This is the ultimate packing list for flying with your dog for beginners

Flying with pets is a challenge, whether you choose to bring your pet along for a vacation or if it’s your only option. Since I have only flown twice with my dogs, I am not an expert and cannot tell you all the details about the process. You can find that information in the following articles. Ask questions and read.

This post was sponsored by Sleepypod. Beagles & Bargains is compensated for sharing information about Sleepypod.

9 Lessons Learned When Flying With a Dog in Cabin By You Did What with Your Weiner
One of the first blogs I read BEFORE our flight! *
Tips on Traveling with a Dog in an Airplane By Dog Mom Days
10 Air Travel Tips for Small Dogs By Irresistible pets

How To Fly Internationally With A Dog By Long Haul Trekkers
Bookings for flying with your cat by Cats going Places

How To Take Your Dog On A Plane By NerdWallet
BarkPost: 16 things you must know before flying with your dog
8 steps to take before flying with your dog by

We didn’t choose to fly with Ralph & Luna because we thought that they’d have a great time (they didn’t). We chose to fly with them because we didn’t want to leave them in doggy-boarding or with a pet sitter for almost 3 weeks during a holiday. We chose to fly the pups instead of either boarding them or leaving them with a sitter for nearly 3 weeks during our holiday.

Although I don’t fly often with my dogs I am a packer and worrier who pays attention to every detail. I know exactly what I packed to keep the plane from being hostile towards us, and what I wish I had packed. My dogs don’t always behave perfectly when they fly. Some dogs can be jerks. I envy people who have dogs that accept their fate, and just chill out until they land. This is NOT Ralph & Luna. This list is not for you if you’re an expert in traveling with dogs.

If you’ve never flown before with your dog, or have only done so a few times. You’ve been considering it but aren’t sure if it is a better option than a road trip. This list is perfect if it’s been a long time since you took a trip and you have forgotten everything.

Before You Go

  • Make sure your dog can fit under the seat directly in front.
  • Choose a carrier that is comfortable for your dog. We like the Sleepypod Air, because it folds to fit under the seat. It can then be expanded to provide more space between take-off and landing. Read more about our experience using this carrier by clicking here.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Get your dog used to the carrier if they don’t spend much time there already. Early training is key. Praise and treat your child at each step. This is our method:
    • Let your dog explore the carrier both empty and open.
    • Treats can be used to guide your dog into the carrier. Have them stay in there for a short time.
    • Increase the time spent inside.
    • Close the carrier slowly, once you are comfortable.
    • Keep them in the carrier for 30 seconds, one minute, five minutes, or up to 20-30 min.
    • As soon as they feel comfortable in the house for a long time, you can start changing the environment. Play music (or airplane noises). Move the carrier and pick it up. Take a drive. You can’t prepare for the exact conditions on an airplane, but you can train to be prepared.
  • Consult your dog’s vet. Your airline may require a Health Certificate. You can also discuss your fears about flying with your veterinarian, and they may be able to give you some tips on how to keep your dog calm while in the air. You can make sure that you have enough medicine for the entire trip if your dog is on medication.
  • If necessary, update the microchip information of your dog. Double check that it is correct.
  • To book your dog’s flight, call your airline. There are limits on the number of pets allowed per plane.

Paws to Prosperity: Coastal Pet Products Success Story 2024


  • TSA Compliant Carrier. We love our Sleepypod Air!
  • Collar with Leash
  • Harness
  • Rolls of Poop Bags. They can come in handy when you have accidents, upset stomachs or other mess.
  • A Few Paper Towels. They are also great for any unexpected mess. You can get some in the airport bathrooms if you forgot to bring any.
  • Water Bottle. Be sure to empty it before you go through security.
  • Pop Up Water Bowl
  • Calming Aid Benedryl or Hemp Oil. CBD is also a good option.
  • Small and Soft Treats. Perfect for breaking into small, tiny pieces to keep their attention while on a plane or other stressful situations.
  • High-Value Treats. To get your pup back in their carrier.
  • Chews. Use with Caution. You don’t want them to be overfed! The plane has no dog toilet.
  • Food. Bring at least 2-3 meals just in case your luggage is damaged.
  • Prescription Medicine
  • Bandana scented with your scent. This can help your dog to feel more at ease in their carrier. Each dog was given a bandana, which we then changed before leaving.
  • Airlines pet policy. You will always be aware of YOUR rights.
  • Payment Recipient– Printed. A proof that your dog can travel on a plane.
  • Health Certificate (if required) – Printed
  • Veterinarian Records and Vaccine Records Printed
  • Contact Information for Veterinarians– Printed. If you have an emergency, make sure to keep the contact information of your home veterinarian and a local vet at your destination.
  • Photo Your Dog– Printed. In case they become lost.
  • Small first aid kit. View our complete first aid kit by clicking here.
  • Hand held fan. Cool down your dog in the carrier. It can get hot in there!

Checked Luggage

  • Food. Make sure you have enough food for the entire trip, especially if your guests are on a special diet.
  • Favorite toy
  • Favorite Blanket
  • Towel. To clean up messes or cover rental car seats.
  • Small shampoo bottle or sample. It is impossible to predict what mess your dog may get into.

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