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Traveling by Plane with a Dog – Care and Precautions


Taking a flight with a pet can be very stressful for the guardian and the pet. Each airline maintains its specific rules for each case; in addition, traveling by plane with a dog to some international destinations can be even more bureaucratic, as it is necessary to present proof of vaccination and, in some cases, electronic microchip and additional health certificates.

Traveling by Plane with a Dog - Care and Precautions

Traveling by Plane with a Dog – Care and Precautions

Now, if it is difficult for you to think about all these bureaucracies and still face a flight, imagine for your pet, which will be placed inside a transport box or cage without having any idea what will happen.

Did it cut your heart? Pay attention to some precautions that can make your trip more peaceful and trauma-free for your dog.

Difference between a car trip and a plane trip

Transporting a pet animal on a plane is quite different from transporting it inside the car. The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) imposes a series of requirements, such as the health certificate issued by a veterinarian, valid for ten days from the date of issue, and proof of rabies vaccine, taken between 30 days and one year before the boarding.

All companies require the pet to be taken in a shipping box and each has its specifications regarding weight, quantity, and where to take it. Another essential piece of information is that animals of certain breeds are prohibited from traveling by plane, such as brachycephalics (with short or flat snouts), which may have difficulty breathing during the flight.

For the transport of domestic animals via land, the correct thing is to use specific transport boxes for the size of the pet or seat belt, measures that prevent accidents and ensure the life of the driver, passengers, and the pet itself.

Taking a pet on the plane: how to protect it?

In air travel it is mandatory to use a specific transport box for pets, respecting the size of the pet. Even with this care, the animal can still be stressed and agitated during the trip. The tip is to keep some toys so that he can be distracted and even offer food as a reward for good behavior. The box should also be big enough so that he can stand or lie down and be able to move, but not so big that it doesn’t make him feel protected and welcomed by the temporary house.

A good way to define the ideal transport box is: place your pet inside the box and make sure he can stand on all fours and walk around without hitting the walls. Too much space and too little space should be avoided.


The use of a tranquilizer is not recommended, except in cases indicated by the veterinarian or on very long trips, but if this is not possible, give preference to natural medicines and do a test before the trip to find out how the pet reacts to the medicine.

At the end of the trip, the dog must be fed and drink plenty of water to combat the natural dehydration of air travel. If the pet is transported in the cargo compartment, the pilot and crew must be informed that there is live cargo, to leave the space in good conditions of ventilation and temperature.

Dog on the plane: know the safety items

When booking airline tickets, confirm with the company if it is possible to travel by plane with a dog, and if the answer is positive, see if it has specifications regarding the transport box, which should be comfortable and safe for the animal.

The box must also have a specific compartment for water and feed, although it is not recommended to feed the pet during flights to avoid seasickness.

For the pet to be transported in the passenger cabin, its weight added to the weight of the transport box must not exceed 10 kilos. Higher weight animals are transported in the cargo hold.

Do not forget to put a collar with identification on the pet and its contact information; do the same with the box.

Final tip: in addition to checking the airline’s orders, it is essential that you know the rules of your destination. The requirements change a lot according to each country and, even, between the states of Brazil, so keep an eye out.