Bringing your pooch on a plane? Here’s what you need to know


  • Animals
  • Monday, 01 Apr 2019

Dogs are fundamentally prohibited in the cabin, although in some cases a dog can be brought on board in a transport box or carrier, depending on the size and weight of the animal. Photo: dpa

Sometimes, a travel destination is not reachable by car, rail or bus, but only by plane. And for those who wish to bring their dog along, that means taking several extra steps when booking the flight.

Such a decision must be well-planned. Spontaneously buying a last-minute ticket with the dog in tow is not a good idea.

First off, dog owners have to find out what their chosen airline’s rules are, regarding taking animals along, notes Udo Kopernik of the German Kennel Association (VDH). For example, some airlines will carry dogs only on domestic flights.

Dogs in the cabin are fundamentally prohibited, although in some cases a dog can be brought on board in a transport box or carrier, depending on the size and weight of the animal. If the dog and box weigh more than 8kg, then usually the animal must travel as a special item in the plane’s cargo hold.

In this case, the owner should attach to the crate all the important documents, such as identification designating that it is a domestic pet, onto the crate. The name and address of the owner should also be on the travel crate.

Before the flight, the dog owner should take the pet out for a lengthy walk and then reach the airport on time. The dog should also be allowed to get acquainted with the crate beforehand in order to gain the pet’s trust that it’s a safe place to withdraw and relax.

Kopernik advises against giving the animal tranquillisers for the flight, because they can cause unexpected side effects. It’s better to put a T-shirt with the owner’s scent, or a toy, in the crate. – dpa


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