HOW TO FLY WITH A PUPPY IN-CABIN | Dog Breeder Recommended

HOW TO FLY WITH A PUPPY IN-CABIN | Dog Breeder Recommended

Just over a week ago I flew one of my puppies here from Dallas to New York and I wanted to share with you guys who may be curious about how to fly with a puppy in-cabin!

This would’ve been my second puppy delivery and it is always a pleasure whenever families from different states are either pressed for time or just simply unable to make the trip, so I would gladly take the time and effort to ensure a safe trip for my babies.

So if you have a puppy to pick up, you can also see if your breeder does deliveries or knows anyone who provides those services. In the past, I myself have used puppy nannies to deliver puppies to me whenever I was not able to make the trip.

IF YOU DO HAVE THE TIME, HOWEVER, YOU MAY FIND THESE TIPS HELPFUL to know the various steps to take to pick up your puppy without any hiccups along the way!

I have broken down this into 4 PHASES. Let us go through each one!


Firstly, you will want to choose an airline that accepts pets in-cabin or as “carry-on” pets. Many airlines allow this nowadays. In the past, I have used American Airlines and for this specific trip with Sheri, I flew using Delta Airlines. 

You will need to check the airline’s age and minimum size requirements as each airline are different. For instance, when I flew with American Airlines, their minimum age requirement was 8 weeks old and for Delta, theirs is 10 weeks old. 

After booking your flight, you will need to call your airline and let them know that you will be traveling with a pet on board the aircraft. They will then make a note of this to your booking. Please take note that you will need to pay the required pet fee at the airport before you check in, so you will have to check in at the airport instead of mobile check-in. 

Pet fees vary between airlines, so on this call be sure to ask what the cost of the pet fee will be. At the time of making this video, for American Airlines it is $125 and Delta has recently decreased theirs to $95 each way for domestic travel. 


Now, once you have called your airline, the only thing that you will need to do after is just to prepare for pick up or in my case delivery.

You will need a carrier- Most airlines recommend a soft carrier which you can find anywhere at your local pet stores. Ensure that it is size appropriate to not only fit your puppy but also weight appropriate as well. The carrier should be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you. 

DEMONSTRATE CARRIER: This specific carrier I have purchased from in size small and it is a perfect size for small breed puppies such as toy poodles, Maltese, Maltipoos, etc. I will leave the link to this as well as all the other products mentioned here in this video below. 

Most airlines have a guideline where the puppy should be able to stand up fully and move around comfortably within the carrier. So ensure you check with your breeder your puppy’s size before purchase. 

Now along with the carrier, you will need other essential items to ensure you are well prepared to fly with your puppy and so that it is comfortable not only for you but also for the puppy throughout the process. Some of these items would include:

Toys, pee pads, and a blanket with mom’s or litter mate’s scent would be really helpful to ease the puppy’s anxiety. Usually, like in Sheri’s case, if your puppy is the last one left from the litter they would’ve achieved some level of comfort alone from their littermates and would do very well in cases like this. 

I would also recommend bringing a really nice chew so that your puppy can be distracted nibbling on it. Also, a collapsable bowl and water bottle would be useful as well.


Depending on your flight’s duration. If it is up to 8 hours or less and if it is a day flight, I would recommend fasting your puppy the day of the flight just so that it doesn’t require a need to potty during the journey. Water should be fine hours before but that should be sufficient. For a puppy with a developing immune system, you will also want to avoid pet relief stations at the airport just as a precaution as you may not fully know the health status of other dogs using those areas. 

Another benefit to fasting your puppy before is that puppies usually will have a loss of appetite that may last for days whenever they are moved to a new environment away from their mom/ littermates so fasting may help them to develop an appetite whenever they reach their destination. 

Bring packets of honey with you on your flight and use it in cases of flight delays as this will help keep your puppy’s blood sugar levels from dropping and prevent hypoglycemia. 

Still, you will want to ensure your breeder provide you with a sample of the food your puppy is currently on so that you can retain a smooth transition whenever you reach your destination. 

It is not uncommon for most people to meet their dog breeder at their nearest airport for puppy pick-up. Ensure your breeder has all the necessities and documentation for your new puppy. This would include registration documents, vaccination records, puppy contracts, etc. 

As previously mentioned, at the airport. You will need to physically check in at the counter, pay your pet fee and they will print you a receipt along with your boarding pass. Please arrive at your airport ahead of time to prepare for this. Sometimes the wait can be well extended! 

At the TSA, you will need to take your puppy out of the carrier, pass the puppy’s items through the conveyer belt and you will have to physically walk with your puppy through the metal detector.

After that, you should be all set and ready to fly! You may have a few people wanting to come by and pet your new puppy.


On the aircraft, you will want to have your puppy remain in the carrier and placed underneath the seat in front of you. Depending on the airline, some may be a little more relaxed with you having your puppy’s head out. BUT, A GENERAL RULE FOR ALL AIRLINES IS TO HAVE THE PUPPY REMAIN IN THE CABIN AT ALL TIMES. Just ensure your puppy is able to see you through the meshed sections of the carrier so that they feel relaxed throughout the journey. 

Most puppies are usually well adjusted on planes without any barking but if you find that you have a very uneasy puppy just lower your hand to pet it from time to time to keep him relaxed and try having it chew on toys etc. For larger breed puppies I would also try and bring calming treats on flights just as a precaution. 

I want to congratulate you on your new puppy if you are about to pick one up or planning on getting one in the future! As always, if you are planning on getting a Maltipoo to add to your family, you can check out my website as I do have litters currently available.

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