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Helpful Tip to Travel with your ESA Dog on a Plane

Traveling with a pet is more stressful than traveling by ourselves as most of our pets haven’t experienced a long trip yet. In my experience, the key to take a successful and less-stressful trip with your pet is to check up the pet policy of airlines and contact them to confirm all the requirements ahead of booking a ticket. If you make sure that your presa canario would easily go through this challenge, just do it!

The truth about cats and dogs

Some helpful tips for you to travel with your ESA on a plane.

Check size requirements for pets in the cabin. Generally, airlines won't allow pets in the cabin unless they are small enough (with their carrier) to fit in the area under the seat in front of you. You typically aren't allowed to purchase an additional seat for your pet. Each airline has its own policies, however, so check with the airline you're flying on, even if you've flown with your pet before.

  • Dogs typically are subject to size and weight restrictions. These restrictions will be listed on the airline's website. You can call the website's customer service number before booking a ticket.
  • Emotional support animals such as an ESA letter for housing are always allowed to fly with the owner without extra fees.

Book a direct flight whenever possible, especially if your pet will travel in the cargo holds.

Any checked "baggage," including a pet, can get lost or misdirected if you have a connecting flight – especially if there are delays. Direct flights keep delays to a minimum. Additionally, you likely won't be able to tend to your pet during the layover. Avoid traveling with your pet in cargo if you are traveling to or from an area with extreme weather conditions. Check the airline's temperature guidelines. Many airlines will not carry animals in the cargo hold if it is going to be extremely hot or extremely cold. 

Ask the airline about health and immunization requirements.

If you plan to have your pet with you in the cabin of the plane, the airline may have additional immunization requirements, health certificates, or other documentation for your destination. Plan on taking your pet to the veterinarian within a few weeks of your trip to get a health certificate. Carry the original and at least 1 photocopy with you.

Confirm that your pet's carrier meets airline guidelines.

Each airline has guidelines that govern the size and specifications of animal carriers allowed on the plane. If you already own a carrier that doesn't meet these guidelines, you may have to purchase a new carrier for your trip. Additionally, airlines also require an ESA Letter, so you must have an emotional support dog letter with you. If you don’t have an ESA letter, then you must contact some legitimate service to help you get you an ESA letter.

Some airlines allow both hard and soft-sided carriers in the cabin, while others only allow hard-sided carriers. For the in-cargo travelers, get "LIVE ANIMAL" stickers from shipping, hardware, or office supply store, and make sure your pet has access to freshwater.

Put a safe collar on your pet with ID tags.

Your pet should be wearing a soft, comfortable collar for travel. Choose a collar that doesn't present a danger of getting caught on anything in the carrier, or in the carrier door. Include ID tags that clearly list your name and contact information.

Take a leash or harness with you to the airport. Once you arrive at the airport, it may be several hours before you board the plane. If you have a dog or cat, a harness or leash will allow you to walk your pet before boarding and once you land.

Have your pet's nails trimmed before the trip?

Neat, trimmed nails ensure your pet won't scratch itself or anyone else. You'll also keep your kangal shepherd dog nails from getting caught in the carrier's door, ventilation holes, or other seams and crevices in the carrier.

Good luck!


Related Articles:

Do You Have to Pay a Pet Deposit for an Emotional Support Animal?

The Fair Housing Act and Assistance Animals

Can I keep Two Emotional Support Animals?

Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal?

Simple Hacks to Get an ESA Letter – Guide


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