Message Us

How to Prepare for Air Travel With Your Dog

By KimberlydeSilva. | Activities for Your Dog

New year, new adventures! Are you planning a big trip in 2017? And are you thinking about bringing your dog along for the ride (or flight)?

  Air Travel Tips With Your Pet Dog Besides working out where to stay and what to eat, there are many things to consider when flying with a pet. Here is how you can prepare yourself, and your dog, for air travel. As soon as you have decided on a destination, it is crucial to start planning your trip at least a month ahead of time. There is a lot to do!

1. Plan Your Trip

You will have to decide whether to bring your dog in the cabin with you - an option if your dog weighs less than 20 Lbs.- or check in your dog as luggage. In both instances, there is an additional fee for your dog (the price depends on your destination), unless your companion is a service dog or emotional support animal. If you have the choice, always go with in-cabin travel. There have been many incidents with animals traveling as cargo, including shock, injury and even death "“a pet owner's nightmare to be avoided at all costs. Give the airlines a call, before you book your flight, to reserve a spot on the plane for your dog. Do this sooner rather than later, because most airlines have a maximum number of dogs allowed on board. While you are on the phone, make sure to ask about airline-specific rules for travelling with your dog. The most important thing to know is the acceptable carrier measurements. The under-seat dimensions, where your dog will be "stowed", differ per airline and airplane; so don't forget to double check with them.

2. Buy an Airline-Approved Carrier

When you know how large your carrier can be, start shopping! But appropriate size is not the only airline requirement, the carrier should also adhere to other rules: your dog needs to be able to stand up and turn around, there needs to be enough ventilation and it has to be leak proof. Keep in mind that your dog will remain in this carrier during the entire flight (unless it is a service animal). There are a lot of options out there, but generally you can pick between a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier. For in-cabin travels, I suggest a soft carrier. Even if it is a little oversized, a soft carrier allows you to push down the top in order to fit under the seat.

3. Train Your Dog

Once you get a hold of the right carrier, you will need to train your dog to be comfortable in it starting four weeks in advance. It should feel like a safe space, similar to their crate, as they will be spending quite some time in it. The training process is exactly the same as crate training: a lot of positive reinforcement and treats. You can even add a cue, like "In your bag", to make the journey easier.

4. Do Research

Depending on your destination, you might need to schedule a visit to the vet. For certain countries, you need a special health certificate for your dog from a certified vet. Also ask your veterinarian for recommendations about flying with your dog. For instance, my vet vetoed the use of any type of sedation during the flight, as it could do more harm than good to my small dog.

5. Pack Your Bags

It's time to pack all the canine essentials: treats, food, a water bowl (collapsible ones are very convenient), poop bags and all the necessary documents. If you have a longer flight with layovers, I suggest packing pee-pads as well. This way, your dog can relieve him or herself anywhere in the airport when there is no other option.

6. Have a Safe Trip!

Now that the planning phase is over, relax and enjoy your travels! Dogs can sense when their owners are anxious and you don't want to make your dog nervous too. Trust that your preparation will pay off. Even though it takes a lot of organizing, it will all be worth it once you arrive at your destination. After all, a vacation with your dog is the best kind of vacation. Air Travel Tips and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers

kimberly de silvaKimberly de Silva

Kimberly de Silva is the author and creator of Her blog shares tidbits of the life of Bagel, a 10-month-old rescue puppy, in California. As a new dog mom herself, she offers advice (and blunders) to first-time dog owners. Kimberly moved from Belgium to California three years ago, after falling in love with San Diego. She recently graduated with her Master's in Communication, after which she fulfilled her life long dream of adopting a dog.


Signup/Login to post a reply


Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.


We liked the first cover so much that a few days later we purchased a second one. The cover installs very, very easily, fits and covers the rear seat and the back of the front seats of our Subaru Tribeca perfectly, has flaps that cover the door-side edges of the rear seat, and stays perfectly in place. Spilled or tracked water beads up on the material and can be easily wiped off. At first our dog did tend to slide just a little on the new cover, but he soon learned to stand, sit, and lay just as well as he did before on the uncovered seat. The hammock portion seems like it might provide some little bit of protection in a sudden stop (our guy will chew apart any "doggie seat belt" type of restraint in very short order - so that option is out of the question for us). As to keeping him out of the car front-area - well, our long-legged Standard Poodle has no problem in still looking closely out the front windshield by putting his front feet on the center console - straddling the hammock - with no problem whatsoever. But we did discover that having the hammock in place does allow us to safely keep his water bottle and dish, his leash, and an old towel on the floor under the hammock - where he can no longer get at them (especially the leash and towel) to chew on them. All in all, an excellent seat cover.


My furbabies don't like leather seats!!!! But they love this seat cover!!!

Very hard to find a split bench seat cover at a reasonable price, this one fit the bill. Easy to install, very durable and looks to be easy to clean. Wanted something that would protect the leather seats and was pet friendly (hate it when the material of regular seat covers snags toenails and collars). I don't think I will have to buy another for many years!!!

Jackie Carter

My Doodle approves!

Received on time, fits great and easy to install. Color is a great match. So far, so good. Durability? Time will tell. It appears to be well constructed.

Donald Fish

Fits my 2018 VW Tiguan perfectly

Very happy with our purchase. Fits perfectly, was easy to install and keeps the leather seats in our brand new vehicle perfectly clean.

Chris Campbell

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

Diane Breland


This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.


Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.


For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy