppy is comfortable, try closing the carrier for short periods while you’re at home and gradually increase the duration.

  1. Pack Appropriately

Pack a small bag with essential items for your puppy, such as food, water, treats, leash, collar, poop bags, and a copy of your puppy’s health certificate. Additionally, pack a familiar blanket or toy to help your puppy feel more comfortable in the carrier.

Airline Guidelines for Traveling with a Puppy on a Plane

Each airline has its own rules and regulations for traveling with pets, so it’s essential to research the specific airline you’re flying with beforehand. Here are some general guidelines for traveling with a puppy on a plane:

  1. Book in Advance

Most airlines have a limited number of spaces for pets on each flight, so it’s essential to book your puppy’s ticket in advance. Contact the airline directly to make your reservation and confirm the requirements for pet travel.

  1. Health Certificate

Many airlines require a health certificate for your puppy, issued by a licensed veterinarian within ten days of the travel date. The certificate should state that your puppy is healthy, vaccinated, and free from any contagious diseases.

  1. Age and Size Restrictions

Some airlines have age and size restrictions for pets traveling in the cabin. For example, puppies must be at least eight weeks old and weigh no more than 20 pounds to travel in the cabin on Delta Airlines. Check with your airline to ensure your puppy meets the requirements for pet travel.

  1. Carrier Guidelines

Most airlines require your puppy to travel in an airline-approved carrier, which must fit under the seat in front of you. The carrier should be well-ventilated, leak-proof, and escape-proof, with enough room for your puppy to move around comfortably.

Equipment for Traveling with a Puppy on a Plane

  1. Airline-Approved Carrier

As previously mentioned, it’s essential to choose an airline-approved carrier that meets the airline’s size and material requirements. Look for a

carrier that is durable and has good ventilation to keep your puppy comfortable during the flight.

  1. Absorbent Pads

Place absorbent pads in the carrier to keep your puppy dry in case of accidents or spills. Choose pads that are specifically designed for pets and are easy to dispose of.

  1. Collapsible Water Bowl

A collapsible water bowl is a handy item to pack in your carry-on bag. It’s essential to keep your puppy hydrated during the flight, and having a bowl that can collapse for easy storage is ideal.

  1. Treats and Toys

Bring along some of your puppy’s favorite treats and toys to help them feel more comfortable in the carrier. These items can also help distract your puppy during takeoff and landing, which can be stressful for some pets.

Food and Water for Traveling with a Puppy on a Plane

  1. Water

It’s essential to keep your puppy hydrated during the flight. However, most airlines do not allow you to fill your pet’s water bowl before takeoff, so it’s important to plan ahead. Freeze a small amount of water in a travel bowl before the flight, and bring it in your carry-on bag. As the ice melts, your puppy will have access to fresh water.

  1. Food

Feed your puppy a small meal four to six hours before the flight to give them time to digest. If your flight is longer than six hours, bring along some kibble or treats to offer your puppy during the flight. It’s essential to avoid feeding your puppy a large meal right before the flight, as this can cause an upset stomach.


Traveling with a puppy on a plane requires some extra planning and preparation, but it can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can ensure your puppy’s safety and comfort during the flight. Remember to consult with your vet, choose the right flight, use an approved carrier, pack appropriately, and follow the airline guidelines for pet travel. With proper planning and care, you and your puppy can enjoy a stress-free and enjoyable flight together.

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