Is there any airline that will allow my large dog to travel with us in the cabin?
This is a question we at DJANGO Dog Blog get frequently.
An increasing number of dog owners are traveling with their pups, both domestically and internationally. Just two years ago, Mike and I (Steph) flew with our dachshund Django to Europe. We spent three weeks bouncing around France and Italy with our little guy. We fortunately had no issues bringing Django since he's 15 lbs and fits comfortably in an airline-approved pet carrier.
We wish we could tell you otherwise, but unfortunately no airlines that we know of allow large dogs in-cabin. When we say large, we are referring to dogs that cannot fit under a plane seat in an airline-approved pet carrier.
The only exceptions are if the dog is a certified service animal (i.e. a guide dog for the blind) or, in some cases, an emotional support animal or therapy animal.
Most U.S. airlines including United, Delta and American allow emotional support dogs. Please do keep in mind, however, that weight and occasionally breed restrictions still apply. United Airlines, for instance, has a 65lb weight limit for emotional support dogs. Delta does not accept pit bulls as service or support animals, and they don't allow ESAs on flights with a duration longer than 8 hours. American Airlines requires that service animals and ESAs fit at your feet, under your seat or in your lap.
We always recommend that you visit an airline's pet policy page prior to booking travel (here are the in-cabin pet policies of every major international airline).
Even if you are willing to pay a first class fare for your pup, unfortunately the same rule applies: no large dogs. In fact, most airlines prohibit dogs in first class entirely. The only exception we are aware of is Lufthansa which allows small dogs and cats in business class on certain transatlantic flights.
Yes! You have two options for getting overseas with your larger dog.
Most major airlines allow large dogs to fly via cargo, or in the hold of the plane. And despite
Dogs that fly via cargo must be transported in rigid, well-ventilated animal crates. The crates are secured in a climate-controlled, pressurized compartment of the hold apart from the rest of the luggage.
The most reputable airlines have well-defined and enforced animal transport programs to ensure the safety and comfort of your dog. For example, Delta and American Airlines have strict Temperature Policies for warm-blooded animals. American's policy states that dogs are only transported when ground temperatures are between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures your pup is never exposed to extreme temperatures if the cargo area's climate-control mechanism fails.
Most airlines also prohibit snub-nosed dogs, or brachycephalic breeds, from flying via cargo. Short-nosed dogs like bulldogs, boxers, pugs and boston terriers can experience respiratory distress when they are stressed or overheated. For the safety of these dogs, you'll find that airlies prohibit their travel via cargo.
If you are adamant about not putting your dog in cargo, you have one more travel option: sea travel.
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the only ship that allows the transatlantic transportation of dogs from New York City to Southampton, England. There are 24 kennels that are overseen by a “Kennel Master” who walks, feeds and cleans the pet area. The kennels are open throughout the day, so pet owners can visit and walk their dogs as often as they’d like. You can find more about the kennel arrangements by calling Cunard at (800) 728-6273.
The downside to sea travel is the time commitment, usually 7 days at sea. The price will also be higher than economy air travel, especially once you account for the cost of your pet’s care. With that said, this is a very safe travel option for anyone going to Europe with their larger dog – and the only way to avoid putting him or her in cargo.
Planning a trip with your pup? Check out DJANGO's additional pet travel resources:
When looking to buy your dog a new harness, collar, or winter-ready dog coat, you will always need to know your dog's measurements. While it might be tempting to select a product size based on your best guess, this can lead to unnecessary and time-consuming exchanges or returns down the road.
Dog apparel outfitters like DJANGO use a few key dog measurements in their size charts: chest girth, neck girth, back length, and height (also known as "withers"). Not sure what some or all of these mean?
We (Steph and Mike) know that measuring your dog for harnesses, clothes, pet carriers and shoes is confusing and may make you want to hide your measuring tape. In this DJANGO Dog Blog article, we cover how to correctly measure your dog's neck girth, chest girth, back length, height, and paws.
If you’re a new dog owner, you are probably feeling equal parts excited and overwhelmed. After all, the joy of being a dog owner is unparalleled. But it is difficult to get on top of everything that is involved with dog ownership, especially if owning a dog is uncharted territory for you.
To ensure you’re as prepared as possible for this new and exciting responsibility, we’ve highlighted three vital things to keep in mind. Following them will help ensure you get off to the right start from the get-go.