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Flying with Pets

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by KikiSashaFan, May 23, 2011.

  1. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    I'm going back to my hometown for a few months for an extended summer vacation and I'm taking my two dogs with me. I just booked the flight today, it's a non stop from Toronto to Vancouver in the early evening. That's pretty much as ideal as it gets, but I'm having a panic attack over them flying. They're both labs, so obviously they have to go as cargo, which is making me :yikes: Has anyone flown with dogs before? Should I give them something beforehand to help them calm? Any and all positive reinforcement would be appreciated for my sanity's sake.

    Cheylana and (deleted member) like this.
  2. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    We flew my dog to Germany from Atlanta, and she was fine. Lufthansa treated her very well. :)

    Which is not to say I didn't freak out the entire time....
  3. Jimena

    Jimena Well-Known Member

    I flew from PR to Atlanta and back. The vet told me not to give my dog anything to calm her down, but she recommended a pheromone collar to make her a bit more chill. She did OK. You could tell she was nervous, but she was fine. I, OTOH, was a mess.
  4. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    I've flown with my cat cross country, but she could be in the passenger cabin with me. The first time I gave her something to relax her, but the second time she went undrugged.
  5. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    My 2 cats flew from London to Charlotte, NC in the hold. We were already back in the states - couldn't bring them with us since my orders were emergency and there wasn't time to make arrangements. We boarded them in England and the cattery sorted it out. They were okay at the the other end without sedation.
  6. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    I've flown with my cat several times, both with and without meds. She did better without the sedative because she was kind of disoriented and upset when she was coming out of the sedative. See what your vet recommends.

    Especially since its summer, just make sure to give them plenty of water before you turn them over, just in case there's a delay or they knock their own water over. I think I once froze the water in my cat's water tray so she would have water throughout the cross-country trip as it melted.

    I'm sure your pups will be fine, but I understand your concern. I've found that the airlines are quite careful with pets.
  7. BittyBug

    BittyBug Living in a Kleptocracy

    This article has some tips at the end to make your trip go more smoothly.
  8. Christina

    Christina Well-Known Member

    Definitely don't sedate them. I've flown multiple dogs for the rescue with which I'm affiliated. Make sure the crate is big enough - read the airline's requirements. If you normally crate them during the day, use the flying crates for about a week so they are used to them and they "smell" right.

    It helps if you put a large piece of cardboard the size of the crate at the bottom. That way if they pee there is something to soak it up. You can a blanket or towel in with them, but no toys, bones or anything else. They will also ask you to put some food in a baggie to tape to the top of the crate, just in case there is an unforeseen delay.

    When booking the flight, be aware you might have to fly a strange route, as only certain planes are set up for animals in the cargo hold. You'll also have to have a travel health certificate and a valid rabies certificate. Check with your vet about the travel certificate - they usually have to be done within 10 days of travel time.

    I've flown dogs both within the US and from the US to Canada. These are general rules, but check with the airline, and with some planning they will be fine.
  9. Civic

    Civic New Member

    How much do airlines charge for pet tickets? Are they based on the pet's weight or size?
  10. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    I've flown many times with my pug. Once from Seoul to Washington DC. I would definitely recommend that you not sedate them. It's hard to known how dogs will react to a moving plane, but mine seems to find it relaxing and generally sleeps through the whole trip.
  11. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    I'm flying West Jet and they charged a flat $50.00 per dog. Thanks for all the advice so far.
  12. mikey

    mikey ...an acquired taste

    I've flown with dogs (both in the cabin with me and underneath as cargo) from the US to Europe, from Europe to Hawaii, and from Hawaii to California. They all did well without sedation. I would emphasize that you need to pay strict attention to the airline's list of requirements- health certificate, vaccinations, approved shipping crates, food/water, etc. It only happened to me once, but I missed one small item and they refused to allow the dog onboard. I had to reschedule everything. Don't risk it.
  13. TygerLily

    TygerLily Well-Known Member

    It is worth asking your vet. I asked mine about flying with my cat and he said not to use sedative if the cat was going in the hold because the cat can't regulate his temperature as well while sedated and since the hold is cold that could be a problem. I don't know if the same applies to dogs.

    (I've been bringing my cat in the cabin with me, though.)
  14. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I've flown my dogs once and know someone with a pet care service who has picked a lot of dogs up at the airport. Somehow they get through it and are usually no worse for wear - although the noise and isolation must be frightening.

    I've heard that sedation is not a good idea, but might consider it for a longer flight. When we picked up our golden retriever after just a two-hour flight we could hear her wailing from the pick-up area across the airport. So for a longer flight I might ask the vet for medication.

    And I'd be concerned about having the pet transferred to another flights due to stories of dogs lost in this way. Those maybe it is rare event that makes a good news story.
  15. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

    Wow, some great tips :) I'd definitely remember the blanket/towel, and the cardboard or several layers of newspaper in the bottom of the crate.