Taking your dog on holidays with you can be loads of fun, especially if you are going to the beach or hiking in the mountains. A road trip with your dog can be fun, but there are times when you may need to transport your dog by plane.
Air travel for dogs can be daunting for us dog owners and quite stressful. To get more familiar with air travel with dogs read our Ultimate Guide To Flying With Dogs. This will help you understand more about he process and many of the rules and regulations. As always check with the airline before booking a flight for your pooch and try to get the best dog carrier for airline travel that you can afford.
How do dogs travel on airplanes?
Unless you have a private jet and can let your dog roam free on the cushy leather seats, then there are two ways that dogs travel on planes.
Dogs Travelling In Cabin
Yes, sometime it is possible to take your dog in the cabin with you. There are many rules around this but as a general guide. Your dog needs to be under a certain weight and size so that your dog carrier can fit under the seat in front of you.
You will need to choose an airline that allow dogs to travel in the cabin and thoroughly read their rules around this. I always call the airline to double check as well.
Domestic travel is perfect for in-cabin travel as it is usually a shorter flight. There are no complicated quarantine and shorter wait times at either end to drop off and pick up your dog.
Dogs Travelling In Cargo
If you have a larger dog or your dog does not meet the in-cabin requirement, then your dog will have to travel Cargo.
If you are travelling to an international destination that has strict quarantine regulations, you will also have to send your dog by Cargo. This is much more complicated and you may want to use a pet transport company to help out.
Don't be too frightened by sending your dog cargo. The cargo area is climate controlled and your dog is a priority on and off the plane.
Best dog carrier for airline travel in cabin
Traveling with your dog in cabin definitely gives you a wider choice of carrier. You can usually have both a small hard carrier or soft carrier but check with your chosen airline before purchase.
When you choose your dog carrier for the plane, try to get it well in advance of flying. When it arrives, check the quality of the carrier, the stitching, the zip, the straps and their strength. You are after all trusting this carrier with your treasured pet. Some animals get agitated on a flight and apply force to the carrier. The last thing you want is for your dog to escape because the zip has broken.
1. Sherpa Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
The Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier has a patented spring wire frame allows the rear end of the carrier to be pushed down several inches to conform to under-seat requirements. It has mesh windows for ventilation, roll down flaps for privacy, top and side entry with locking zippers for safety. There are padded adjustable, no-slip carrying strap, seat belt/luggage strap, machine-washable faux lambskin liner and a Delta luggage tag.
2. Mr Peanut's Airline Approved Pet Carrier
This Mr Peanut's Carrier fits dogs up to 15lbs. Airline capable carriers are designed for pets lying down, so your pet may not be able to stand. It is best to measure your pet while comfortably laying down, as that is the typical position during flight. Weighing in at only 2.7 lbs, it is designed with breathable mesh on all sides for proper ventilation, removable fleece travel bed, padded shoulder strap, ID Tag , storage compartment for treats or meds and is seatbelt compatible.
3. Pet Peppy Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier
With Pet Peppy expandable carrier, your dog can now travel safely while lying down in comfort and safety throughout the journey. Expertly crafted roof ventilation allows for air circulation, keeping your pet from overheating and providing fresh supply of oxygen at all times. The carrier easily stow away under the cabin seat. It features removable plush faux fleece bedding, padded shoulder strap and spacious extra storage compartments. High grade nylon material is lightweight, durable and sturdy. The big bonus with this carrier is the expandable sides. Once you are seated, the sides can easily be let down to allow more space for your dog to stretch out and sleep in comfort.
4. Jet Sitter Luxury Airline Approved ExpandablePet Carrier
For a little extra luxury, The Jet Sitter Luxury Dog Carrier is for in cabin under seat and conforms precisely to United Airlines. Can also fit other airlines like Southwest, JetBlue, American, Delta due to the soft top. It fits small dogs of about 12-14 pounds. It has a large mesh pocket and expandable sides that can store treats, food containers, water bowls, toys, accessories, disposable poop waste bags. It also has attached seat belt buckles and luggage loop to help fasten the carrier in your car. There is also a secure leash inside to hold back escape artists.
Best dog carrier for airline travel in cargo
When your dog travels in Cargo, there are much stricter rules around the carrier size, type and construction. The rules regarding approved types of containers for animals flying in cabin and as cargo were created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and have been accepted by most of the world's airlines.
You will therefor require a transport carrier compliant with IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations. The carrier should allow dogs to stand up, turn around, and lie down naturally and comfortably.
I see many sites recommending pet cargo carriers that have wheels. IATA prohibits wheels on pet cargo carriers due to their ability to move while in transit. A carrier can have wheels IF they are removable.
1. Pet Kennel Direct IATA Airline Approved Dog Carrier
This portable Pet Kennel Direct pet carrier for air travel for small dogs. It is Airline Approved, meets USA airline standards & International Airline Standards (IATA certification) but always check with your airline for travel regulations. This carrier has the required ventilation holes on 4 sides and a quick-latching front door.
2. SportPet Designs Airline Approved Dog Carrier
The SportsPet Designs carrier is IATA Airline Approved. It has wheels but they snap on and off as needed. It has the required ventilation latches and metal bolt and nuts. SportPet include a water dish and 4 live animal stickers as well. The wheels also make it easier to get your dog to and from the airport.
Read our Ultimate Guide To Flying With Dogs and get the best dog carrier for airline travel that you can afford and get planning your next plane trip with pooch. Good luck!