What if My Dog Barks on the Plane? How to Prevent?

What if My Dog Barks on the Plane? How to Prevent?

Last Updated on September, 2022

If you are a dog owner and have not been with your pet on a plane before, you would have the question, “What if My Dog Barks on the Plane?”. 

It could be terrifying when you are 30,000 feet up in mid-flight and stuck with a barking dog.

As dogs are unpredictable, their barking could become stressful not only for you and your pet but also for other passengers on the plane. Some might happen to laugh it off, whereas some others trying to relax or sleep can find it disturbing. 

If the barking continues, flight attendants can walk up to your seat and ask how they can help you. They might even permit you to take the dog out of the pet carrier to calm it down. 

Knowing how to prevent your pet from barking is vital to avoid any problems or other inconvenient circumstances.

This article is for pet owners willing to understand why their dog keeps barking on a plane and how to prevent it.

Quick Summary

If your dog barks on a plane, passengers may complain to the flight attendant, who may then ask you to change your seat, put your dog in the cargo hold, or even ask you to leave the plane.

Dogs bark on planes for various reasons, including separation anxiety, unfamiliar noises, and changes in altitude.

There are several ways to prevent your dog from barking on a plane, including training your dog to be comfortable in a carrier, using a dog muzzle, and providing your dog with chew toys.

What Happens if Your Dog Barks on a Plane?

a dog barking inside the plane

A dog can keep barking for various reasons. Although we cannot eliminate all the causes, we can control some of them. 

Following are some facts on what might happen if the barking continues. 

Passengers May Complain About the Barking

If your dog continuously barks on the plane, some passengers might complain to the flight attendant. It’s essential to remain calm during such a situation. 

If people do complain, you can politely apologize to them. The flight attendant will do everything possible to keep the passengers calm and quiet. 

If the flight has not taken off yet, and your pet is still barking, they might ask you to ‘exit’ the plane; this usually happens if there is no other option left.

Flight Attendant Might Relocate You to Another Seat

If your dog continues barking loudly and it does not keep quiet, the passengers will complain about it. Then they could change your seat to a different area on the plane.

Do not argue with the airline steward if they ask you to change your seat. It is better to listen to them rather than get into a quarrel that can result in you being refused entry on connecting flights.

The Flight Attendant Might Put Your Dog in the Cargo

During air travel, most airlines allow you to have a carrier with a small pet in the cabin, and it will be placed under your seat.

If you cannot stop the dog barking, the airline steward might move him into the cargo hold.

Your Dog Might Require Sedation on the Flight

Most dogs do not react well to sudden altitude and cabin pressure changes, which might cause them to growl loudly. If your dog makes too much noise, it might need to be sedated during the journey.

It is highly recommended that you consult your veteran doctor before your flight and ask about what medications your dog might need. If you feel your dog will not keep well throughout the journey, it is better not to take them with you.

a dog sleeping in plane

You Might be Asked to Leave the Plane as Soon as it Lands

Flight attendants usually have experience with barking dogs, so they will give you enough time to calm your dog. 

However, if your dog is not quiet, they might ask you to exit the plane after it lands. It could be an astonishing fact for you, but this has happened to many people. 

Your Entry Onto Connecting Planes May be Refused

If your dog has been barking non-stop on the plane, and the passengers constantly complain about the behavior of your dog, then they could refuse your entry onto the connecting plane. 

Your entry onto connecting planes is refused when the flight attendants feel you cannot control your dog’s behavior.

Customs Could Seize Your Dog Until Your Return

It could be distressing to know that if your pup keeps barking and appears in distress, customs officials can deny permission for him to enter another nation. 

The officials usually deny it when they feel that your little pooch can be a threat to society.

Many individuals can perceive your beloved pooch as a threat because they would not know him like you do and can be terrified. Hence, they can deny your admittance to another nation. 

Reasons for Your Dog to Bark on a Plane

a dog walking inside the plane

It is important for you to consider the root causes for your dog to be barking on a plane, before knowing how to stop it, which will make it easier for you to understand whether it is possible to eliminate the problem.

Some reasons why dogs bark on planes include:

  • Your dog can be barking due to the unfamiliar noise of the airplane.
  • Dogs can growl due to experiencing separation anxiety, as they will be put in a carrier and unable to see their owner.
  • Dogs can be barking due to their ears popping when on a flight. They can also be affected by sudden changes in altitudes, just like us, humans. Air travel can cause blocked sensation and ears popping for dogs like humans. 
  • When flying, dogs can keep barking due to peeing or pooping within their crates. It usually happens as most planes do not allow them out of their approved carrier or from under the seats.
  • Dogs are sensitive to noise, so if the cabin is too noisy, it can make them uncomfortable and growl.
  • If there is not enough room for your dog in the carrier, they can feel motion sickness and nausea which could make them bark loudly. 

Not all the reasons mentioned above can be eliminated, but some of them can be controlled. Following are some tips to keep your dog quiet and calm on planes. 

How to Prevent Your Dog From Barking on a Plane?

Train Your Dog to Grow Accustomed to a Comfortable Carrier

Commercial flights will insist on taking your pets in a secure carrier.

If it is your dog’s first time flying, there is no use in trying to cram him into a carrier that he has never been before.

You can make him willingly move into a carrier with some simple training at home. You need to introduce him into a carrier gradually. 

2 dogs inside the carrier

It begins with desensitizing your dog by which it will get familiar with things that are comparable in texture and staying in the carrier. You can add a blanket or towel, throw some treats as rewards from the top or allow them to sniff around.

If your pup feels comfy and is at ease in the carrier, it will not feel stressed and make loud noises.

You need to use a soft carrier with more space so that your dog can stand up or move around. 

Also, make sure to place small and familiar chew toys and even a comfortable blanket that smells of home to make your dog feel more at home and remain quiet.

Buy Anxiety Thundershirt or A (Bark/Calming/Shock) Collar for Your Dog

Thundershirts, also known as anxiety wraps, have great reviews for calming dogs, and they are said to work with 80% of anxious dogs. You can get them on Amazon and use them to calm down your dog and stop barking. 

If yours is an untrained little dog, you can try using a pheromone collar or a pheromone spray available on Amazon. Research says it can keep your dog calm, so it does not grunt after take off.

There are some other collars, such as shock and bark collars. These are training collars which you can use to reduce barking. It would be best to use this only when you have no other option.

Check this link out to identify the ten best collars with reviews for your dog. Also if you don’t know how to use this device for barking, check this guide.

Use a Dog Muzzle (Bark Resistant)

A dog owner must ensure his dog is quiet and well-behaved when they board the plane. 

If you feel that you might not be able to control the barking dog, you can use a dog muzzle which is bark resistant.

Muzzles can prohibit your dog from opening its jaws and barking.

You do not have to worry about the fact that a muzzle may not allow your dog to pant, eat or drink. There are muzzles designed to allow all those while still wearing it.

Consult a Vet and Use Sedatives

If you feel that your dog can get anxious during your flight, it’s better to consult a veterinarian and get prescribed sedatives. 

Certain sedatives can have side effects, and not all dogs respond well. Therefore consult a vet and try a test dose before the flight. 

Sedatives can keep your dogs at ease, and a well-relaxed or sleeping dog will not be barking on plane.

veterinarian injecting a dog

Tire Your Dog Before the Flight

Tiring your dog will drain their energy and make them sleep during the flight.

Make sure to give a lot of exercise like running and walking, even mental stimulation before take-off. It will exhaust your dog and keep it calm.

Try Making Use of Doggy Treats

Providing small treats can distract your dog barking loudly or any other misbehaviors on a plane. 

However, you need to ensure your dog does not overeat, as this can cause your dog to pee or poop on the plane. 

Avoid Removing the Dog From its Carrier Throughout the Flight

When dogs are taken out from the carrier, they can be exposed to different faces, cabin crew and craziness around them, making them anxious and provoking them to bark loudly.

It is better to avoid taking your dog out of the carrier unless it is experiencing any problems and needs to be cared for.

Use Chew Toys for Ear Pops

If you feel that your dog is barking on the airplane due to ear pops, you can use Chew toys. 

Ear poppins usually happen due to changes in pressure as the plane adjusts altitude. 

If you provide your dog with a chew toy, your pup can rapidly chew away any ear discomforts. 

Try Using Ear Muffs to Suppress the Noise and Reduce Anxiety

The noise they hear inside the plane can make your pooch anxious and start barking loudly. If you feel it is barking because of the noise, then noise canceling ear muffs on them are a great option and will suppress the noise they hear. 

Ear muffs can reduce the stress and anxiety of your dog and help him stay calm throughout your journey. 

Related article: How to Stop a German Shepherd From Excessive Barking?

Takeaway

You do not need to fear taking your pup on a plane, as you have learned plenty of ways to prevent your dog barking on a plane.

Ensure both you and your pup are comfortable and relaxed throughout the journey. Minimizing any noise or disruption on board can keep your dog calm.

Do not forget to offer goodies and toys for your dog ahead of time. It will make them feel less bored or worried. 

I hope all our facts were helpful for you. Do not forget to share this content with anyone who might need it. 

FAQs

Some pets experience motion sickness, so it is better to keep their stomachs empty before the flight. It can prevent nausea and vomiting.

It is also best to refrain from feeding them four hours to six hours before flying to reduce your dog’s need to go to the bathroom.

Most airlines do not allow you to buy a separate seat for your pooch.

United and JetBlue are the only airlines that allow you to buy a seat for your pooch. However, they have strict rules and regulations that you must adhere to.

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Author
Thomas
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of IPet Guides. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. You can find more about him here.

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