Can Pitbull Fly On Planes? Find Out Here!

Can You Bring A Pitbull On A Plane?

Pit bulls are great family pets, but if you're flying somewhere, you might not be able to bring your pet along. While most airlines don't prohibit pit bulls from traveling with you, they do require proof that your pet needs to travel with you.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, you must provide evidence that your pet meets certain criteria. These include being trained to behave calmly around strangers and showing signs of anxiety or fear.

Some airlines even require that you pay extra fees to fly with your pet. So, if you're planning on taking your pet on a trip, call your airline first to find out what the current regulations are.

Tips For Flying With A Pitbull

Organize A Nonstop Trip

Pit bulls are very sensitive animals. They can become stressed easily if there are too many changes in their environment. You should try to keep your dog calm during travel. One way to do this is to organize a non-stop flight. This means flying directly from point A to B without stopping at any airports along the way.

You may have to pay a bit extra for this option, but it's worth it to avoid stress for your dog. There are plenty of airlines that specialize in transporting dogs. Some charge less than others, so shop around until you find the right fit for your pet.

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Complete Checkups, Vaccinations, And All The Required Paperwork

Flying with a pit bull requires a lot of planning. You'll want to schedule a checkup with your pet's veterinarian 10 days before your trip. Make sure they are up to date on their shots and vaccinations and get documentation of their health and vaccination status.

Make sure to bring any necessary paperwork with you, including proof of rabies vaccine, spay/neuter records, and any other documents that might prove beneficial to you during your travels.

Obtain Id Tags For Your Carrier

You'll need to obtain id tags for your carrier if you plan on flying with him/her. These tags should include your address, phone number, and contact information for someone who can reach you during your trip.

Make sure that you write your dog's name and yours on the tag. Also, make sure that you write down the airline's policy regarding pets. Some airlines require that you purchase pet insurance prior to boarding your flight. Others may charge extra fees for transporting your pet.

Purchase A Crate For Them To Travel In

Pit bulls are very protective animals. They are naturally territorial and aggressive towards strangers. Because of this, airlines usually require that pit bulls travel in crates. However, there are exceptions.

Some airlines may not require a crate at all. You should ask your airline directly if they require a crate for your dog. You'll probably find that most airlines won't let you bring your pet on board without a crate. But, if you are traveling with a small breed dog, you might be able to fly with them in a carrier.

Airlines typically charge extra for pets traveling in a crate. So, if you decide to purchase a crate for your dog, you'll want to factor in the cost of the crate and any additional fees associated with bringing your pet on board.

Bringing Along A Few Pictures Of Your Dog

If you're flying somewhere with your dog, there's no doubt that you'll want to bring along a few pictures of him. You might not realize it, but those pictures could come in handy if you ever find yourself separated from your pet.

You can take some photos of your dog using your smartphone camera. Then upload them to Google Drive or Dropbox and save them in a folder called "Pit Bull". If you ever need to show someone what your pit bull looks like, you can simply open the folder and select a photo of your dog.

Try A Practice Run First

Flying with a pit bull isn't easy. You'll need to prepare yourself mentally and physically if you want to avoid any problems. One of the most common issues that owners face is getting their dogs accustomed to flying.

You should try a practice run first to make sure that your dog is comfortable with traveling in his crate. Put him in his crate at least once before you fly. Then, when you travel, he won't feel nervous or stressed out. He'll already be used to the experience.

Nutrition And Exercise

Make sure that your dog has had some food and water before heading to the airport. Also, make sure that he/she has had some exercise beforehand. If you normally feed him/her in the morning and get him/her out for a walk that same morning, just continue to do that. It can be helpful to leave his/her food and water dish in his/her crate so airline staff can provide extra food or water if needed.

Prepare In Advance

Flying with a pit bull isn't easy, but there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and your dog for travel. Don't arrive at the airport too late, but arrive early enough that you can handle any unexpected problems that may arise.

Most airlines recommend checking in with your pet at least two hours prior to departure. You'll want to bring along all of your documentation from your recent veterinarian visit. Also, if you plan on boarding your pet during the security line, make sure he/she wears his/her identification tag.

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Avoid Using Drugs

You should never give any kind of drug to your dog before flying. There are plenty of reasons why this isn't safe.

  • There are risks associated with giving your dog tranquilizers or sedatives.
  • These drugs can cause your dog to experience breathing problems at high altitudes.
  • If your dog does become ill during the flight, you won't be able to treat him until he lands.

There are plenty of alternatives to using drugs to calm your dog down before flying. Instead, try using a combination of food treats and verbal praise.

Which Airline Allows Pit Bulls?

Alaska Airlines

Pit bulls are allowed on Alaska Airlines flights. However, they can travel with you in the cargo hold. You'll need to keep them in their crates during the entire flight and until you arrive at your destination. They cannot sit in window seats or lie down.

They must remain on the floor throughout the entire flight and under the seat next to you during taxiing, takeoff, and landing. This means that you won't be able to bring your dog with you if it is bigger than 20 pounds.

You should note that Alaska Airlines doesn't permit dogs in the airline passenger cabin. So, if you plan to fly with your pet, you may want to consider another airline.

American Airlines

American Airlines allows pit bulls in the cargo hold, but not in the cabin. However, if you live outside of the United States, you may still be able to fly with your dog. You'll need to call the airline companies directly to find out whether or not your pet is permitted.

You can find contact info and the pets section on their website here. There you can find the latest rules regarding traveling with your pit bull.

Delta Airline

Pit bulls are not currently allowed as legitimate service dogs on Delta airlines. But, they may soon be able to fly with emotional support animals if they meet certain requirements.


Pit bulls are very friendly dogs, but unfortunately, they are not allowed to fly in-cabin on Southwest Airlines. However, if your itinerary includes an International flight, they won't allow your pit bull to travel in cabins either.

You may think that traveling with your dog is a great idea, but Southwest doesn't allow it. You'll have to find another airline that allows pit bulls to travel in cabs.


JetBlue doesn't accept any animals on flights as checked luggage or as cargo on any successful flights. However, they do allow small cats and dogs as pets on certain flights. You'll find JetBlue's pet policy here.

Pit bulls are considered dangerous breeds of dogs. As such, airlines typically prohibit them from flying. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Some biggest airlines permit pit bulls as pets on certain flights if they meet specific requirements. These include being well-trained, friendly, and housebroken.

Which Breeds Of Dogs Cannot Fly?

Airline policies vary widely regarding which breeds of dogs cannot fly. Some airlines ban certain breeds outright, while others only prohibit certain breeds if there is a history of aggression. You should always call the airline directly to find out whether any breed of dog is prohibited.

The IATA CR 82 Crate Specifications

Airline pet carriers are available in several sizes and styles. Some pet-friendliest airline pet crates are made of rigid plastic, while others are made of wood, steel, aluminum, or other materials.

Specially constructed airline pet crates are generally made of hardwood, metal, or plywood. These types of crates are usually larger than standard airline pet crates and are ideal for large dogs.

However, if your dog is aggressive, you should consider getting him a specially constructed airline pet crate instead of a regular airline pet crate.

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On November 19, 2022
Reading Time 
8 minutes
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