Should I Drive or Fly My Pet Across The Country?

Are you thinking of traveling with your pet, but you’re not sure if you should fly or drive them? Traveling with your pet can be a fun experience for both of you, but it can add a lot of stress if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

If you’re planning a trip with your beloved companion but you can’t figure out which travel method is best for you, keep reading our page.

We’ll go over the pros of cons of both driving and flying with your pet, the factors you should consider before travel, and why you should consider using pet transport services. 

Driving Your Pet

Driving across the country can be fun and exciting if you and your pet enjoy road trips. However, most pets aren’t accustomed to long car rides and may be stressed out for the duration of the ride.

Some of the benefits of driving with your pet could include more space, the ability to stop and take walks, a less stressful environment, and keeping your pet with you at all times.

Even though the car will have more room than an airplane seat, you should still keep your pets secure in carriers or with a pet seatbelt.

Some of the problems of driving with your pet could be that it’s a longer travel time, pets may get carsick, finding a pet-friendly hotel if you have to stop, and your vehicle is likely to get messy from shedding fur and drool.

Flying Your Pet

Flying your pet can be a stressful form of travel, and in many cases, it may not be the best option. This is particularly true for larger pets, as they are typically required to be transported in the cargo hold along with other baggage.

The main benefit of air travel is that it’s much faster for your pet to get to their destination.

The cons of flying could include the cost of bringing your pet on a plane, the stressful experience of the flight, the possible separation of your pet, and the extreme conditions your pet may endure in cargo.

Given these factors, it is important to evaluate alternative options such as driving, which can provide a more comfortable and less stressful experience for both you and your pet.

Whether it’s through our driving services or other available options, we are committed to making the travel process much easier for both you and your pet.

Factors You Should Consider

Many people make the decision on how to transport their pet based on their own comfort level and the cost. While these should be considered, there are more important factors to help determine which option is safest for your pet. We’ve made a list of these factors below.


If your pet has a snub-nose or flat face, it probably shouldn’t fly. Pets with these features are known as brachycephalic breeds, and many airlines have even banned them for safety reasons.

Due to their flat faces and anatomy, these breeds have a difficult time breathing in stressful situations, especially flying.

Unfortunately, over half of the airline pet deaths are from these breeds, which is why they’re usually banned. If you’re unsure if your pet falls under this category, we’ve made a list of the brachycephalic dog breeds below:

  • Pugs
  • All Bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Boston Terriers
  • Shih Tzus
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Pekingese
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

If you’ve got a cat with a flat face, it probably falls under this category too. But just to be sure, we’ve made a list of brachycephalic cat breeds.

  • Exotic Shorthairs
  • Himalayans
  • Persians
  • Burmese
  • Scottish Folds
  • British Shorthairs
  • Selkirk Rexes

If your pet is one of these breeds, you should strongly consider driving them instead of flying them. If you absolutely need to fly them, consider reaching out to your veterinarian to find out how you can make the experience less stressful for your pet. 

Health Conditions

How is your pet’s overall health? Do they have any health conditions that would cause them to get stressed out more easily, or that would require your attention more often? These are things you should ask yourself when trying to decide how to transport your pet.

Most airlines require pet owners to present a pet health certification upon boarding, which is something you’ll need to get from your veterinarian. If your pet isn’t healthy enough to fly, your veterinarian won’t sign off on a certification.

Be sure to plan ahead and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian before you intend to travel.


How old is your pet? Due to the extreme stress that flying can put on your furry companion, you should avoid flying with senior pets. It’s also important to note that older pets may need to go to the bathroom more frequently, which isn’t doable on an airplane.

Size and Weight

As you read above, pets that exceed a certain weight and size will have to be stored in the cargo of the plane. So if you were hoping to fly with your fully-grown Labrador at your side, that’s not going to happen.

Pet owners with smaller breeds are more likely to fly with their pets since they’ll be safe and secure in their possession. If you’ve got a medium or large-sized breed, you may feel more comfortable driving with them.

Weather Conditions

This may seem like a weird thing to consider when you’re trying to determine if you should drive or fly your pet to a destination, but weather conditions can affect your pet’s safety.

If you’re flying your pet and it has to go in cargo, you’ll want to make sure that the weather and temperature aren’t extreme. Most airlines have rules for the conditions that they’ll fly with pets in but even those conditions can be too harsh.

Utilizing Pet Transport Services

Whether you’re going on vacation or moving, your family isn’t complete without your beloved pets. However, traveling with a pet isn’t always an easy experience no matter if you drive or fly. That’s where the pet transport industry can help.

Take a look at our transport services and see which ones would work best for your furry friend. By using our pet transport services, you can relax knowing that your pets will get the love and care they need and get to where you’re going safely.

Whether it’s by driving or flying, we can make the travel process much easier for both of you.

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