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Flying dog...

10056 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Tuesday
I will be taking Gwen on an airplane in a month or two. I am really nervous about this especially because the airline considers a traveling pet "checked baggage". Besides the typical airline guidelines, is anyone able to offer me any advice or tips? Thanks! The ride will be about 6 hours. :(
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Ask your vet for some type of sedative, that way she will be sleepy and not so nervous.
Ask your vet for some type of sedative, that way she will be sleepy and not so nervous.
might be acceptable if the dog is a nervious type however such medication often does more harm than good.

!. look for a direct flight.

2. have stewerdess etc confirm dog is loaded on the plane.

3. remember you need heath check no more than 1 week prior to flight, crate must be arline approved.

4. avoid feed dog 12 hours prior. avoid puking if nausea from motion sikness occurs.

5. while it is required to have a bowl for ater actually having water in the bowl is not required and a bad idea it will only make a mess.

If you are concerened about the bet fling as cargo or checked bakage look into pet airways where all pets travel in the main cabin but no humans are allowed and they have a limited flight destinations

Traveling By Air With Your Pet
american Animal Hospital Association
Finally, owners should consider whether the pet is comfortable with traveling. Pets are just like people who sometimes become anxious when they don’t travel frequently. This leads some owners and veterinarians to question whether administering sedatives or tranquilizers to dogs or cats prior to flight is a good idea. According to national and international air transportation organizations, as well as the American Humane Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases the answer is "no"! "An animal’s natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation," says Dr. Patricia Olson, DVM, PhD, former director of veterinary affairs and studies for the American Humane Association. "When the kennel is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury."
Whether flying in the cabin or as checked baggage, animals are exposed to increased altitude pressure of approximately 8,000 feet. Increased altitude, according to Dr. Olson, can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats who are sedated or tranquilized. "Brachycephalic dogs and cats [those with short, wide heads] are especially affected," says Dr. Olson. "Although thousands of pets are transported uneventfully by air, airline officials believe that when deaths occur they often result from the use of sedation."

Is tranquilization okay for my pets?

According to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), air transport of sedated pets may be fatal. Over-sedation is the most frequent cause of animal deaths during airline transport and accounts for almost half of all deaths. Except in unusual circumstances, veterinarians should not dispense sedatives for animals that are to be transported. Little is known about the effects of sedation on animals that are under the stress of transportation and enclosed in cages at 8,000 feet or higher, the altitude at which cargo holds are pressurized. Additionally, some animals react abnormally to sedatives
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Charlotte (& our 2 cats) had to fly back in Sept when we moved from CA to the D.C. area, it was a 5+ hour flight. It was a terrible experience and my first advice would be to not fly your pet if you can at all help it.
I would check and double check what your airline considers a flight safe kennel because although we followed the booking agents recommendations to the letter we were forced to buy an extremely expensive kennel at the check in gate and leave ours behind.
Ask your vet before you give ANY type of seditive to your dog (even the anxiety relief you can buy in a pet store). Just know that your animal will be in the belly of the plane by itself with no one to get to it if something goes wrong and it has a bad reaction to the meds.
Add a lot of extra time to your preflight plans. It took forever to get past the check in counter (we had to wait at a seprate desk for someone to come help us then switch kennels and fill out a lot of paperwork) then they walk you to a special area of security to have the kennel and pet go through security then you will have to be walked back up and go through security yourself. It took us at least 1 - 1 & 1/2 hours.

All of our animals came out on the other side perfectly fine, if not a little shaken up, but I would never want to do that to them again if I had a choice.
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We shipped our Patterdale, Bleys, all the way from England when we moved. I tried to arrange it through the airline, but didn't feel that it was safe. Instead I found a company that took care of shipping for me. It cost more, but they had strict guidelines about when an animal could fly and how they could fly. It seemed much safer.

Bleys arrived at our destination safe and sound. I don't know if that's an option or not, but it can make things simpler.
We are moving as well so keeping her home isn't really an option. I know what the airline guidelines are but just wanted to see if anyone had any tips from personal experience. Thanks for the tip, Lottesmom on adding more time to the trip. Blah...not looking forward to this. MoonCrow, what was the company called? Thank you everyone!!!
It would be nice if sedatives were acceptable and safe for flying pets. Gwen would sleep the whole way and not even care what is going on. She is in for a surprise. Gwen is such a sensitive dog, this is going to be a traumatic event for her. She will be alright though. lol
Best of luck to Gwen on her flight, and to you on your move. While there's no denying it can be a bit of a traumatic experience, I'm sure she will be fine!

We also used a professional pet shipping company when we moved Scully to New Zealand, and then back to Canada. We were told at the time (about 6 years ago now), that sedatives were a complete no-no. I was a total nervous wreck for the whole thing, and I'm sure Scully was confused as hell, but my brave little baby survived it all and was back to herself without a terribly long adjustment period, considering. I hope Gwen does just as well!
Me too! Thank you for the good luck wishes, Scully.
I love your blogsite by the way!
It was a British company, but if you do a google search for companies that fly animals, you should be able to find something. That's how I found the one we used.

They will require vaccination papers and a vet check done within a week of flying (I remember this because it caused extreme upset. My husband had to work and the vet did not allow small children so I had to find a babysitter the night before.) You will also be required to provide an airline-approved kennel with approved water and food containers. And if the animal is flying on a different flight, you will need someone to pick them up at the airport.

I hope it works out.
I think seditives for the people is in order.
Don't have any real advice, as I've been too scared to do this with Fergus. Unfortunately, you don't get a choice. My only real thoughts towards her comfort might be to fill her crate with things that smell like you and maybe give her some kind of toy to work on that will keep her busy. Like one that dispenses treats? Good luck! We'll keep you guys in our thoughts on your journey!! She deserves lots of good treats when she comes out the other side.
bubbad, I agree!

Thanks Cassidy, that is a good idea. I will do that.
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