pet-policy Southwest Airlines Dog Policy
2023-09-25   Airlines Ticket Agent

Southwest Airlines Dog Policy

Southwest Airlines Dog Policy

Southwest Airlines is a US low-cost airline with cheap tickets and courteous service. Founded in 1967, it is one of the world's major airlines, servicing over 100 US and foreign destinations. Support dogs, or emotional support animals (ESAs), improve mental health and well-being in people with emotional or psychological disorders. Specially trained animals soothe and help their people, making everyday living simpler. Dogs as emotional support animals aboard airlines have increased in recent years. Many airlines have procedures to accommodate these creatures and assure passenger comfort and safety. Southwest Airlines is one.  

Follow these Southwest Airlines Support Dog Policy guidelines:

  • Support dogs may fly with documented people on Southwest Airlines.  
  • Southwest Airlines assistance Dog policy requires assistance dogs to accompany their handlers in public and behave responsibly.  
  • A qualified mental health professional must write a support dog letter for the passenger. 
  • However, Southwest Airlines does not allow support for pets or birds.  
  • Southwest Airlines Support Dog policy only accepts dogs.  
  • Support dogs are allowed to one per passenger. 
  • Southwest Airlines recommends notifying passengers of their assistance dog intentions at least 48 hours in advance.  
  • Southwest Airlines accommodates assistance dog travellers, but they must care for them.  

For more information about Southwest Airlines Support Dog Policy, call Southwest Airlines customer service at +1-888-660-0563 or 1-800-435-9792. Southwest Airlines will assign you an agent who will help you. 

Travelling with Support dog on Southwest Airlines

  • Make sure your service dog is ready to travel before you fly with him.
  • Allow your dog to relieve itself or ensure that the flight is short enough to prevent urinating or defecating. 
  • Take your service dog out in public to get used to strangers.
  • The next step is to fill out a Form for Air Transportation of Service Animals from the Department of Transportation. 
  • The form asks for your name and information about your service dog, such as whether it has been individually trained and whether it is vaccinated. 
  • Check-in at the ticket counter with the completed form. It may also be required when you arrive at your gate. 
  • It is normal for the public and airline employees to ask about the purpose of your service dog.
  • Unlike pets, Southwest Airlines service dog policy does not require you to put your dog in a crate or carrier. It would help if you always kept your service animal on a leash or in a harness.
  • Before you board the aircraft, make sure your dog isn't in anyone's way and that you're not sitting in an emergency exit seat. 
  • If the seat next to you is unoccupied, do not place your service dog on the tray table. Your dog can sit on your lap, at your feet, or in a carrier under the row in front of you.

Southwest Airlines Required Documentation for Support Dog

Southwest Airlines ESA policy requires an emotional support letter as the most important document to bring. You are responsible for other documents specific to your travel destination, such as veterinary health forms, vaccinated health records, permits, etc. Required documents are described below:

ESA Letter

ESA passengers will need a letter on the letterhead of their licensed mental health professional. Your mental health professional must say:

  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM IV). You have a recognized physical or mental disability. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all examples.
  • Your mental health professional issued your ESA letter on this date.
  • Air travel requires reasonable accommodations.

Veterinary health form

Southwest Airlines' ESA policy does not require a veterinary health form for boarding. If your country of destination requires additional documentation, you must bring a veterinary health form.

Signed Testament to the Animal’s Behaviour

Southwest Airlines' ESA policy does not mention the need for a signed testimonial of the animal's behaviour. A service animal or emotional support animal may be rejected by the airline if it displays aggressive behaviour.

Southwest Airlines Support Dog Fee

Southwest Airlines' ESA and pet policies can be strict. Southwest's Pet Policy requires a mandatory fee of $95 per pet per way. Pet carriers must be used by owners travelling with pets in the cabin of an aircraft. If you travel

Southwest Airlines only allows 6 pet carriers per flight, unfortunately. Southwest Airlines reserves pets on first come, first served, so if you're looking to take your pet onto the plane, you should know this.

Southwest Airlines Cabin Policy for Support Dog

Southwest Airlines does not accept pets on international flights. Southwest Airlines aircraft cannot transport pets in the cargo hold. Seats with no forward or under-seat storage will not be available to passengers accompanied by pets/service animals. Any animal being transported by the airline must be accompanied by its owner or handler. Also, unaccompanied minors cannot travel with pets. It will be necessary for a service dog handler to assist minors using a service dog.

Details Southwest Airlines Emotional Support Dog policy

Southwest Airlines customers can transport small domestic cats and dogs under their seats in the passenger cabin. At the time of writing, the airline offers its own branded pet carrier for 58 USD. Southwest Airlines' pet carrier measures 17" long, 9.5" high, and 10" wide. The airline accepts pet carriers up to 18.5" x 8.5" x 13.5" in size. Pet carriers can be soft or hard-sided, but they must be leak-proof and well-ventilated for your pet's comfort. Only one pet per person is allowed for trips with multiple pets. Pets must stay in a carrier at all times, even at the gate. Service animals and pets cannot share a carrier when travelling together. If you have a service animal and want to bring a pet on a Southwest flight, you'll need to buy an extra seat for both animals.

How strict is Southwest with dogs?

Southwest Airlines is one of the most pet-friendly airlines. They let small dogs and cats fly in-cabin with their owners under specific conditions. The airline restricts carrier size and weight and allows a certain number of dogs per person. Since flights accept a limited number of pets, please reserve your pet before your journey. Bringing your pet on board incurs a cost, which may fluctuate. 

Can you fly on Southwest with a dog?

Southwest Airlines permits dogs in the cabin provided they satisfy certain standards. The dog must be tiny enough to fit in a container beneath the front seat. The carrier should allow the dog to stand, turn, and lie down. Southwest permits one pet per person in a carrier, and the carrier and pet cannot exceed weight limits. Southwest requires pet fares for dog owners. 

 What size dog can fly on Southwest?

Southwest Airlines limits dog size on flights. The chalet only allows small dogs and cats in pet carriers. The carrier should fit beneath the front passenger seat. The pet should be able to stand, turn, and lie down comfortably. Pet carriers are restricted to one per person and six for each aircraft. The pet and carrier should weigh no more than 20 pounds.  

What size dog can fly in a cabin?

Many people wonder what size dog can fly in the cabin. Different airlines have different regulations regarding pets on board, so you must check the airline you plan to fly with. Southwest Airlines allows the maximum weight limit for a dog to fly in the cabin is 20 pounds. However, some airlines may have lower weight limits, typically around 15 pounds. 


Southwest Airlines allows support dogs to travel with passengers who meet their criteria and provide proper documentation. By following the guidelines set forth by the airline, passengers can travel comfortably and enjoy a stress-free flight with their support dog.  

Also Read : Delta Airlines Support Dog Policy


Frequently Asked Questions

Ans. To travel with your support dog on Southwest Airlines, ensure you have valid documentation, keep your dog well-behaved, and follow the airline's guidelines for a smooth journey. .

Ans. You can inform Southwest Airlines about your support dog when booking a flight by contacting their customer service or by selecting the option during the online booking process..

Ans. No, there is no charge for bringing a service dog with you on Southwest Airlines..

Ans. You typically need a letter from a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor to prove your dog's status as a support animal when travelling with Southwest Airlines. .

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