Types of dogs that can fly in cabin
Thinking of taking your dog abroad with you?
Whether you’d like to take your dog on holiday, or are relocating to another country, you don’t need to leave your dog behind. There are many dog breeds that can fly in cabin. However, most airlines will only allow small dogs on board, so, if you are the owner of a chihuahua or similar sized dog, you are in luck!
In this article, we will outline the rules and regulations in order to fly with a dog, and list dog breeds that can fly in cabin with you.
What size dog can fly in cabin?
Generally, only very small and light dog breeds can fly in the cabin with their owners.
The rules and regulations have been set out by International Air Transport Association (IATA) ensure that dogs are comfortable when travelling. Thus, inside their travel carriers, dogs must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).
Although the size requirements of the carrier vary between airlines, usually only dogs that are smaller than 11 inches tall and 18 inches long are permitted.
Unfortunately, even if you have a very small dog, they may not be permitted to fly in cabin. Many airlines have restrictions on the dog breeds they permit on their flights.
21 dog breeds that can fly in cabin.
The following are all small dog breeds that can fly in cabin, as long as they are smaller than 11 inches tall and 18 inches long and weigh less than 9kg:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Toy Poodle
- Bichon Frise
- Jack Russell
- Miniature Pinscher
- Dachshund / Sausage Dog
- Toy Fox Terrier
- Toy Schnauzer
- West Highland Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Australian Terrier
- Norfolk Terrier
The following snub-nosed dog breeds may be able to fly in cabin, as long as you fly with an airline with no breed restrictions:
- Shih Tzu
- Japanese Chin
Which dog breeds cannot fly in cabin?
Unfortunately, some airlines have restrictions on the dog breeds they permit on their flights. So, even if you are the owner of a very small dog, they may not be able to fly with you.
The following brachycephalic and snub-nosed breeds are often banned from flying in both the cabin and cargo:
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Boston Terriers
- Brussels Griffon
- Bulldogs (all breeds)
- Cane Corso
- Chow Chow
- Dogue De Bordeaux
- English Toy Spaniel
- Japanese Chin
- Lhasa Apso
- Mastiff (all breeds)
- Presa Canario
- Shar Pei
- Shih Tzu
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Tibetan Spaniel
What are the rules and regulations for flying with dogs in cabin?
The rules and regulations for flying with dogs in cabin vary between airlines, however generally they state the following:
1. Dogs must be no more than 11 inches tall and 18 inches long.
As stated above, airlines generally require that your dog can fit comfortably in a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you during the flight. Although the carrier requirements vary between airlines, this usually means that your dog cannot be more than 11 inches tall or 18 inches long.
2. Dogs must usually weigh less than 9kg / 20 pounds.
Most airlines state that dogs and their carrier combined, weigh no more than 9kg or 20 pounds.
This does vary slightly between airlines. For example, American Airlines requires that the combined weight of your pet and the carrier cannot be more than 9kg at the time of check in. On the other hand, Air Europa have a limit of 8kg. Delta and Southwest have no limit on the weight, however they state that dogs must fit comfortably in their carrier, under the seat in front of you.
3. Dogs must stay in their travel carriers at all times.
Generally, you are not permitted to take your dog out of their kennel in the airport or whilst boarded the plane. This does mean no potty breaks, so make sure your dog goes to the toilet before entering the airport.
With that said, some airports have specific areas designated for dogs to stretch their legs and go potty.
4. Dogs must be at least 10 weeks old.
In order to travel domestically, dogs must generally be at least 10 weeks old. If you are traveling internationally, your dog must generally be at least 16 weeks old.
5. Only one pet per kennel.
Only one pet is allowed per kennel except in the following conditions:
- One female dog is traveling with her unweaned litter of puppies who are between the ages of 10 weeks and 6 months. There is no limit on the number of puppies in the litter so long as the weight limits are not exceeded.
- 2 pets of the same breed and size between the ages of 10 weeks and 6 months may share a kennel.
6. You must have all the required documentation.
The documents required to fly with a dog in cabin will vary depending on which airline you are flying with, and where you are flying from and to. If you are flying domestically, some airlines do not require any documentation. Southwest, for example. However, other airlines require your pet’s health book. Aegean Air, for example.
You will need more paperwork if you are traveling abroad, in which cases you will usually require the following:
- Microchip certificate
- Rabies vaccination certificate
- Animal health certificate
- Additional vaccination certificates
- Rabies titer test results
- Parasite treatment certificate
We will go into these requirements in more detail below.
7. You must be over 18 years old.
An unaccompanied minor may not bring a pet in the cabin with them.
8. Dogs must be well behaved.
A pet that shows disruptive behavior may be denied boarding. Examples of disruptive behavior include (but are not limited to):
- Scratching, excessive whining or barking
- Growling, biting, lunging
- Urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area
- Transporting Vietnamese Pets to Singapore
- International Pet Transport from Noi Bai to Liverpool
- Sending handicrafts from Viet Nam to overseas market