Not Sure If Your Dog Can Fit Under The Airplane Seat?

Not sure what size dog can fit under the airplane seat? 

As a pet owner with two little dogs, I found myself pondering this question, especially for those spontaneous moments when I might need to pack them up and embark on a last-minute flight!

BUT, it’s not the only thing to consider. Before flying with your dog, really think about your dog’s temperament: Is your dog comfortable in confined spaces or around loud noises? If not, flying might not be suitable for all pups.

Domestic Flights Only

Not sure the size of the dog that can fit under the airplane seat?

When gearing up for air travel with your furry friend, thorough preparation and careful consideration of airline regulations are essential. To assist you in this journey, the following chart details the dimensions specified in the pet carrier policies of major airlines. This comprehensive guide ensures you have the necessary information to make your travel experience with your canine companion smooth and stress-free

How Do I Know Which Dog Carrier To Choose For Under The Seat Of A Plane?

When preparing for air travel with your canine companion, choosing the right pet carrier is paramount. Luxury pet travelers are becoming very popular and quite beautiful!

When selecting a kennel for air travel, soft-sided collapsible options come highly recommended. These kennels offer flexibility in size, allowing for a slightly larger space while still meeting the under-seat requirements. Importantly, they should fit comfortably without the need for excessive collapsing.

Security and Comfort

When it comes to selecting the perfect kennel for your furry companion, making their security and comfort a top priority is key. I’ve found that opting for kennels with added features, such as padding, goes a long way in ensuring a cozy and stress-free journey for your pet.

In my experience, choosing kennels made from water-repellant materials is another smart move. Life is full of surprises, and unexpected situations can arise during travel. Having a kennel that can handle these situations not only provides added security but also ensures a dry and comfortable environment for your pet throughout the journey. It’s these thoughtful features that contribute to a positive and enjoyable travel experience for both you and your furry friend.

Below Are The Dog Carrier Measurement Requirements For 6 Major Airlines

SouthwestDeltaAmericanUnitedJET BLUEFRONTIER
Soft-sided Carrier not to exceed 17” (L) x 10” (W) x 9.5” (H)Soft-sided carrier not to exceed 18" (L) X 11" (W) X 11" (H)Soft-sided carriers must not exceed 18" (L) X11"(W) X 11"(H)Soft-sided carriers must not exceed 18" (L) X11"(W) X 11"(H)Soft-sided carriers must not exceed 17" (L) x 12.5" (W) x 8.5" (H)Soft-sided not to exceed 18" (L) X 14" (W) X 8" (H)
Hard carriers 18.5” (L) X 8.5” (H) X 13.5” (W)Hard carrier- not recommendedHard carrier- 19" (L) X 13"(W) X 9"(H)Hard carrier- 17.5" (L) X 12" (W) X 7.5" (H)Same as aboveSame as above

Perfect Carrier For Under The Airplane Seat
Optimal Ventilation and Eater Repellent Materials

Flying with my furry companions has taught me the importance of investing in the right gear. When it comes to pet carriers, opting for an airline-approved one is a game-changer. Personally, I’ve found that these carriers not only meet the airline’s specific size requirements but also ensure a secure and comfortable experience for my dogs.

This feature complies with airline regulations and keeps your dog cool and comfortable throughout the flight. Furthermore, they need to be water-repellant.

Small Dog Travel Carrier for under the airplane seat
Pet Carrier with Wheels - Airline Approved - Expandable & Extra Spacious

Table of Contents

How Old Does My Dog Have to Be To Go Under The Seat On A Plane?

How old does your dog have to be to fly?

Embarking on a pet-friendly journey requires strategic planning and strict compliance with airline regulations. For domestic flights, it’s crucial to note that puppies and kittens must be at least 2 months old. Additionally, we emphasize avoiding sedation for your furry companions, especially those with heart disease, anxiety disorders, or brachycephalic airways.


Warning! Do not sedate your dog!

As recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), no airline will accept pets that have been sedated or tranquilized. Pets that have been given sedatives or tranquilizers are at a higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems at high altitudes.

Prioritize Your Pet's Well-Being: Essential Steps for Air Travel Preparation

Health Check- Up

Schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy and fit for travel. Most airlines require a recent health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. Up-to-Date Vaccinations: Ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, as airlines may require proof of current vaccinations.

Booking your flight

Optimize Your Pet’s Journey: Strategic Steps for Seamless Air Travel

Elevate your pet’s experience by prioritizing direct flights whenever feasible. This not only minimizes travel time but also reduces stress for your furry companion during the journey.

Coordinate with Airlines: Take a proactive approach by notifying the airline during the booking process about your intention to travel with a pet. It’s crucial to be aware that some airlines enforce restrictions on the number of pets allowed in the cabin per flight. By communicating in advance, you can ensure a smoother and more accommodating travel experience for both you and your beloved pet

Transition Your Dog Before Flying

Transition with Ease:

Elevate your travel experience by acclimating your dog to their carrier in advance. Practice short car rides or walks using the carrier to cultivate familiarity and alleviate potential anxiety. This step-by-step process ensures a smoother journey for your furry companion.

Essentials for a Paws-itively Smooth Trip:

Pack smart by including vital supplies for your dog. Prioritize food, water, waste bags, medications, and familiar toys in your travel kit. Be sure to review airline regulations for any restrictions on liquids or specific items, ensuring you’re well-prepared for a stress-free adventure with your beloved pet

On The Day Of Travel

Transitioning smoothly through airport procedures with your dog requires a thoughtful approach. Here are some tried-and-true tips based on personal experiences:

ARRIVE EARLY– Firstly, give yourselves a stress-free start by arriving early. Providing ample time for check-in and navigating airport security ensures a relaxed beginning to your journey with your furry companion.

STAY POSITIVE-Maintaining a calm demeanor is crucial, considering dogs’ extraordinary ability to sense emotions. Dogs pick up on subtle cues like body language and vocal tones, so staying calm and cool during the process helps keep your dog at ease.

Navigating the intricacies of airline pet policies is a must. Following the rules regarding bathroom breaks, leashing when necessary, and ensuring your dog’s comfort throughout the flight contributes to a smooth travel experience.

PATIENCE-Lastly, patience is key when dealing with unexpected delays or turbulence. Dogs may feel anxious, so offering calming words or gentle petting helps create a comforting environment for both you and your faithful travel companion.

Doggie Relief Stations

Unlocking the Mysteries of Airport Pet Potty Spots: A Hilarious Guide

As airports try to be the cool cats of the travel scene, they’re slowly warming up to our four-legged friends. But, wait for it—dog relief stations aren’t popping up everywhere like Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s like searching for buried treasure, but with a leash.

Size Matters in the Pet-Relief Game: Picture this: large, modern airports are like the VIP lounges for your furry companions. They’ve got the swanky designated pet relief zones – both indoor and outdoor. It’s like a canine oasis with all the amenities, from waste disposal bags to fancier-than-you receptacles. Some of these places are so posh; they’ve got pet relief areas inside the terminal, past security! Talk about flying in style.

Navigate the Pet Pee Breaks: Curious if your chosen airport has a haven for your hound? No need to call the canine hotline. Just check the airport’s official website, drop a line to their customer service, or embark on a virtual journey through online travel forums. These digital treasure maps will lead you straight to the promised land of pet relief. It’s like having your own furry GPS.

Do ALL U.S. airports have Pet Relief Stations?

Many airports are waving their ‘We Love Pets’ flags high. They’re not just having pet relief stations they’re shouting it from the tarmac! As part of their mission to be pet-friendly, they’re actively promoting these spots, making sure your furry friends feel as welcome as the jet-setters they are.

Now, don’t expect the same red-carpet treatment at every airport. The availability of these pet paradises depends on the airport’s mood, size, policies, and facilities. It’s like playing airport bingo with your pooch.

what size dog fits under airplane seat?

Dont Forget Your Dogs Favorite Toy or Blanket!

Do you pack your earbuds, book, neck pillow or anything else you find keeps you comfortable in flight? Well, just like you, your dog wants their comforting things too! Don’t forget to pack their favorite blanket or toy to put inside their carrier! It will keep them calm and feeling a sense of ease.

Going On A "Business Class" Journey With Your Dog?

Whether you’re soaring in economy or cruising in business, most airlines maintain uniform guidelines for in-cabin pet travel. These rules typically revolve around the use of an airline-approved pet carrier that fits snugly under the seat, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey for your furry companion.

For the latest and most accurate details tailored to your chosen airline and class, always reach out directly to the airline or refer to their official website. Stay informed and set the stage for a pet-friendly adventure in business class luxury.


Quite a few times, I’ve had to travel with my dog, and I ended up getting a GPS collar for her. Read more about this interesting device.

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  1. I’ve always been skeptical about taking my 12 lb dog on a plane . I love the carriers and tips you’ve provided. I just might take him on my next vacation! Thank you.

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