Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Dogs and FlyingDogs and Flying

Dogs and Flying

Table of Contents


Many general aviation pilots take their dogs flying with them and have developed ways to keep their faithful friend safe and comfortable. The articles below describe several canine flying experiences in a variety of aircraft, and include many tips for making the flight enjoyable for all in the aircraft.

Dog Days in Alaska
Flying with the bush pilots of the Iditarod

By Tom LeCompte
AOPA Pilot, April 2008
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race, Alaska’s annual competition from Anchorage to Nome on the Bering Sea, is a grueling 1,049-mile trek across the state’s interior, and represents the ultimate challenge for musher and dog team. Add to that: airplane and pilot.

Answers for Pilots
Flying with Fido
By Kathy Dondzila
AOPA Pilot, December 2007
Although flying with Fido can be a great experience, it does warrant some advance planning. Here are some tips to make your trip as safe and comfortable as possible.
Veterinarians generally discourage sedating your pet. Part of the concern is the unknown effect of the sedative on your pet at altitude

The Joy of Flight
Flying dogs
By Kate Opalewski
AOPA ePilot, June 2007
It was a long journey — about 430 miles — for Fred the basset hound. With his snout leading the way, the four-legged canine moseyed away from home in Riverside, California, all the way to Flagstaff, Arizona, last December. No one knows why for sure. But it was a quick trip back home for Fred six months later on board a Mooney M20E.

Going to the Dogs
AOPA member stories about canine flying buddies
February 1, 2005
We started our Golden Retriever sisters, Ruby and Rose, on their aviation adventures when they were but 10 weeks old. At that age, they adapted easily to new experiences and traveled nearly everywhere we go in our Piper Comanche. I would love to see more folks bring their friends along, but a few safety precautions would really be in order. Not wanting to fend them off from getting into the front seat, we adapted full dog harnesses

Fly Buddies
A pilot's best friend
By Alton K. Marsh
AOPA Pilot, November 2004
It's not easy to interview dogs, and not only because of the language barrier. The real problem is finding dogs with a passion for aviation. I asked AOPA members for help via AOPA Online's "Hangar Talk" chat room. One respondent thought AOPA Pilot had run out of article ideas — gone to the dogs, so to speak — but another was enthusiastic and said he eagerly awaited a "ruff" draft. Read about Buddy the airport greeter dog, Speedbump the smiler, Queenie and the aerobatic Dawg, Ginger the teleporter, and more.

Answers for Pilots
Dog days of summer: Flying with your best friend
By Teresa J. Foden
AOPA Pilot, August 2004
You can fly the summer skies with man's best friend, but whether you're still friends at the end of the trip is all in the preflight planning. A veteran of mixing dogs with general aviation, Adam Walsh, AOPA aviation technical specialist, says the starting point is what you already know about Rover.

Going to the dogs
By Thomas B. Haines
AOPA Pilot, March 2001
Fifteen years ago, we went to the animal shelter, found a dog that looked friendly, and brought her home — worked great. The Northeastern Boxer Rescue Web site showed a number of boxers available for adoption. Some were abandoned or strays. Others were in foster homes because their owners could no longer care for them or had moved. Each boxer had a bio and most had photos. Many of the dogs were in foster homes in New England. We wouldn't have considered a dog that far away, except we knew that we could get there easily in the airplane.

Traveling With Children and Family
Flying With Pets
By AOPA's Aviation Services Department
November 2000
The first thing to think about before making travel plans for your pet is whether or not they will be welcome at your destination. If you will be staying at a hotel be sure to call in advance to see if they allow pets. The age of your pet is also something that should be taken into consideration before flying. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates air transportation of animals and requires that all pets be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days prior to flying in order to be transported by air.