Everything about Traveling with In-Cabin Pets

Dog Pet in Cabin

PETC – Pet in Cabin the basics

The desire to go on vacation is big; plans are already made, but what shall you do with your dog? Leaving it at home in a pet hotel, with friends or family, or is there a way to go on vacation together. Mostly it is just a question of budget because nowadays, more and more travel destinations are dog friendly, so it depends more on the distance when deciding how to travel with the dog.

Pet in Cabin, abbreviated as PETC, is only available for small dogs, which limits the options for most dog owners. Having the dog in the Cargo hold of a plane not knowing how he feels about it, if he is anxious, frightened, scared, or how the four-legged family member is treated a worry that most people share. Some airlines specialize in good animal treatment; some even provide large animal lounges like the Lufthansa Animal lounge at the Frankfurt Airport with vet and professional staff to take care of the dogs, but this is unfortunately not everywhere the case.
In this article, we want to provide an overview on the rules, regulations, and differences between some airlines. In addition, it shall be helpful for you to get a sense of the topic, what to consider, and ask when you plan your trip.
Please note that the information provided is maybe outdated when you read this article. In any case, please ask your travel agent or the airline about the latest pet-policy rules that are in place.

Table with information about Pet In Cabin rules of different airlines

Best Tips When Traveling with In-Cabin Dogs

Now that you know which airlines allow in-cabin dogs let’s discuss some tips you need to know, especially if this is the first time you are traveling with your dog.

An important note on Tranquilizers

Sedation is not advised since the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes are unpredictable. The decision to prescribe a tranquilizer for your pet should be made by your veterinarian.

Being Calm Training

Training the dog to stay calm during the flight is paramount as if they don’t, you risk them being sent to the cargo area as the airline won’t tolerate disturbance created for other passengers. When your dog knows your instructions and complies, you can give it emotional support from the humming of engines or minor annoyances.

A tired dog is easier to handle

A sleeping or sleepy dog is less bothered by flight disorder and may behave much calmer, so tire your dog before taking the flight. You may increase the playful activities with him before the flight.

Limited Food and Water before flying

Before you think we are cruel, this is no recommendation to have your dog hungry and thirsty but please consider the following. When flying with a dog or cat, it’s best to refrain from feeding them for 4-6 hours before flying. This will reduce on your pet’s need to go to the bathroom while in the air.

Dog Must Be Trained using the Kennel

Start early enough to train your dog to use the kennel and feel comfortable in it. Then, the dog shall get used to the smell and feel of it. Use a blanket or a towel to make it softer for the dog; maybe the dog has a favorite towel that helps him get used to the kennel more easily.

Know the Airports

Check before your leave about your departure and destination airports, where the exits, toilets, animal shelter, plus pet-relief areas are located. Pet-relief locations are a legal requirement in most airports in the USA. Keep a printed airport map or an image on your phone when traveling.

Plan Ahead

Planning is always a good thing no matter what you do and especially when traveling with your dog. So in this tips section, we suggest you plan the following things before flying with your dog.

Choose an airline that has excellent reviews being a dog-friendly airline
• While we are talking about traveling with your dog in a cabin, so it doesn’t hurt considering transporting the dog kennel through the cargo
• Some countries require a pet passport, so plan and get such a document well in advance
• Buy a suitable quality carrier and learn about different carriers beforehand
• Remember to pack all the essentials you might need on a flight like dog medicine, play toys, etc

What Do You Need Before Flying In-Cabin Dogs

While many documents are similar, like health checks, documents required before booking the dog vary with each airline. So generally, you would need some of these documents and tools.

  1. Microchip
    Especially important if you are traveling abroad so you can easily trace your dog if it gets lost. You can get these at your local vet’s.
  2. Rabies Vaccination
    Before entering other countries, local flights require it, too; no one wants to suffer from a dog bite, let alone rabies. You can get the shot from your vet or sometimes from local charities.
  3. Health Certificates
    We as humans are not necessarily immune to animal diseases and mostly don’t have antibodies for them, and that’s why airlines require you to provide a health certificate. You should get it from an official certified veterinarian and be approved by government authorities if importing or exporting.
  4. Some Additional Vaccinations
    Some countries, such as Turkey, require your dog to be vaccinated. The vaccination is against diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, etc.
  5. Parasite Treatment
    This treatment cures the dogs from internal and external parasites such as ticks, tapeworm, cestodes, etc., and is required by many countries.

Do I need to Pay Extra?

Yes, as some airlines consider it excess baggage, but some allow dogs in place of carry-on bags, so they don’t require extra.
Do International Flights Allow Dogs In-Cabin?
In our list, most allow it, but many don’t and ask you to transport them through cargo.
Is My Puppy Allowed to Travel In-Cabin?
Airlines have different minimum ages to carry on dogs in-cabin, and in our list, the minimum is 8 weeks.
Are Large Dogs Allowed In-Cabin?
Small dogs are allowed as they are needed to fit under the chair in front of you inside their carrier while some also don’t allow more than 8 kg.


Some of the airlines we mentioned at the start of the article allow traveling with dogs, and some of them even allow them on international flights. Each airline, though, has different rules and requires various documents, so do your homework and visit their website before booking tickets. Always double-check with their current pet-policies, CSRs or helpdesk.

Finally, Happy Travels!


Travelled the world. Visited 17 countries together with the dog. Information research expert, others would say an investigator.

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