Air Travel with Pets
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Air Travel with Pets
We're flying back east this summer for three weeks and are
planning on bringing our 50-lb dog. We've spoken with the
airline (Continental) about their policies and feel comfortable
with their advice and procedures. We have non-stop flights that
avoid the hottest parts of the day in our destination, Newark NJ.
We'd love advice from anyone who has done this recently. How
did pick up/drop off go? (My husband will fly east with the dog
by himself, so we're assuming he needs someone to drop him off at
the airport as opposed to trying to get the dog, kennel, etc. to
the airline counter from the parking garage). Did you sedate
your dog? (It seems that used to be much more common and
recommended than it is now). Any advice is appreciated. Thanks,
I flew with my 100lb dog lots between Toronto and San
Francisco. We never medicated him and he was always fine. I
made sure he had a drink before we left the house and then a
good pee break right before loading him into the carrier at the
I haven't flown with a dog in MANY years, but something I used
to do to set my mind at ease...when I was on the plane I'd tell
the flight attendant that I was concerned my dog would be left
behind (I was) and could they check to be sure she was on the
plane. They always did and I felt much more assured.
One time I was flying on a smaller plane, a short distance and
as they were closing the baggage hatch, I saw my dog in her
crate sitting out on the runway...I freaked out....Ever since
then I always asked (she got put on the plane...good thing I
saw). good luck
Have you looked into using Pet Airways? I don't think they fly
out of the Bay Area yet, but they do from L.A. That might not
be convenient, but your dog wouldn't have to be in cargo. I
personally would never fly with my dogs in cargo. I've heard
of lost/loose/dead dogs and I won't put my pups through the
stress. I'd be interested in hearing about other people's
experiences, but this is just my opinion. Good luck.
My dogs don't fly
Is it absolutely necessary to fly with the dog? I ask this because my experience of
doing so have been absolute nightmares. For example, after checking in ahead of
time with the airline to get a properly sized crate, and then asking again about the
size of the crate at check-in, I got on the plane only to have them tell me after the
plane left the gate that the dog was not on the plane because the crate was too big.
At that point, they could not let me off the plane to go on the same plane as the
dog. My dog was lost luggage! After I arrived in Newark, I had to wait an additional
three hours for the dog to arrive. The poor thing had been in the crate for almost
ten hours by then. And he was extremely freaked out--though the animal cabin is
pressurized, obviously, it's not climate controlled and it's very very loud. I think it
was a very horrible experience for my dog.
I'm sure mine is not the only horror story you will hear. If you have ANY option (like
a house/dig sitter)--and you don't absolutely need your dog to be on vacation with
you, I would re-consider. If you must take the dog on the plane, my vet did not
recommend a sedative, because if the dog is groggy he is only more likely to injure
leave fido home if possible
Has anyone flown with a lap dog? My mom may fly to visit us if she
can bring her healthy, very small dog instead of boarding it. The
airline allows passengers to bring dogs in carriers into the cabin
(essentially, your carry on luggage). They must be stowed under the
seat in front of you and cannot be taken out of the carrier during the
flight. Since the dog must remain in the carrier, she's concerned
about what do if her dog whines or has a smelly problem. Please share
your personal experience of flying with a lap dog in the cabin (pro or
con). Opinions without personal experience are not what we need to
help us decide what to do. Thanks.
Wanting a visit from my mom
My husband and I still joke about the time we brought a puppy
back from Denver on a United flight. We think we are barred
from United : - }. It was not a good experience, but the puppy
was agitated, hot, and cried the whole time, which did annoy
other passengers. We were told the puppy was too young to give
him anything that might make him calmer, but your mom should
consult with her vet and see if she can give her dog something
to relax it for the flight. I would suggest a direct flight, if
possible. I think it also depends on the temperment of the dog,
ours turned out to be a very high strung puppy and got really
upset when he got hot.(the flight attendant suggested my husband
put a blanket over the crate thinking the puppy would sleep, but
he got hot and really mad). Is your mom's dog used to being
crated? Most airlines require the pet to be crated, and remain
in the crate the whole flight. If so, it will probably do O.K.
on the flight, and she can just ignore the other passengers, she
will probably never see them again anyway.
We will drive next time
We took our toy poodle with us to Mexico last year.
Fortunately, we had enought bonus miles to fly first class.
This was enormously helpful. I took our dog out for a walk
before leaving for the airport and again into the smoking
section of the airport at the stopover in LA. We also gave him
a homeopathic rescue remedy for anxiety. He had no problems.
Some of the airline hosts/hostesses were ''dog people'' and
allowed me to keep my dog in my lap after take off. Others
insisted he stay in the bag the whole time. Suggest to your
mom that she visit the vet before the trip. The vet will
likely have additional useful information.
We've flown numerous times with our mini weiner dog as a ''lap
dog''; each leg of the trip was over 2000 miles(more than 5
hours in-flight). We didn't give her anything to eat for 2
hours before even leaving for the airport, so she hasn't eaten
for more than 6 hours by the time we reach our destination. But
we've never had a ''potty'' accident, and I think that's why.
Nevertheless, we always bring a doggy ''potty pad'' with us as
part of our carry-on, so if there is an accident and we have to
toss the sheepskin that lines the bottom of her Sherpa-brand
carrier, she can lay on the clean/dry potty pad. We also bring
a small wash cloth in case she throws up: our dog gets car
sick, but surprisingly we've never had a vomit-incident in
flight. My most important advice to you is that you absolutely
must get an aisle seat: oftentimes the regulation-size carrier
will not fit under the seat if you are at the window or --
heaven forbid -- in the center seat. And it'll even be a bit
difficult on the aisle; prepare for the in-flight crew to give
you grief if the carrier is not all the way under(and each
airline/plane is different when it come to roominess under the
seat, so you have no way of knowing!!! Lucky for us, our family
takes up all three seats, so we have been able to switch the
carrier to the most comfortable spot. But get an aisle seat in
any case.) Our weiner dog is yappy and high-strung. The first
time we flew with her, I was prepared for the worst: that she
would bark incessantly and whine and cry; it's not happened so
far. That being said, she does get restless during the last 90
minutes: she starts scratching on the carrier. We calm her by
putting carrier on our lap and tucking our hand inside to pet
her; we just open it a little and stroke her head. A friend
recommended that we bring an antihistamine tablet along to make
her sleep right before taking off -- not a doggy medication,
just our own ''people'' drug. We always bring a dose, but have
never had to medicate her; nevertheless, I'd bring some sort
of calming agent just to be safe. If you have a layover, you
can open the bag and let her stretch a bit: we haven't been
chastised for this; just be discreet. Good Luck!
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