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Things to Remember When Traveling with a Dog

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Whether you’re moving and need to take your dog with you or you’re just headed for a nice vacation and want your furry friend to tag along, it’s not always a piece of cake. Here are some things you should remember when traveling with a dog:

Size Matters

When you decide you want to take your dog with you on your flight, the first thing to think about is how big or small he/she is. Many airlines will allow your dog to ride in the cabin of the plane with you, as long as he/she is small enough to fit in a travel carrier (usually around 15-20″ long, 12-13″ wide, and 8-9″ high) and is within the weight limit.  Each airline policy is different, however, so know the rules before you book your flight.

If your dog is medium-sized or large-sized, he/she will have to travel in the cargo area (or “belly”) of the plane. Airlines can differ in their policy for transporting pets; on some planes, the pet area is in with the luggage while on others, it’s in a separate area. Either way, you’ll have to say goodbye to your dog before you board and won’t be able to see him/her until you land.

Expect Fees

If you want to travel with your dog, you can expect to pay a fee depending on where the dog is located during the flight. If you travel with your dog in the cabin, it’s usually cheaper and will cost anywhere between $100 and $150 each way. If he/she travels in the cargo area (also known as “checking” your dog), it will cost you anywhere from $125 to $200 each way.

In other situations, such as if you’re a disabled passenger and your dog is assisting you, you’ll likely be able to travel with your dog for free.

Luggage Information

If you’re traveling with your dog in a carrier and are keeping him/her in the cabin with you, his/her carrier will usually count as your “carry-on” luggage (even though it requires a fee). In addition, most airlines only allow one dog carrier per person and the dog must stay in the carrier at all times.

Age/Health

Before you travel with your dog, check with your airline. Some require a health certificate for your canine friend (to review illnesses, shots, etc.) and many times, a dog has to be at least two months old in order to travel.