Flying with a Dog

Whether you are looking to embark on international travel with a dog or attempting dog transport interstate, travelling with a dog on a plane involves much thought and planning prior to taking off. Flying with dogs on planes in Australia is a common occurrence for many families, but there are rules and regulations that everyone must follow to ensure safe travel for themselves and their pets. When booking dog flights, there are many things to consider. To help you prepare for your journey, here is some helpful information about flying with dogs, and what you can do to ensure a positive experience for you and your pet.

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Understanding your dog: Insights from Dr. Elle Parker, Behaviour Veterinarian

Helpful information about flying with your dog and what you can do to ensure a positive pet travel experience.

Dog Flights in Australia

When you are looking to book pet flights in Australia, there are several airlines to choose from that support flying with a dog. For most commercial airlines, dogs on planes in Australia travel in the cargo hold for both their safety and the safety of other passengers. There are airlines that allow pets in the cabin in Australia for certain reasons (for example, to provide support for individuals living with disabilities). 
With so much to consider, it is important to thoroughly research the different options for flights for dogs and the rules surrounding flying with a dog. The airline websites are a good place to start for further information.

How Much Does It Cost to Fly a Dog?

Depending on where you are travelling, the airline you are flying with and the size of your pet, there are different cost options for flying with a dog. When exploring how much it costs to fly a dog interstate in Australia, it will vary depending on the carrier and the distance you are proposing to travel. When you are looking at how much it costs to fly a dog internationally, there may be additional costs associated to meet import requirements of the country they are entering (e.g. quarantine, additional vaccinations or blood tests). When researching flying with a dog, it is important to make sure that you have considered all the additional costs that may arise to ensure that you are not presented with any surprise, last-minute expenses.

Dog Transport Service

When you are looking for dog or puppy transport interstate or internationally, there are a variety of dog courier services and dog transport companies to assist with this process. These companies can help you understand the requirements of flying with a dog. This can better help you prepare, as well as offer an extra level of confidence in the travel process. If you choose to use dog shippers or couriers, researching the benefits and costs involved will help ensure that your dog enjoys the best travel experience possible.

Dog Flight Crate

Choosing a dog crate for flying is a crucial component of flying with a dog. It is important to make sure that you have selected an airline approved dog carrier to avoid any problems when presenting for your flight. There are a number of airline dog crate requirements that you must consider, including being of an appropriate size so that your pet can stand and turn around freely within the crate, having adequate ventilation and being in good repair and condition to ensure your dog can't escape.
It is also important that you prepare your dog for flying in a crate before they embark on their travels by crate training . To accommodate longer journeys, you could place a puppy pad in the crate to anticipate any bathroom needs your dog may have when they fly.

Preparing Your Dog for Flight

Flying isn’t always an enjoyable experience and can take a lot of preparation for us as humans to relax and mentally prepare for the process. Before flying with a dog, it is essential that you recognise the same is true for our canine friends. It is important to find ways to help them become comfortable with the crate in which they will be transported. You will need to begin this process  as far in advance as possible before the flight so that they will be comfortable throughout the journey. Following crate training strategies and establishing routines around the crate will help when flying with dogs as it acclimatises them and works to avoid any undue stress or anxiety during the flight. It can be helpful to work with a qualified trainer to implement an effective crate training plan catered to your dog’s individual needs. To search for qualified and accredited dog trainers, click here. Visiting your vet to ensure that your dog is healthy enough to travel and is up to date with relevant vaccinations and parasite control is also something you may need to do to prepare for their flying experience. Your vet may need to provide a dog health check certificate to allow your dog to travel.

Puppy Transport

While flying with a dog can be tricky, travelling with a puppy presents further challenges that you will need to consider. As with adult dogs, flying with a puppy in the cabin is not usually permitted. Flying can be a distressing experience, especially for a young puppy who has likely just left their mother and siblings for the first time. If there is a need to transport a puppy interstate, avoiding flying where possible can help to prevent any potential trauma or fear learning which cannot be erased and has long-lasting effects on the brain and central nervous system.


  • Flying with an Anxious Dog

    There are a number of things you can do when flying with a dog that is anxious or easily stressed. For example, crate training, calming pheromone collars and pheromone spray applied on bedding in the crate can help them feel more at ease. Before you try any strategy, it is important to consult your vet to ensure that it is appropriate for your dog. Any new products should always be tried in advance to see whether they are suitable for your dog. You should check with the airline or pet transport service about what can accompany the pet in the crate. When you know that you will be flying with a dog, investing in training opportunities in advance can also help alleviate anxiety or stress for your pet.

  • Flying with a Large Dog

    When flying with a dog, their size is an important factor. Transporting large dogs on flights is possible but they will require a large crate so that they can stand and sit comfortably and the costs may be significantly higher than for small dogs. It’s best to contact your airline or a dog transport company to discuss the requirements further.

  • Rule for Flying with Dogs on Planes

    Carriers may have different rules for flying with a dog, such as crate requirements and when to drop them off at the airport. It’s best to contact your airline or a dog transport company to discuss the rules further. 



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