Good To Know

All You Need to Know Before Flying with a Large Dog


Air travel with your pet is not as easy as driving yourself with him to a grocery store or visiting your friend’s place, making him sit next to you in the car. You can’t just buy a plane ticket and show up at the airport carrying your pet along. From obtaining different certificates, visiting vet clinics, buying prescriptions, paying all sorts of fees; there are various procedures one needs to go through before boarding their animal for the journey.

The process seems to be long and tiring, but it is very doable. According to data, over 2 million live animals get transported through air travel. In 2019, FedEx express airlifted a living 240-pound panda from Washington, DC to China. This proves you can travel with your large dog in the plane not just within the country but can take them on international tours as well. We have prepared a complete guide outlining all the necessary information you need to have before flying with your pet.

Two ways large dogs can air travel

A large section of airline companies let large dogs fly as checked bags. You can carry your dog in a crate and check-in like your other baggage.

If your dog is over 20 pounds of weight, some airlines need you to fly your dog as cargo. This isn’t something you should be concerned about because you and your dog will still land in the same location.

How much does it cost?

The cost of airlifting your dog depends on the weight and size of your dog, including the crate, and destination you want to reach. The tariffs range from $125 to over $1000, and it varies with every airline. To understand this variation in the fee, it’s critical to do some research or phone the airline before purchasing tickets for your trip.

Choosing the Crate

The comfort of your dog while flying is determined by its crate or kennel. Make sure you choose a crate with adequate space for your dog to relax, feel comfortable, and be safe.

When flying Internationally

If you are going on an international tour, refer to the local animal importation laws as some destinations have complex procedures and quarantine periods which can separate you from your pet. You may also require to obtain a certificate from the Department of Agriculture. So, you need to make the preparations in advance before planning your trip.

Other key tips for flying with large dogs

  • Take your dog to the vet to ensure that it is physically fit for the travel.
  • Exercise your dog more than usual before boarding a flight.
  • Fly direct as it will reduce the travel time and stress on your dog.
  • Get your dog’s bowels and bladder emptied prior to putting them in the carrier.
  • Avoid flying in extreme temperatures.
  • Ensure your dog has a clear identification and has a functioning microchip.

Picking up your dog upon arrival

As soon as you land, grab your luggage and immediately reach to your plane’s cargo site to pick up your dog because the pets are available for picking up for a few hours only at the airport and then taken to the other boarding facility. Once you reunite with your dog, take them for a short walk or to a pet-relief area at the airport.

CONCLUSION : Carrying your dog on an air trip with you is not that simple. But if you plan ahead, understand the rules and regulations and follow the standard procedure, you can definitely fly with your large dog.


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