Cabin-size dog breeds

Cabin size dogs NewDoggy light

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Cabin-size dog breeds

Do you travel a lot? With today’s budget airlines and holiday deals, travelling has never been easier or more affordable. But for dog owners, travelling is not so easy; it means leaving our beloved pets behind with a pet-sitter or kennel.

For frequent flyers, sometimes it’s handy to be able to bring your pet along. Travelling with a dog can be expensive: there’s the cost of the crate, and the dog’ ticket; and travelling in the cargo hold of a plane can be stressful and, for some breeds, detrimental to a dog’s health.

Fortunatley, many airlines do allow you to travel with your dog in the cabin; your dog travels in a carrier, similar to carry-on luggage. Travelling with you in the airplane cabin can be a calmer experience for your dog, and you can keep a close eye on them to see how they are doing. If you are a frequent flyer, then a cabin-sized dog could be perfect for you.

What makes a dog “cabin-size”?

Generally speaking, the dog and the cage they are travelling in must fall under a particular weight limit. Whether your dog is cabin-sized depends on the airline’s policies. American Airlines accepts dogs in carriers weighing up to 9kg (20lb), whereas Air France only accepts dogs of 7.7kg. Some airlines do not impose a weight limit, but restrict the size of the dog’s transport cage.

This means that medium and large breed dogs cannot travel in the cabin (excluding service dogs). Smaller dogs are better suited to travelling in the cabin of an airplane; in any case they can be quite delicate and not suited to travelling in the cargo hold. A small dog will be able to curl up comfortably in their pet cage, where you can watch over them.

Our Top Ten Cabin-sized Breeds

So a cabin sized dog should be lightweight, and ideally able to tolerate being in a carrier for a prolonged period. We’ve put together a list of the top ten dogs that we think are best suited to air travel.

Be aware that although breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs are often small enough to travel in cabin, they can be sensitive to changes in air pressure, air quality, and temperature. If you own a flat-faced breed, be cautious about frequent air travel with them.

Chihuahua

Weighing in at 1.8 to 2.7kg, the tiny Chihuahua is the ideal size for air travel. They are small enough to travel comfortably in most cabins, and you can even add a blanket or heat pad if you’re worried about them getting cold.

Chihuahua breed info NewDoggy.com

Pomeranian

The fuzzy Pomeranian weighs between 1.4 to 3.2kg: a good size for cabin travel. Their fuzzy coat means that they shouldn’t feel cold on the flight.

Pomeranian breed info NewDoggy.com

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie usually weighs up to 3.2kg (“teacup” Yorkies are usually significantly smaller).

yYorkshire Terrier breed info Newdoggy.com

Papillon

The Papillon (which is a type of toy Spaniel) weighs up to 4.5kg, but is often lighter (3.5kg). These affectionate dogs should be quite comfortable curled up at your feet in their transport cage. Papillons occasionally suffer from seizures disorders; if your dog has such a condition, be careful when travelling, and make sure you have the right medication and your pet’s veterinary records with you.

Maltese

Weighing in at 1 to 3.6kg, the silky little Maltese is a good size for cabin travel. That said, this breed is known to be vocal, which can be a problem on a long flight! Teaching “quiet” to your Maltese will save your sanity, as well as making you very popular with your fellow passengers.

Miniature Dachshund

These little sausage dogs typically weigh between 3.6 to 4.9kg. This is another yappy breed that tends to bark at strangers; teaching “quiet” and covering the transport cage with a cloth may help to avoid this.

Toy Fox Terrier

Weighing between 1.5 and 4kg, this tiny terrier is an excellent choice if you want a smart, sporty dog that can travel everywhere with you.

Toy Fox Terrier NewDoggy.com

Toy Poodle

With a weight range of 2.3 to 4.5kg, the Toy Poodle is an excellent traveller’s companion. They hate to be left alone, and will be much calmer curled up at your feet than travelling in the hold.

toy poodle breed NewDoggy.com

Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher weighs between 2.9 to 6kg, and is confident and affectionate. They are typically quiet, which is a blessing on longer flights.

Affenpinscher breed info NewDoggy.com

Italian Greyhound

The “Iggy” is a Greyhound in miniature, weighing only 3.6-5kg as an adult. Italian Greyhounds have been known to suffer from epilepsy; if your dog has epilepsy, ask your veterinarian for advice before travelling by air with him/her.

Greyhound breed info NewDoggy.com

Pug

Pugs weight between 6.35 and 8.16 kg, so smaller Pugs may be light enough to travel in the cabin. They are flat faced, which makes them sensitive to changes in temperature and air quality. If your vet gives the go ahead, you can fly with your Pug, but keep a close eye on him/her during the flight.

Pug Breed info NewDoggy.com

Havanese

If you have allergies and travel a lot, this could be your ideal breed. The Havanese is an excellent choice for those with allergies, as they rarely shed. Since they weigh between 3 to 6kg, they are an ideal weight for air travel.

Brussels Griffon

This Belgian breed is a compact little dog, weighing only 4-5kg. That flat face does mean that they are sensitive to changes in temperature and air quality. If your vet gives the go ahead, you should be able to fly, but this is another breed that should be properly monitored during the flight.

Norwich Terrier

Weighing in at 5 to 5.5kg, this British breed is loyal and energetic. There is a slight breed prevalence for epilepsy, so make sure your Norwich Terrier goes for a check-up before the flight. Some Norwich Terrier also have difficulty breathing due to Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS), especially dogs with shorter muzzles: if your Norwich Terrier has this condition, get a check-up in advance and carefully monitor your dog during the flight.

Norwich Terrier breed info NewDoggy.com
Norwich Terrier breed info NewDoggy.com

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus weigh between 4.5 to 8.6kg, so smaller dogs will definitely be able to fly in the cabin. If your Shih Tzu is on the larger side, it depends on the airline’s policy; with some airlines you might get away with a larger Shih Tzu if you have a lightweight pet carrier. Keep in mind that Shih Tzus are sensitive to changes in temperature, so keep a good eye on your dog during the flight.

Shih Tzu NewDoggy.com

Pekingese

The fuzzy Pekingese weighs 3.2 to 6.4kg: an acceptable weight for most airlines. This is another flat-faced breed that doesn’t cope well with heat, so watch over your dog during the flight.


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The following is needed to bring a puppy into Dubai:


  1. All dogs entering Dubai from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Dubai must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Dubai must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Dubai specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Dubai must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Dubai must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Dubai.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Abu Dhabi:


  1. All dogs entering Abu Dhabi from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Abu Dhabi must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Abu Dhabi specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Abu Dhabi must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Abu Dhabi.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Hong Kong:


  1. All dogs entering Hong Kong must be at least 3 months old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Hong Kong must be equipped with either a 9 or 15-digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Hong Kong must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Valid for up to 6 months.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Hong Kong specific vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies.
  5. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Hong Kong.
  6. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  7. Captain’s Affidavit – Document to be provided by the airline personnel confirming that your dog has not left its crate or interacted with other pets at any point during the journey.


* Hong Kong classifies countries into 3 groups. Vaccinations against rabies are only required from Groups 2 & 3.
  • Group 1: Rabies-free countries (at least 6 months of residency) Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bailiwick of Jersey.
  • Group 2: Rabies-controlled (at least 4 months of residency) Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Guam, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Belgium, Brunei, Cayman Island, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA (Continental), Virgin Islands.
  • Group 3: All other countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Switzerland:


  1. All pets entering Switzerland must be equipped with a 15-digit microchip that is compliant with ISO 11784/11785.
  2. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.
  3. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Dogs must receive their first rabies vaccine at least 21 days before entering the country.*
  4. The state veterinarian of the origin country must equip the dog with a valid Health Certificate.
  5. Import Permit – all dogs entering from a 3rd level rabies country must carry an import permit issued at least three weeks in advance. Entry points through Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
  6. Different regulations depending on whether it is a commercial purchase or individual and where the dog is coming from.


* Specifications differ for booster shots. ** Switzerland categorises countries by level of risk of rabies in three levels.
  • Level 1: All EU Member States and Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
  • Level 2 (Low Risk of Rabies): Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda,Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Great Britain (including Crown dependencies), Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Marteen, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Level 3: All other countries are considered as having a high risk of rabies.
Travel Requirements