What Size Dog Fits Under Airplane Seat

Any pet parent who is planning to travel with their furry friend wants to ensure that their beloved companion is comfortable, safe, and stress-free during their journey. If you have a small dog, one of the most important things to consider when traveling by plane is whether your furry friend can fit under the airplane seat. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand the guidelines for traveling with your small dog, including airline pet policies, choosing the right carrier, preparing your dog for air travel, and tips for navigating security and in-flight emergencies with your furry friend.

Airline Pet Policies: A Comprehensive Guide

The very first thing you need to do when planning to fly with your furry friend is to research the airline’s pet policy. Each airline has its own rules, regulations, and requirements when it comes to flying with pets. Some airlines only allow dogs or cats in the cabin, while others may accept other types of pets as well. Additionally, each airline has its own requirements for pet carriers size, types, and weight restrictions.

It is important to keep in mind that some airlines might not accept pets at all, while some strictly limit the number of pets allowed per flight. Some airlines may also have specific breed restrictions for dogs, so be sure to check the airline’s policy before booking your flight.

Another important factor to consider when flying with your pet is the cost. Most airlines charge a fee for bringing your pet on board, and the cost can vary widely depending on the airline and the size of your pet. Some airlines may also require additional documentation, such as health certificates or vaccination records, so make sure to check the airline’s requirements well in advance of your travel date.

Understanding the Guidelines for Flying with a Small Dog

If you have a small dog, there’s a good chance that you can bring them onboard with you. However, the guidelines for traveling with a small dog can vary between airlines. In general, small dogs that can fit comfortably under the airplane seat are typically the only pets allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners.

Many airlines have specific size requirements for pet carriers that are allowed in the cabin. Generally, the maximum dimensions for an in-cabin carrier are around 17 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 8 inches high. However, the specific dimensions allowed will vary, so make sure to check with the airline you’re flying on.

It’s important to note that even if your small dog meets the size requirements for in-cabin travel, there may be other restrictions or fees associated with bringing them onboard. Some airlines may limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin per flight, or require additional documentation such as health certificates or vaccination records. Additionally, there may be fees associated with bringing your pet onboard, which can vary depending on the airline and the length of your flight. Make sure to research and understand all of the guidelines and fees associated with traveling with your small dog before booking your flight.

Best Dog Breeds for Traveling on an Airplane

When it comes to traveling on an airplane with your furry friend, not all dog breeds are created equal. Some dogs are better suited for air travel than others. Small dogs that can fit comfortably under the airplane seat are typically the best choice for traveling by plane. However, not all small breeds are necessarily ideal for air travel.

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Some of the best dog breeds for air travel include Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Maltese, Pomeranians, Yorkies, and French Bulldogs. These breeds are generally small, adaptable, and calm, making them well-suited for traveling.

It’s important to note that airlines have specific rules and regulations when it comes to traveling with pets. Before booking your flight, make sure to check with the airline to ensure that your dog meets their requirements. Some airlines may have restrictions on the size and breed of dogs that are allowed to travel in the cabin, while others may require a health certificate or proof of vaccinations. It’s also a good idea to prepare your dog for air travel by getting them used to their carrier and taking them on short car rides to help reduce anxiety.

How to Prepare Your Dog for Air Travel

It is essential to properly prepare your furry friend for air travel to ensure their comfort and safety during the journey. One of the best ways to prepare your dog for air travel is to slowly introduce them to their carrier well in advance of the trip. Ideally, you should start getting them familiar with their carrier at least a few weeks before you plan to fly.

You can also help your furry friend get used to in-cabin noises and sensations by practicing various aspects of air travel with them at home. This can include practicing walking around with the carrier, utilizing the seatbelt, and exposing them to the sounds of airplanes or airports.

Additionally, it is important to make sure your dog is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and has a health certificate from your veterinarian before traveling. Some airlines may require specific documentation, so it is important to check with your airline beforehand. It is also recommended to avoid feeding your dog a large meal before the flight to prevent any discomfort or potential accidents during the journey. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a smooth and stress-free air travel experience for both you and your furry friend.

Essential Items to Pack When Traveling with a Small Dog

When traveling with your little furry friend, packing the right gear is essential for ensuring their comfort and safety during the journey. Some of the essential items to pack when traveling with a small dog include food and water bowls, food and treats, leash and harness, poop bags, medications, and, of course, their carrier.

It is important to put some thought into how you pack so that everything is easily accessible and organized. You should also label all the dog’s belongings, including their carrier, with their name and your contact information in case they get lost or misplaced.

In addition to the essential items mentioned above, there are a few other things you may want to consider packing when traveling with your small dog. One of these is a comfortable blanket or bed for them to sleep on during the journey. This can help them feel more at ease and relaxed, especially if they are traveling in a new and unfamiliar environment.

Another item to consider packing is a first aid kit specifically designed for dogs. This should include items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers, as well as any medications your dog may need in case of an emergency.

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Choosing the Right Carrier for Your Airplane Traveling Dog

One of the most important things to consider when preparing for air travel with your furry friend is choosing the right carrier. Your dog’s carrier should be comfortable, spacious, and meet the airline’s standards for in-cabin travel.

Many airlines require that pet carriers be made of durable materials and have adequate ventilation and secure locking mechanisms. You should also make sure to measure your dog’s length, height, and width to ensure that the carrier is able to accommodate them comfortably.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a carrier for your dog is their temperament. If your dog is anxious or nervous, you may want to consider a carrier with a calming scent or pheromones to help them relax during the flight. Additionally, some carriers have features such as removable plush bedding or toys to help keep your dog comfortable and entertained during the flight.

It’s also important to consider the length of your flight when choosing a carrier. If you have a long flight, you may want to choose a carrier with more space for your dog to move around and stretch their legs. Some carriers even have built-in water and food dishes to ensure that your dog stays hydrated and fed throughout the flight.

Tips for Booking Your Flight with a Small Dog in Mind

Booking a flight with a small dog in mind can be a little tricky, but with the right information and planning, you can find the right flight for you and your furry friend. When booking a flight, make any necessary arrangements for your dog in advance of your travel dates.

Try to book direct flights whenever possible, since they reduce the overall travel time and can minimize the risk of your small dog getting lost in transit. Additionally, consider booking early morning or late evening flights when the temperature is cooler and thus more comfortable for your little companion.

Navigating Security with Your Airplane Traveling Dog

One of the potential challenges of traveling with a small dog is navigating security. You should be prepared for your carrier to go through the X-ray machine, while you and your furry friend are subject to metal detector screening.

To make the security process more comfortable for your small dog, make sure they are accustomed to being handled and restrained by strangers. You may also want to consider carrying relevant medical documentation and vaccination records in case you are asked by security.

Ensuring Your Dog’s Comfort during a Long Flight

The key to ensuring your dog’s comfort during a long flight is preparation. You should ensure that your dog has been taken out for a long walk and bathroom break before boarding and that they have access to their water and food throughout the flight.

You can also make the carrier more comfortable for your furry friend by adding soft bedding or a favorite toy. Depending on the airline, some carriers also have built-in pockets that allow you to supply water and treats without having to take the carrier out from under the seat.

The Dos and Don’ts of Flying with Your Furry Friend

When flying with your furry friend, there are certain dos and don’ts you should keep in mind to make the traveling experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible for everyone involved. Do ensure that your dog is healthy and up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations and paperwork.

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Don’t give your furry friend too much food or water before a flight, and do opt for a light meal instead. Do call your airline ahead of time to check on any specific requirements or restrictions, and don’t wait until the last minute to make sure everything is in order.

How to Deal with In-Flight Emergencies When Traveling with a Pet

While it’s not a common occurrence, it’s essential to be prepared for any in-flight emergencies that may arise while traveling with your furry friend. The best way to prepare is to know the signs of common pet health issues such as dehydration, motion sickness, and respiratory problems.

If your furry friend seems unwell, contact the flight attendant immediately for assistance. In the event of an emergency, you can also work with the flight staff to administer any emergency medications, and use a small ice pack to help cool your dog down if they get overheated.

Alternatives to Flying with Your Small Dog

Flying is not always the best option for every pet parent and their furry companion. There are alternative options that you can consider if you prefer not to fly with your small dog.

You can consider driving or taking a train instead of flying, but these options may take longer and require more preparation. If you are traveling within the US, you can consider taking road trips with your furry friend, or simply staying closer to home.

What to Expect When Arriving at Your Destination with a Small Pet

When you arrive at your destination with your furry friend, you will need to go through customs and have your dog examined to ensure that all health requirements are met. You should also have your pet’s medical records, vaccinations, and any relevant documentation on hand just in case.

Once you pass through customs, you can expect to be greeted with various pet-friendly destinations, including pet-friendly hotels, parks, and recreation areas where your furry friend can stretch their legs and play after a long journey.


Traveling with a small dog can be an amazing experience, but it does require careful planning and preparation. By understanding the guidelines for traveling with your small dog, researching airlines’ pet policies, choosing the right carrier, preparing your dog for air travel, and being prepared with the right gear and documentation, you can help ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone involved.

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