Ultimate Guide for Flying with Your Doodle 2023

Flying with Small Doodles

Flying with small Doodles can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Whether you're taking a short domestic flight or embarking on an international travel, proper preparation and knowledge are key to ensuring a smooth and comfortable journey for both you and your Doodle.

labradoodle in car with head out the window

Preparing for Flying with a Small Doodle

Preparing for flying with a small Doodle involves several important steps to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey. Opt for direct flights whenever possible to minimize stress and avoid unnecessary layovers. Additionally, consider booking flights during less crowded times of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to reduce the chances of overcrowded cabins.

On the day of travel, make sure to prepare your Doodle for the journey. This may include acclimating them to their pet carrier or kennel ahead of time, ensuring they have necessary health certificates and vaccinations, and packing their favorite toys or comfort items. It is also advisable to feed and exercise your Doodle before the flight to keep them comfortable during the journey.

By following these steps and considering your small Doodle's needs, you can make flying a positive experience for both you and your furry friend.


When planning to fly with your small Doodle, one of the first steps is to register your pet with the airline. Most airlines require advance notification for pet travel, so it's essential to call the airline in advance to reserve a spot for your furry friend on the flight.

During the registration process, the airline will provide you with specific instruction and request information such dog breed, size, and weight. By registering your Doodle in advance, you can secure a spot for them on the flight and ensure that all necessary arrangements are made to accommodate their needs. This will help you and your dog to have a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Keep in mind that the registration process may differ depending on whether your dog is a service or emotional support animal. Service animals have different regulations and may not require advance notification. However, it's still advisable to inform the airline about your service animal to ensure a smooth travel experience.


When it comes to flying with your Doodle, you have two main baggage options: traveling with your pet in the cabin or as checked luggage in the cargo hold

If you prefer to have your furry friend by your side throughout the flight, you can travel with them in the cabin. Most airlines have specific requirements for carrying a pet in the cabin, such as using a TSA-approved pet carrier that can fit comfortably under the seat in front of you. This ensures the safety and well-being of your pet during the journey.

It's important to note that airlines have age and weight restrictions for pets traveling in both the cabin and the cargo hold. These restrictions vary, so be sure to check with your airline beforehand.

If your Doodle doesn't meet the requirements to travel in the cabin or if you simply prefer to have them transported as checked luggage, they can be placed in a specialized pet carrier and checked in with your other baggage.


TSA-approved pet carriers come in both soft-sided and hard-sided options. Soft-sided carriers are usually recommended for small dogs as they are more flexible and easier to fit under the seat in front of you. They should be well-ventilated, with mesh windows for proper airflow. Hard-sided carriers, on the other hand, provide more protection and durability. They should have proper ventilation holes for air circulation and a secure locking mechanism.

Other important things to keep in mind: double check your airline's carrier size restrictions, ensure carrier is leak-proof to prevent any accidents during the flight, ensure carrier is easily accessible, with a secure zipper or latch system.

It is important to note that airlines have a limited number of pet carriers allowed per flight. Be sure to check with the airline in advance and reserve your spot for your pet's carrier. Some airlines also offer the option to check a pet stroller or crate for free.

And before your flight, familiarize your dog with the carrier to ensure a comfortable and stress-free travel experience.

Pre-Flight Paperwork

When flying with your Doodle, it is highly recommended to travel with your dog's medical records and license. These records are essential in case of emergencies or if your dog needs medical attention during the trip.

Additionally, check the rules and regulations of your destination country. Some countries may have specific health and vaccination requirements for pets entering the country. Familiarize yourself with these rules to avoid any issues or delays during your journey.

Age Restrictions

For small Doodles, typically weighing less than 20 pounds, there are generally no age restrictions for traveling in-cabin with you. However, it's always a good idea to check with the specific airline for any age requirements they may have in place.'


For pets traveling in the cabin, most airlines charge a pet-in-cabin fee, typically ranging from $95 to $150 each way. However, service animals are often exempt from these fees.

Day of Flying with a Small Doodle


When checking in with your small Doodle at the airport counter, there are a few important steps to keep in mind. First, make sure to arrive early to allow plenty of time for the check-in process. This is especially crucial during peak travel times when security lines can be long and time-consuming.

During the check-in process, you will need to provide all necessary documentation, such as health certificates and proof of vaccinations. Additionally, you will need to follow any specific guidelines provided by the airline for carrying your pet, including using an approved pet carrier and paying any applicable fees.

By arriving early and informing the airline in advance, you can help make the check-in process smoother and increase the chances of securing a spot for your small dog on the flight. This will ensure a stress-free and comfortable journey for both you and your beloved pet.


Before going through security, you will need to remove your pet from its carrier. This allows security personnel to screen the carrier separately while you hold onto your pet. You will then walk through the security checkpoint together.

To make the process efficient, it's helpful to have the necessary identification and contact information clearly displayed on the pet carrier. This should include your name, phone number, and any other relevant contact details. This ensures that airline staff can easily reach you in case of any unexpected situations or emergencies.

At the Airport

The most important rule is that dogs must remain in their carriers unless you are passing through security or the designated pet relief area. This ensures the safety and comfort of both the dog and other passengers.


One of the most important rules is that your pet must remain in its carrier for the entire flight. This carrier should fit completely under the seat in front of you, allowing your pet to stay secure and within your reach throughout the journey.

It's essential to remember that removing the pet from the carrier during the flight is not allowed. The carrier should not be stored on your lap or in an overhead bin at any point. This ensures the safety of your pet as well as prevents any potential disruptions or inconvenience for other passengers.

Flying with Large Doodles 

Traveling with larger Doodles requires additional planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey.

bernedoodle with tongue out

Preparing for Flying with a Large Doodle

Preparing for flying with a large Doodle requires careful planning and consideration. Before booking your ticket, it is important to research the airline's pet policies and restrictions. By thoroughly researching airline pet policies, understanding weight limits, and obtaining the necessary health certificates, you can be well-prepared for flying with your large dog.

Booking a Cargo Hold Trip

One important thing to note is that most airlines do not allow booking pets via cargo until 10 days before the trip. This means that you should set your pet's travel plans as early as possible to avoid any last-minute stress or complications.

When booking a cargo hold trip, you have a couple of options. One option is to have your dog fly as checked luggage on the same flight as you. This allows you to have more control and oversight during the journey. Another option is to have your dog fly unaccompanied as shipping cargo. This may be more suitable for longer flights or if you are unable to accompany your pet.

To book a cargo hold trip, contact the airline directly and inquire about their specific process and requirements. They will guide you through the steps and provide you with any necessary forms or documents. Be prepared to provide important details such as your pet's breed, size, and health information.

Crate Requirement

It important to note that airlines have specific crate requirements to ensure the safety and comfort of your furry friend during the journey. The crate must be spacious enough for your dog to move, stand, and turn freely without their head or ears touching the roof.

To meet the crate requirement, it is essential to choose a crate with certain characteristics. Firstly, the crate should have a solid roof to provide protection for your dog. This helps to prevent any accidental injuries during the flight. Additionally, the crate should have one secure-close metal door to ensure that your dog remains securely inside the crate throughout the journey.

It is also important to select a crate made of a rigid material that does not bend under pressure. This ensures that the crate remains intact and provides a sturdy and safe environment for your dog.

Provide comfort for you Doodle during the flight by familiarizing them with the crate beforehand. Lett hem spend time in it beforehand and include special toys or blankets to provide comfort during the flight.

Age Restrictions

Most airlines have specific rules in place for pets traveling in the cargo hold. Dogs that are 16 weeks or younger usually require special arrangements and should contact the airline directly to ensure they can fly safely.

Regardless of age or travel method, it is crucial to ensure that your dog is in good health and meets all necessary health requirements for air travel. To ensure your dog's well-being, it is highly recommended to check with your veterinarian and obtain a health certificate prior to your trip.


Schedule a visit to your veterinarian well in advance of your travel date. Your vet can provide a health examination for your dog and issue a health certificate, which is often required by airlines. The health certificate verifies that your dog is in good health and up to date on vaccinations.

In addition to the health certificate, it is important to have proper identification for your dog. This includes vaccination certificates and information on your dog's microchip, if applicable. Airlines may require this information to ensure the safety and health of all passengers, including pets.

Lastly, be sure to fill out any necessary airline forms regarding your dog's travel. Some airlines require specific information such as breed, size, and crate dimensions. By having all the necessary documentation in order, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable journey with your small dog.


Travel fees for Doodles in cargo typically start at around $200 one-way. Additionally, some airlines may require pet owners to check in at the airport and pay additional pet fees ranging from $100 to $125. Proper identification may also be required during the check-in process.

Day of Flying with a Large Doodle

goldendoodle standing on cement with grass

Check-In and Security

Head to the passenger check-in desk to complete the necessary paperwork for your Doodle's travel. Provide all requested information and ensure you have all the documents required by the airline. This may include a health certificate and vaccination records. Please note, some airlines may have specific drop-off times or requirements, so it's essential to confirm these details.

After checking in your Doodle, you will need to proceed through the security checkpoint. Follow the instructions provided by the airline and be prepared to remove any necessary items, such as collars or leashes, during the screening process.


Contact the airline upon arrival at your destination to confirm the location for picking up your dog. Airlines typically have designated pet pickup areas, separate from the passenger terminals.

When picking up your dog, you may be required to provide proof of identification and sign necessary paperwork. Ensure you have all the required documents, including your ID and any authorization forms provided by the airline.

Best Flying Accessories for Doodles

Best Food & Water Bowls: Prima Pet - Collapsible Bowl

Best Portable Water Bottle: MalsiPree - Dog Water Bottle

Best Anxiety Jacket: ThunderShirt - Dog Anxiety Jacket

Best In-Cabin Soft Carrier: Sherpa - On Wheels Travel Pet Carrier

Best Carrier Insert Pads: DryFur - Carrier Insert Pads

Best Crate for Cargo: Petmate - Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Best GPS Tracker: Tractive - GPS Tracker for Dogs

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