Flying with a small dog

Flying with a small dog takes careful planning and carries a certain level of risk. Here are also some general guidelines for traveling with your pet by air.

Guidelines for flying with your Cavalier

Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will need to be at least eight weeks old and weaned before traveling by air.

A health certificate is generally required from a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel. If your vacation lasts more than 10 days, you may need to arrange for another vet exam at your destination prior to your return.

Ensure that your pet’s carrier meets all airline requirements to fit under your seat in the main cabin of the plane. I do NOT recommend allowing your pet to travel in the plane’s cargo hold. It has been reported that thousands of animals have been lost, injured, or killed while being transported in the cargo holds of commercial airlines.

Request a middle seat for yourself as aisle, and window seats have less room under the seats for a pet carrier.

If at all possible, take a direct flight to your destination to minimize the time your pet is restrained in his crate or carrier.

Make sure your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is properly micro-chipped and wearing ID tags. Consider adding a temporary tag to his collar with a phone number where you can be reached at your destination. Write your name, home address, and phone number on his crate or carrier, as well as your destination and how you can be contacted there.  Carry a photograph of your pet in case your pet gets loose and becomes lost while traveling.

Don’t sedate your pet without the guidance of your veterinarian.

Airline Links for flying with your Dog

Before booking your flight, research the particular regulations and fees imposed by your chosen airline.  Here are a few links to the pet policy sections of major airlines for your convenience:

The American Veterinary Medical Association has prepared an article on the pitfalls of air travel with your pet that is worth reading here.

Bon Voyage!


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