can shih tzus fly on planes

Can Shih Tzus Fly on Planes? 2023 Ultimate Guide

Traveling with pets? Let’s explore if shih tzus fly on planes and the guidelines to ensure a smooth journey.

Can Shih Tzus Fly on Planes? Air Travel Guidelines for Your Shih Tzu


Air travel can be a stressful experience, not just for you but also for your furry friend. When it comes to traveling with your Shih Tzu, there are several factors to consider before flying. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to know whether or not your dog is allowed to fly and what the airline’s guidelines are. In this article, we will provide comprehensive information on whether or not Shih Tzus can fly on planes and the air travel guidelines you need to know. We’ll cover everything from pre-flight preparations and packing tips to in-cabin and cargo hold travel guidelines.

Brief Overview of the Topic

Flying with pets has become increasingly common in recent years as more airlines have started allowing pets onboard their flights. However, there are still some restrictions when it comes to certain breeds of dogs, including Shih Tzus. Shih Tzus are a popular breed of dog known for their cute appearance and friendly demeanor. They’re often considered lap dogs because they love nothing more than curling up next to their owners. However, despite their small size, they may face some restrictions when it comes to air travel. In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that determine if your Shih Tzu can fly on a plane as well as what you need to do before taking them onboard.

Importance of Knowing Air Travel Guidelines for Shih Tzus

When it comes to air travel with your furry friend, ignorance is not bliss. It’s crucial that you understand all the rules and regulations before booking a flight with your pet. Airlines have different policies regarding pet transportation that you must be aware of so that you don’t run into any last-minute surprises or complications. In addition, knowing the air travel guidelines for Shih Tzus ensures your pet’s safety, comfort, and well-being throughout their journey. Traveling can be stressful for your dog, especially if it’s their first time on a plane. By following the right guidelines and taking proper precautions, you can make their journey as smooth as possible.

Thesis Statement

The purpose of this article is to provide comprehensive information on whether Shih Tzus can fly on planes and the air travel guidelines you need to know. We’ll explore all the factors that determine if your Shih Tzu can fly and provide tips for making air travel with your pet safe and stress-free.

Can Shih Tzus Fly on Planes?

Travelling with your Shih Tzu can be a great way to bond and explore the world together. But before you embark on your journey, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure the safety and comfort of your furry companion during air travel. One of the most important factors is whether or not Shih Tzus are allowed to fly on planes. The good news is that Shih Tzus can indeed fly on planes, but there are some restrictions you need to be aware of. Airlines have specific guidelines for travelling with pets, including size and weight restrictions, breed-specific regulations, and requirements for health certificates and vaccinations.

Factors to consider before flying with a Shih Tzu

Before booking a flight with your Shih Tzu, it’s important to consider several factors that may affect their ability to travel safely and comfortably. Here are some of the key things you should keep in mind:

Age and health condition of your dog

Safety should always come first when travelling with any pet. If your dog is very young or very old, has a medical condition, or has recently undergone surgery or other medical treatment, it may not be safe for them to fly. Always consult with your veterinarian before booking any travel plans.

Size and weight restrictions by airlines

Airlines have strict rules around how large and heavy pets can be in order to travel in-cabin or cargo hold. The size limit for dogs travelling in-cabin varies by airline but typically ranges from 16-19 inches (40-48 cm) long by 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) tall. Weight limits also vary but typically range from 20-30 pounds (9-13 kg) for in-cabin travel. If your Shih Tzu exceeds these limits, they will need to travel in the cargo hold.

Breed-specific regulations by airlines

Some airlines have specific rules around which dog breeds are allowed to fly due to breed-specific health concerns. For example, airlines may restrict brachycephalic breeds (such as Shih Tzus) from flying in cargo as they are at risk of respiratory issues during air travel.

Temperament and behavior of your dog

The temperament and behavior of your Shih Tzu can also impact their ability to fly safely and comfortably. It’s important to consider whether your dog has any anxiety or fear related to travel, and how they may react to the sights, sounds, and smells of an airplane. If you suspect that your dog may not be able to handle air travel well, it may be best to explore alternative modes of transportation. By carefully considering these factors before booking a flight with your Shih Tzu, you can ensure that both you and your furry companion have a safe and enjoyable journey together.

Air Travel Guidelines for Your Shih Tzu

Pre-flight Preparations

Traveling with your Shih Tzu by air requires preparation and planning. To ensure your dog’s comfort and safety during the flight, you need to visit your veterinarian for a check-up before traveling. This is particularly important if your dog suffers from any pre-existing medical conditions or is taking medication. Your veterinarian will assess your dog’s health, administer necessary vaccinations such as rabies and provide a health certificate indicating that your dog is fit to fly. When flying with a Shih Tzu, you’ll also need to check the specific requirements of the airline you have chosen to fly with. Additionally, some airlines may require additional documentation such as an import/export certificate if you are travelling internationally or a letter stating that your dog is an emotional support animal.

Choosing an Airline

When travelling with a Shih Tzu, it is important to choose an airline that allows pets in-cabin or cargo hold. Many airlines have specific restrictions and guidelines when it comes to traveling with pets; therefore, it is essential that you understand their policies before booking a flight. Research different airlines’ policies on pet travel well ahead of time since some allow only one pet per passenger or require pets to be kept in pet carriers under the seat in front of the passenger while others permit larger dogs to be transported in cargo holds under specific conditions. Ensure that you reserve appropriate space for your furry companion during booking. Moreover, some airlines have breed-specific regulations; therefore, ensure that they accommodate Shih Tzus before selecting them as your preferred carrier.

In-Cabin Travel Guidelines

Traveling with Shih Tzus in-cabin can be less stressful than flying them as cargo since they remain close by at all times. However, there are still guidelines that you should follow to ensure that your dog is safe and comfortable throughout the flight. It’s essential to pack a few essentials for your Shih Tzu to make the journey as smooth as possible. These can include a leash, collar, pet carrier, food and water bowls, absorbent pads or liners, and any medications or treats that your dog might need. Before flying with a Shih Tzu in cabin, it is crucial to acclimate them to the pet carrier for several weeks in advance because they will be required to travel inside it for an extended period. You can also choose to give your Shih Tzu a mild sedative before the flight if they are anxious during travel.

Cargo Hold Travel Guidelines

Shih Tzus can fly in cargo holds if they meet specific weight and size restrictions. However, this mode of transport carries inherent risks such as health problems due to temperature changes, turbulence during takeoff and landing or noise from other cargo. If transporting your Shih Tzu via cargo hold is necessary, it’s important that you follow specific guidelines set by the airline regarding crate size and design. The crate must have sufficient ventilation while still being able to secure it properly during transportation. Ensure that you feed your dog at least four hours before check-in, so there’s time for digestion before departure. Also provide access to water prior boarding but remove food bowls since some dogs may react adversely when stressed out while travelling leading up vomiting particularly due nausea caused by motion sickness. To make sure they remain calm during their flight; add an item with familiar scents like clothes from home inside their crate so they’ll feel more comfortable even though far away from home.

Tips for Safe Air Travel with Your Shih Tzu

How to Prepare Your Shih Tzu for Air Travel

Preparing your Shih Tzu for air travel is essential. Begin by getting them accustomed to their carrier. Encourage them to spend time in it so that it becomes a comfortable and familiar place. It’s also important to make sure your dog has gone potty before the flight. If you’re traveling with an anxious dog, try using calming products like sprays or oils that can help reduce stress levels. Don’t forget to pack enough food, water, and treats for your pet during the trip. Also, ensure that any medications they require are easily accessible.

In-Cabin Travel Guidelines

When traveling with your Shih Tzu in-cabin, make sure you follow all airline rules and regulations. The carrier should be placed under the seat in front of you at takeoff and landing but may be placed on your lap during the flight. Ensure that your pet is secure inside their carrier so they cannot escape or move around during turbulence. You may want to consider choosing a window seat as it provides more privacy and helps keep calm dogs more relaxed. If flying internationally, check what quarantine laws apply at your destination country before booking tickets.

Cargo Hold Travel Guidelines

If you have no choice but to put your pup in cargo hold during air travel, follow these guidelines: Choose an airline that has experience handling pets safely Make sure the crate is large enough for them to stand up and move around comfortably Use a zip tie or padlock on the door of the crate Attach a label indicating that there is live animal inside Ensure that there’s plenty of ventilation in the crate Remember: cargo hold air pressure can harm brachycephalic or short-nosed breeds such as Shih Tzus.


Air travel can be stressful for both you and your furry friend, but by following the guidelines we’ve provided, you can make the journey as comfortable and safe as possible. Remember to plan in advance, choose an appropriate carrier, and keep your Shih Tzu happy with plenty of treats, toys, and potty breaks. With proper preparation and caution during air travel with your Shih Tzu, you’ll ensure that they arrive at their destination healthy, happy, and ready for adventure!

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