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Flying With Fido

December 1 2021

Season’s Greetings! The 2021 holiday season is shaping up to be much busier than last year’s was. And no surprise, many people like to bring their dogs along when traveling …. even on planes. Is that a good idea? A vet discusses flying with Fido below.

Think It Over

Flying can be fairly stressful for dogs. He doesn’t really understand how flying works, and can get very scared by the vibration and noise. Your canine buddy may be more comfortable and happier being boarded. You’ll also want to consider size. A small dog that fits in your lap will have a much smoother flight than a big pooch that flies in cargo. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Have Paperwork

Be sure to bring copies of Fido’s vaccination and registration records with you. Just slip the paper copies in your flight bag. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of them and email them to yourself. That way you’ll have them in your inbox and your phone gallery so you can access them online from anywhere.

Go Direct

Direct flights are much easier on your canine companion even though they may cost a bit more. Try to avoid layovers. Otherwise, if that isn’t an option, take the flight with the shortest stops.

Do Some Research

Pet travel policies can vary widely from airline to airline. This is one area where you definitely want to read the fine print! And also keep in mind that some airlines have much better safety records for pet travel than others. Before you book your flight, do some reading. You’ll also want to ask your vet about medication options that can make the trip easier on your four-legged pal.


Once you reach your destination, you may not be able to find Fido’s usual food and treats. Consider shipping some to your destination. Of course, if you’re staying at an AirBnB or hotel, you’ll need to coordinate with them or use a mail store.


Make sure your canine pal has been microchipped, and that the registry has up to date information. Fido will also need to wear ID tags. If he travels in a crate, put an ID on that as well. Luggage tags work well for this. Mailing labels can also work. And you can waterproof them by putting some clear tape over them.

Our Advice on Flying With Fido in 2024

Is flying with dogs recommended during the holiday season?

Flying with dogs during the holiday season can be challenging and is not recommended unless necessary. The experience can be stressful for pets due to unfamiliar noises, vibrations, and the environment. For smaller dogs that can travel in the cabin, the journey may be smoother, but larger dogs, which must fly in cargo, face greater risks. It’s essential to consider your pet’s comfort and well-being first. If travel is unavoidable, direct flights and thorough preparation are crucial. Consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and health precautions.

What factors should be considered before deciding to fly with a dog?

Before flying with a dog, consider their size, temperament, and health. Small dogs may travel in the cabin, offering a less stressful experience, while larger dogs must fly in cargo, posing potential risks. Assess your dog’s anxiety levels and response to unfamiliar environments. Health concerns, especially respiratory issues, warrant careful consideration. Consultation with a veterinarian is essential to discuss fitness for travel and any necessary precautions or medications. Additionally, review airline policies on pet travel to ensure compliance and safety.

What type of paperwork is necessary for flying with a dog?

When flying with a dog, it’s essential to have up-to-date vaccination records and registration documents. Airlines typically require proof of rabies vaccination at a minimum. It’s also wise to carry a health certificate from your vet, issued within 10 days of travel, confirming your dog is fit to fly. Some destinations may have additional requirements, such as parasite treatment documentation. Always check with your airline for specific paperwork requirements well in advance of your trip to ensure a smooth journey for you and your pet.

What precautions should be taken regarding a dog’s food and treats when traveling?

When traveling with a dog, ensure you have an ample supply of their regular food and treats to avoid dietary upset. Changes in diet can cause stress or digestive issues. If traveling by plane, consider shipping food to your destination in advance to avoid shortages. Always check with accommodations about receiving packages. For immediate needs, carry a portion of food in your carry-on. Also, research local pet stores at your destination that carry familiar brands. Maintaining a consistent diet is vital to keeping your dog comfortable and healthy during travel.

What are some ways to ensure a dog’s identification is secure while flying?

When flying with your dog, ensure their identification is secure by microchipping them and updating the registry with current information. Additionally, attach ID tags to their collar and crate, including your contact details. Luggage tags or mailing labels work well for crates and can be waterproofed with clear tape. Having multiple forms of identification increases the chances of reuniting with your pet in case they become separated during travel. It’s a crucial step in ensuring their safety and your peace of mind while flying.

Happy Holidays! Please feel free to contact us, your local animal clinic in Rialto, CA, anytime.

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