Which Dog Breeds Are Allowed on Airlines?

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated January 16, 2024

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Are you thinking of taking your beloved pet with you on your next trip? Flying with a pet can be a stressful and challenging experience, with many airlines having strict regulations on the types of pets they will allow onboard. To make sure your furry friend is allowed on the plane, it is important to research which dog breeds are allowed and understands the associated airline regulations.

In this article, we’ll outline the breeds that, unfortunately, cannot go on aircraft. We will also go over some tips you should follow so that your beloved pet has a stress-free flight (whether it is in the main cabin or the cargo hold).

Factors to Consider When Flying With a Pet

Before booking a flight for your pet, there are several factors to consider. Many airlines have size and weight restrictions, so it’s important to check with the airline first to make sure your pet is within the size and weight limits. Additionally, some airlines may require additional paperwork or health certificates from a vet in order to fly, so make sure you’re prepared with the necessary documents.

Dog Breeds Not Allowed on Airlines

Unfortunately, not all breeds of dogs are allowed on airlines. Most airlines will not accept large and giant breeds such as:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bullmastiff
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Dane
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky
  • Weimaraner

When it comes to snub-nosed breeds, you may ask why they are banned. The reason is health-related. Snub-nosed breeds (both dogs and cats) pose health risks that can be harmful or even lead to death if they are in aircraft.

Airline Pet Travel Regulations

Each airline has its own set of pet travel regulations, so make sure to check with your carrier before booking your flight. Generally, there are restrictions on the size and weight of the pet, as well as the type of carrier that’s allowed. Additionally, some airlines may not allow pets to fly in the cabin or may have restrictions on the number of animals allowed on the plane. It’s important to research the airline’s pet policy before booking your flight.

Airlines have carrier requirements for those dogs going in the cargo hold (for international flights or also domestic flights in three airlines — American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. Here are some of the crate requirements. 

  • Your pet should be able to stand up, turn around in the carrier and ensure they do not touch the top.
  • The carrier should have secure locking with pins that extend past the extrusions above and below the door. The pins should be hardware instead of plastic fasteners.
  • The carrier should be ventilated on all sides.
  • The carrier should have your pet’s name and your contact information.
  • Water and food bowls need to be attached to the door and accessible from outside the carrier.

Tips When Traveling With a Pet

Here are a few tips to make traveling with your pet a smooth and stress-free experience: 

  • Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and has a health certificate from a vet.
    • Here are the required vaccines for your dog: Canine parvovirus, Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Rabies
    • Here are the recommended vaccinations for your dog: Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi, Influenza, Leptospira bacteria
  • Get your pet accustomed to its carrier before the flight.
  • Make sure to bring enough food, water, and treats for your pet.
  • Book direct flights whenever possible to minimize the stress on your pet.
  • Arrive early to the airport to give yourself plenty of time to check-in.
  • Have your pet’s identification and vaccination records handy.
  • Don’t give your pet any sedatives because they can have adverse effects. Airlines won’t accept pets if they have been given sedatives.

Ground Transportation Is More Reliable

When you have these banned breeds, it’s best to take ground transportation. Though, it’s safe to make the bold statement that ground transportation is more reliable than air travel. There are several reasons why. 

  1. On most airlines, only cats and dogs are allowed.
  2. Flying can stress your pet, especially if they are in the cargo hold.
  3. With the recent flight cancellations over the holidays, flying can be unreliable because of weather and other factors.
  4. Ground travel logistics are easier and can offer door-to-door delivery, which is impossible with air travel. 

If you want an affordable alternative to traditional transport companies, look no further than a two-way marketplace like CitizenShipper.

You can find an independent pet transporter in a matter of minutes. You can save money on transportation costs because drivers bid for your business, most often saving up to 60%-70% compared to a traditional pet transportation company. Your cherished pet will be in good hands with qualified drivers on CitizenShipper’s network. They will treat your pet as if they were their own.

Wrapping Up

Traveling with a pet can be a stressful experience, but with proper planning, it can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. Before booking a flight, it is important to research the airline’s pet policy and make sure your pet is allowed onboard. Additionally, make sure to bring along the necessary paperwork and supplies for your pet. With these tips, you and your pet can have a safe and comfortable flight.