Join my FREE Facebook group

How We Travel With Our Dog

personal travel Apr 15, 2022

We travel everywhere with our dog, Leon. It’s kind of our thing… we work remotely and travel the world with our dog in tow. We now have a kiddo so it's gotten more complicated traveling with both but we're still determined to go places and explore the world! Bringing our dog along on trips sounds kind of weird at first, but if you meet him at an airport or on the subway, trust me your day will be made! Someone told us as we were on a flight yesterday that they wish more dogs like Leon traveled because it makes flights more enjoyable and happier.

 

 

We’ve gotten a lot of questions along the way, so I thought I would share those questions and answers here!

 

One thing to note is that brachycephalic breeds can't fly due to their short nose snouts and it would cause them trouble breathing. Some popular breeds that have this are English and French bulldogs, bull mastiffs, Boston terriers, boxers, pugs, shih tzus.

 

HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO FLY WITH YOUR DOG AND WHERE DOES HE SIT? DO YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR HIM AND ISN’T THAT EXPENSIVE!?

 
*Note: As of January 2021 US Airlines have stopped allowing the travel of emotional support animals but service dogs only are allowed to be on flights.* 
 
Leon is a service animal, so he’s able to go pretty much anywhere with us which includes planes, trains, buses, etc. So for flights, he walks through the airport with us on a leash and goes through security too like normal, flies for free, and sits with us in the airplane on one of our laps.
 
The rules for being able to have your service animal go on a flight with you:
  1. The dog must be well-behaved, listen to the owner’s commands, not bark, and do well on flights.
  2. Sit on your lap or at your feet and not impede the space of other passengers. Basically, the size of the animal cannot exceed the “footprint” of the passenger’s seat (this means you probably wouldn’t have a bigger dog do this because there is only so much space at your feet on airplanes and you wouldn't want a big dog sitting on your lap ya know). (Leon is 24 lbs)
  3. Of course, carry all the paperwork with you and the additional paperwork each airline may require.
 
The only other options for flying with your dog are:
  1. The dog has to be small enough to fit in a carrier and go underneath the seat in front of you on the ground. Also, the dog cannot come out of the carrier at any point during the flight, ugh.
  2. If your dog is larger, you essentially check the dog as “luggage” in a crate and they go underneath the plane. Both of these options have fees (different for each airline) and can be quite pricey, plus, neither of them sound like great options… I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a crate underneath the plane wondering what the heck is going on and I would never choose this option.
When we fly, I bring a folder of all the necessary documents with us. My process goes like this:
  • If going internationally, I first look up the country’s dog requirements and if it’s okay if Leon goes.
  • When we book flights, I notify the airline we’ll be bringing a service dog through the booking process (there are boxes to select when booking).
  • I immediately look up what paperwork the airline requires and send it in.
  • 3 days before departure, I call the airline just to make sure they have a record of the paperwork sent in and that Leon is going with us (this is just to double-check they got it)
 

 

HOW DOES HE DO ON FLIGHTS?

Leon is seriously the best flying buddy! HE’S BEEN ON 69 FLIGHTS (and counting!) and to 3 countries so far. He is also the most chill flyer ever. We’ve had people sitting in the same row as us not realize he was sitting on our lap. People always comment on how surprised they are to see how good he is on flights. He loves walking on the plane and greeting everyone as he walks down the aisle. It’s the cutest thing ever and I’m certain he puts everyone in a happier mood! You can just see people smiling and laughing as he jots down the aisle like he owns the place. We also have an airplane pad (foam padding with a pillowcase over it for him to sit more comfortably) on one of our laps. As soon as the plane begins to take off, he looks out the window and watches, lays down, and then sleeps the whole flight. He’ll get up every once in a while to change positions. Seriously, the best!

 

HOW DOES HE GO TO THE BATHROOM WHEN YOU TRAVEL? WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT LONG FLIGHTS? 

Most airports have pet relief areas. Before we get on a flight and immediately afterward, we always stop by those.
 
We stop him from having any food 4 hours before a flight and allow minimal water (making sure to give him water and a couple of treats as soon as we land in a travel bowl).
 
We always limit flight time to 4 hours or less. If we’re going somewhere that the flight will take longer, we’ll just choose to have a layover with enough time to walk him around through the airport and go to a pet relief area between flights.

You can find a list of airport pet relief areas HERE.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE ON A ROAD TRIP AND STOP TO GO INSIDE A STORE OR RESTAURANT?

If we’re going inside a store for a short amount of time, we leave him in the car with the windows cracked if the weather is okay outside (we’re VERY thoughtful of this) or with the car running with AC/heat and locked.
 
 
 
And we started an Instagram account for Leon because we can haha so check that out if you’d like. He’s @leongoesplaces
 
 
If you have any other questions, let me know! I’m happy to answer them.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.