In-cabin and cargo pet travel restrictions differ significantly, but service animal policies remain consistent across airlines. In most cases, your assistance animal will need to sit at your feet for the duration of the flight. He does not need to be in a carrier but should not extend outside the “footprint” of your seat. You will likely be assigned to a row with additional room to accommodate the extra passenger. Some type of safety harness is also ty required for takeoff and landing.
Select airlines, like British Airways, include additional requirements in their service animal policies. They require an animal travel safety harness (or equivalent) to secure assistance dogs during takeoff, landing, and when seat belt signs are switched on. A similar device is required of Virgin Atlantic assistance animals as well as other airlines.
Even if you do not have an assistance dog, investing in a pet travel safety harness is a good idea for frequent travel. Below, we have included a few of our favorite securing devices for safe pet and animal travel.
Puppia Soft Dog Harness—$15.59 from Chewy
What We Like: This inexpensive and easy-to-use harness provides both comfort and security for small and medium-sized breeds. It is lightweight and features a comfortable neck opening, an adjustable quick-release chest belt, and a D-ring for leash attachment. This is an excellent low-cost option for animals who require securing during takeoff and landing.
Sizes: This harness is available in five sizes: x-small, small, medium, large, and x-large. To determine the correct size, you will need to measure around your animal’s chest and neck.
Additional Features: This harness is extremely comfortable, which provides a huge benefit to dogs on long-distance flights. The secured D-ring for leash and belt attachment ensures your animal will not budge during his time in the air. Used in conjunction with a seatbelt, this harness provides optimal security at a very low price point.
Sleepypod Clickit Sport Dog Safety Harness—$69.99 from Chewy
What We Like: This is one of the sturdiest safety harnesses we’ve seen. The Sleepypod Clickit boasts an Infinity Loop design in conjunction with an impact-absorbing padded vest to distribute and reduce damaging forces. It uses three points of contact, which reduce both forward and lateral movements during turbulence. This harness is crash-tested with the same requirements used for child safety restraints.
Sizes: This harness is available in four sizes: small (16.5-22”), medium (22.5-28”), large (28.5-34”), and x-large (34.5-40”). To determine the correct size, measure around your dog’s ribs just behind the front legs.
Additional Features: This harness is made from ballistic nylon and automotive-grade materials, making it incredibly durable. It can easily attach to your plane or car seat belt with built-in loops, so you won’t need to purchase additional gear. This also doubles as an everyday walking harness.
Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness—$27.99 from Amazon
What We Like: We love the security and flexibility afforded by the Kurgo Tru-Fit harness. It attaches around the animal’s neck and torso for optimal comfort and sports five separate adjustment points. The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness can be tethered during car or air travel, and it also works well as a walking harness.
Sizes: This inexpensive securing mechanism comes in six diverse sizes. Measurements should be taken around the dog’s neck and chest, and the largest available harness size fits a neck of 24-35” and a chest of 28-44”.
Additional Features: This harness includes a 10” dog seat belt which can be used to tether the animal during car and air travel. Though the harness is not crash tested, it comes with a lifetime warranty; even if your item is damaged in travel, the company will replace it free of charge.