Dear Dr. John
In a few weeks our family will be visiting our grandparents in Florida and hope to bring our little dog. She’s a little mongrel and I’m curious if she can fly with us on board. I would appreciate it if you could shed some light on this topic. Thank you.Florida
My family and I often fly to Florida with our small dog. Domestic airlines that fly to Florida and allow dogs on board include American, Delta, JetBlue, and United, according to some underlying research. There may be others. For all questions about traveling with dogs, please contact the airline.
Taking your dog on board means you don’t have to acclimate to a temperature certificate because it’s not in your baggage or storage area. Be sure to have your rabies vaccination documentation ready in case you are asked for it. All of these airlines also restrict the size of dogs, most requiring them to be under 20 pounds, but I’ve found dogs under 10 pounds fit more comfortably. These small dogs should be able to fit in a small carrier that fits under the seat in front of their paws.A collapsible soft dog carrier is more manageable and forgiving. However, you may not be able to get your dog out of the carrier and sit on your lap.
Also, all airlines charge extra for traveling with pets. This often ranges quite a bit from $125 one way. Book early as there are often restrictions on the number of dogs you can bring on board. Sedation should be selected in consultation with your veterinarian based on your dog’s personality and level of anxiety. Most airports have dog rescue areas and most domestic flights should allow dogs to be moved if necessary. Be sure to walk your dog when you arrive at the airport and when you return to your destination. We wish you safe travels.
Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. Contact him at 781-899-9994.