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Flying with a Pet in Cabin

So you've just adopted your puppy, and you're planning your trip. Whether you're coming to pick your puppy up or you have a family trip on the horizon, these tips will help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of flying with a puppy in cabin.

First and foremost, it is essential to double-check your airline’s requirements for flying with a dog in cabin. We recommend calling early to add your dog to your reservation. Airlines limit the number of pets allowed on flights, so this is not something you want to put off. Every airline is different. Some airlines have specific requirements for each plane. It's always best to check these policies in advance. We have compiled many popular airline requirements and restrictions below.

Please note that these changes to rules and regulations are not regularly monitored. Be sure to check with your airline for updated information.

Airline Pet in Cabin Info Links:


Pet Travel bag:

Now that you have the basics of what your airline requires to fly with a puppy in-cabin, we recommend preparing a puppy travel kit. We have been doing this for years, and our flight nannies can attest to the importance of a travel kit. Here are a few of our favorite items and why they are helpful to start you off:


Soft-sided carrier:

Many airlines allow for either hard-sided carriers or soft-sided carriers. We recommend soft-sided. Soft-sided travel bags are usually slightly larger than their hard-sided counterparts as they are flexible and fit more manageably under the small airplane seats. This creates a more comfortable travel experience for your pet.

Get yours HERE


Collapsible bowl:

We usually recommend withholding food and water for a minimum of 4 hours before the flight to help with potential tummy issues and to avoid accidents. However, your puppy still needs access to water. It is always good to bring a collapsible bowl or empty water bowl for your puppy. Puppies can overheat easily, especially in hot airplanes, so having access to water is very important. It can also be a source of comfort to a nervous first-time flyer.

Get yours HERE


Travel paper towels and wipes:

Now, even if you have withheld food and water for a time before the flight, your puppy may still have an accident. If this happens, you will definitely want to be prepared. Travel paper towels or wet wipes help to make big messes manageable. Believe it or not, your puppy hates the mess as much as you do. Accidents can cause stressful flights for all involved. Therefore, if nothing else, remember wet wipes and travel paper towels.

Travel paper towels:


Old towel:

Similar to wipes and paper towels, we recommend bringing an old towel. This old towel can become your puppy's towel and is helpful for absorbent padding in the carrier, possible quick sink baths at the airport, and bigger messes that a travel paper towel might be unable to manage.



Airports typically offer pet relief areas. These can be very helpful for puppies who have received all of their vaccines. Younger puppies should stay away if possible until fully vaccinated and mature. But if you need to use a pet relief area or if you want to give your dog some time out of the bag before taking off, you will need a leash.


High Reward Chews:

Many of these flights are long. Puppies, like us, get bored. Bored puppies can be noisy puppies. To avoid this, we recommend offering high-reward, long-lasting chews your puppy will enjoy. Our flight nannies use our Down Home ribs and trachea treats. Puppies love them; they are healthy and last throughout the flight.


After you have checked on your airline requirements, purchased the correct size travel bag, and prepared your travel kit. You can rest easy and wait for the day of travel.

On the day of travel

You will want to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. This extra time will allow for a simple check-in process. When you check-in, you must go to the counter and pay your puppy's pet in cabin fee. This fee is usually between $95 to $125 but varies depending on the airline. Once you have paid the fee and checked your puppy in, you may move on to security.

Security can be intimidating, but when you know what to expect, it is actually pretty straightforward. You can bring puppies with you through TSA checkpoints, TSA pre, clear and global entry.

Remember to remove your pet from their travel bag and hold it with you when going through security. Follow all other TSA guidelines, including emptying your pockets and allowing your pet carrier to travel through the security scanner. You will carry your pet through the metal detector and may need to have your hands swapped depending on the checkpoint.

Once you get through Security, your puppy goes back into its travel bag, and you are ready to head to the gate! Most Airlines require the puppy to stay in the travel bag throughout the duration of the flight. This is usually due to potential allergies or other pets on the flight. For this reason and for your puppy's safety, always consult with a flight attendant before getting your pet out of the bag on a flight.

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