There are usually three main reasons someone would travel with their dog: they’re headed to a dog show, they’re moving and are taking their dog with them, or they simply want their dog to come along for the trip.
So what happens when you want to take your dog on a flight with you? First, it depends on the size of your dog. If your dog is small enough to fit in a travel carrier (usually around 8-9″ high, 12-13″ wide, and 15-20″ long) and doesn’t exceed the weight limit, many airlines will allow them to ride in the cabin of the plane with you. Each airline has a different policy, so know the rules before you book your flight.
If you have a medium-sized or large dog, you’ll have to travel with him/her in the cargo area of the plane. On some planes, this area is in with the luggage. On others, there is a separate “pet” area. Airlines can differ in the way they transport pets, but either way, your dog will be traveling in an area beneath the plane’s cabin and won’t be able to be checked on.
There is a fee for traveling with a dog, depending on where he/she is located during the flight. If you travel with your dog in the cabin, you’ll see a fee anywhere between $100 and $150 each way. If you “check” your dog and he/she travels in the cargo area, you could pay anywhere from $125 to $200 each way.
In other circumstances, like when a dog is assisting a disabled passenger, the dog will be able to ride in the cabin and at no additional charge.
If your dog is traveling in a carrier in the cabin with you, your carrier will usually count as your “carry-on” luggage (but will still require a fee). Also, most airlines only allow one dog carrier per person and the dog must stay in the carrier at all times. Some airlines require a health certificate per traveling dog and many times, a dog has to be at least two months old in order to travel. Check with your airline for details.
Other Ways to Travel
Some airline charter companies allow passengers to fly with their dog on a leash and in the cabin with them, however airfare can be pretty expensive for these small planes. Otherwise, you can resort to driving your dog. If you’re traveling overseas, your cruise options are very limited, but there are a couple companies that do allow dogs.
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