The Costs and Procedures of Air Travel with Dogs
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Mutts (40 & 50 lbs)
From: Austin, TX, USA
To: San Francisco, CA, USA
My boyfriend and I are heading to San Francisco from Austin for work for 3 weeks. We want to bring our dogs but are a little nervous about checking them on an airline. Are some airlines better than others for this? What are your thoughts on this? Is it safe? Is there a better option?
Thank you for your help!
Thanks for your question, we'd be happy to offer some advice. First, take a look at the pet import requirements for bringing pets to California and then back to Texas. To fly, your dogs will need to have updated rabies vaccines and a health certificate issued by your vet within 10 days of departure (this is to tell the airline your dogs are healthy and fit to fly).
We certainly recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline (we often use United for domestic flights) and making sure you have travel crates that are airline-approved and the correct size. Allow some time to research the airline rules so that you understand all procedures, fees, etc. and to adequately prepare your dogs for the trip (here are some quick tips that will help).
Honestly you may find that taking two medium/large dogs on such a short trip may require more time and effort than you expected. You'll end up spending several hundred dollars when it's all said and done. It's up to you, of course, but in our experience we've found that leaving pets with a trusted sitter is often a better solution.
Please contact us if you have more questions, and good luck with whatever you decide!