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10 Dog Breeds That Fit Under Airplane Seat

If you are planning on traveling with your dog on an airline, chances are, you are not comfortable with your pet spending the entire trip alone in the cargo hold. Instead, you want to bring them along with you in the cabin.

The good news is there are plenty of airlines that allow dogs in the cabin, but they also come with strict rules and regulations that we will cover in this article.

You also need to consider the size of your dog and carrier to ensure they will both be able to comfortably fit under the seat in front of you.

This guide will give you a complete breakdown of what dogs can fit under the seat and the rules that need to be followed before you board the flight.

Know The Rules

Before we get started, it’s very important that you know the rules and requirements when taking your dog on a plane. Most airlines will not allow pets to fly or even board a plane unless you have all the correct paperwork including a health certificate and proof of vaccinations.

Your dog also needs to be small enough to fit in a carrier that can be stowed under the seat. It must be an approved carrier which we will talk about below.

Snub-Nosed Breeds

Many airlines have already banned certain types of snub-nosed dogs, including, the puggsy and bulldogs. The reason behind this is that these types of dogs are prone to respiratory problems during flights due to their short noses which can be problematic on an airplane.

Their noses are very sensitive to pressure changes and this can cause them serious health problems. If your dog falls into this category then you may find it hard to locate any airlines that will allow short-nosed dogs on board as most airlines have banned these breeds.

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Pet Health Certificate

Airlines require that you have a health certificate for your dog before they will allow them to board the plane. The pet health certificate is issued by an official veterinarian that will have all the stamps and signatures to show that your dog is healthy enough to fly.

Proof Of Vaccinations

Vaccinations are another important factor when flying with your dog. Airlines will require proof of vaccinations and you can easily get this from your vet or animal clinic. The documentation needs to be signed and have the relevant stamps to prove they have had their jabs.

Carrier Restrictions

Airlines have strict rules about the kind of carrier your pet is traveling in, mainly for safety purposes. The carrier needs to be approved by the airline. If you don’t already have one you can of course buy pre-approved dog carriers in online shops like amazon.

The carrier also needs to be large enough so that your dog can stand up and turn around comfortably with some extra room. They can either be soft-sided or hard-sided carriers depending on which airline you are flying with.

Carriers also need to comply with strict regulations when it comes to being sturdily built, escape-proof, waterproof, and leak-proof, just in case your dog needs the bathroom while on the plane.

Finally, there should be no metal parts or sharp edges inside the carrier at all which could pose safety hazards while traveling through the cabin.

Weight & Size

In addition to all the above requirements, you also need to consider whether your pet is small enough and comfortable enough to fit under a seat on an airplane. The carrier including the weight of the dog cannot exceed 20 lbs.

Take Note: If your dog does exceed the weight limit of 20 Ibs then unfortunately they will have to travel in the cargo of the plane!

This now brings us to the size of the carrier. For soft-sided carriers the maximum height is 9.5 inches, however, hard-sided carriers are slightly lower than 7.5 inches but this varies with each airline so make sure you double-check with an agent before booking your flight.

Here are some examples, of the dimension requirements of a dog carrier taken from three airlines!

  • Air France: (46 x 28 x 24 cm)
  • United Airlines (44 x 30 x19 cm)
  • Frontier Airlines (45 x 24 x 25 cm)

10 Dog Breeds That Can Fit Under Airplane Seat

Remember, all airlines have different rules when it comes to taking your dog on a plane. Some allow one pet per passenger, others restrict pets depending on breed and size, while some don’t allow any pets at all. So as before always check with your airline before booking.

Now that we’ve got the rule and regulations out of the way let’s go through what types of dog breeds that can fit under an airplane seat including their weight and size.

1. Shih Tzu

This breed is a popular choice among dog owners because they are relatively small and weigh around 8.8-16.5 lbs. They can grow up to 11 inches in height, which means that this breed will be able to sit under the airline seat with no problem!

The Shih Tzu is also considered one of the most relaxed dogs out there which makes them perfect for traveling, especially on long flights where you want your dog to feel comfortable and not agitated or anxious.

This great little pooch should have no problems fitting comfortably under an airplane seat when sitting next to you during take-off and landing! Plus size restrictions aren’t too much of a concern here either, making it easy to board airlines that restrict pets within 20 lbs.


  • Playful, Clever
  • Affectionate, Intelligent

Size & Weight

  • Size: (7.9–11.0 in)
  • Weight: (8.8–16.5 lb)

2. Maltese

The Maltese dog breed is very popular for a reason, they are small and can grow up to 10 inches in height. This means that your Maltese will be able to sit under the airline seat! They can also weigh around 3 to 8 lbs which makes them perfect for flying on most airlines as well!

The Maltese are only slightly smaller than a Shih Tzu so they are perfect for traveling on planes with you! They are Sweet-Tempered, Gentle, Extremely Loyal, and Intelligent which makes them an excellent choice for new dog owners that travel regularly.

However, they do tend to shed a lot especially long-haired Maltese so you might need to factor in time for grooming before your trip.


  • Sweet-Tempered, Loyal
  • Easygoing, Intelligent

Size & Weight

  • Size (8–10 in)
  • Weight (3–8 lb)

3. Papillon

The Papillon is another breed that is perfect for traveling. They are not only small but also well-behaved, intelligent, and loyal. They can grow up to 8–11 inches in height. Papillons weigh around 8–10 pounds which makes them the perfect size to sit under an airline seat.

The average lifespan of this breed is between 12-15 years so if you’re looking for a long-term companion then look no further than the papillon.

They are one of the most affectionate breeds out there making them an excellent choice for families that have kids or other pets! However, do expect some shedding as it’s common with all dogs at least during their adolescence period.


  • Intelligent, Happy
  • Friendly, Energetic,

Size & Weight

  • Size (8–11 inches)
  • Weight (8–10 Ib)

4. Dachshund

The Dachshund is a well know breed for being a great traveler, they are not only small but also very relaxed and calm. They can grow up to 15 to 19 in height which means that your Dachshund will be able to sit under the airline seat with no problem!

Dachshunds weigh around 16 to 32 lbs and although this is over the limit most airlines allow them on board as long as it doesn’t exceed their weight limit of 20 Ibs. Just make sure you check their weight!

The dachshund has short legs and a long body which makes him/her one of the cutest breeds out there! Their popularity is due to their temperament along with their loyalty.


  • Clever, Playful
  • Courageous, Devoted

Size & Weight

  • Size (15-19 inches)
  • Weight (16-32 lbs)

5. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds out there weighing around 4 to 6 pounds! Their height is around 6 to 10 inches which means that this breed will be able to sit comfortably under the airline seat!

The Chihuahua is a very loyal and friendly breed making them ideal for families as well as those traveling alone. However, they are also very fragile so it’s important to use a soft carrier when traveling with them on a plane.

Chihuahuas can live between 13-20 years which makes them perfect for families looking for long-term companionship throughout many life stages! However, expect your dog to bark on the plane especially if they are in unfamiliar places.


  • Lively, Alert
  • Quick, Courageous

Size & Weight

  • Size (6–10 in)
  • Weight (4–6 lb)

6. Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a great choice for flying because they are not only small but also very calm and relaxed. They can grow 7 to 12 inches in height which means that your Pom will be able to sit comfortably under the airline seat!

Pomeranians weigh around 3 to 7 pounds so most airlines allow them on board as long as it doesn’t exceed their weight limit of 20 Ibs.

This breed has been popular since Queen Victoria owned one during her reign, this breed’s popularity remains high due to its loyalty and affectionate nature towards families with children or other pets!


  • Intelligent, Playful
  • Friendly, Sociable

Size & Weight

  • Size (7–12 in)
  • Weight (3–7 lb)

7. Havanese

The Havanese is a well-known breed for being very affectionate and intelligent. They can grow up to 9 inches in height which means that they will be able to sit under the airline seat with no problems!

Havanese weigh around 7 to 14 lbs which makes them perfect for flying on planes as most airlines allow pets weighing less than 20 Ibs.

They are known for their intelligence, patience, and calm nature making them an excellent choice of family dog or companion when traveling alone. Although they don’t shed much like most small dogs do expect some hair left behind but not too bad due to their shorter coat length.


  • Playful, Affectionate
  • Intelligent, Responsive

Size & Weight

  • Size (9 in)
  • Weight 7–14 lb

8. Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is another breed that will be able to sit comfortably under the airline seat, they reach 8 to 9 inches in height which means that your Yorkie will fit nicely. They weigh around 4 to 7 lbs so most airlines allow them on board as long as it doesn’t exceed their weight limit of 20 Ibs.

These dogs are very playful and affectionate making them a great option for families with kids, and do well around other pets!

Yorkshire terriers have an average lifespan between 13-16 years but don’t let that fool you into thinking they won’t live longer than 16 years, some Yorkshire terriers have been known to live up to 20 years of age!


  • Independent, Bold
  • Intelligent, Confident

Size & Weight

  • Size (8–9 in)
  • Weight (4–7 lb)

9. Pekingese

The Pekingese is a good choice of dog for flying because they are very calm and love to sit on your lap or in this case a carrier. They can grow up to 6 to 9 inches in height so it’s recommended that owners use their soft carrier when traveling with them.

Pekingese weighs around 6 to 14 lbs and can easily fit under the airplane seat just as long as the weight limit isn’t exceeded at 20 Ibs.

However, they are classed as snub-nosed dogs, and as a result, some airlines may refuse to have your dog on board! So make sure you check with the airline first before booking your flight!


  • Opinionated,Affectionate
  • Affectionate, Intelligent

Size & Weight

  • Size (6–9 in)
  • Weight (6–14 lb)

10. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise’s height is around 9 to 11 inches and they can weigh around 12-18 Ibs making them good for those looking to fly with their dog in the cabin as long as it doesn’t exceed 20 pounds.

These little dogs are very affectionate and loyal, they love to show their owners lots of kisses but will require a lot of grooming due to their long coats.

Bichons have an average lifespan between 13-15 years depending on how well the owner takes care of them!


  • Playful, Cheerful
  • Affectionate, Feisty

Size & Weight

  • Size (9–11 in)
  • Weight (12–18 lb)


If you own a small dog and are looking to travel by plane, try considering one of these breeds as they will be able to fit under the airline seat without any problems! But, remember there are restrictions for snub-nosed breeds so always check with the airline before booking your tickets.

We hope this post has helped answer questions regarding traveling by plane alongside your furry friend which will hopefully make it easier next time around. Good luck & have fun while traveling!!

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