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Thread: Flying home with a puppy

  1. #31
    Senior Member GaryJ's Avatar
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    I have never flown a puppy but I did drive with one over 800 miles from upstate NY to SC. Did it all in one trip without a hotel stay. The one thing I was concerned with was where to stop and let the dog out to relieve himself. We decided to stay away from any place other dogs may have been to avoid parvo or other diseases. We ended up getting off the interstate in rural areas and letting the dog out in remote areas. That certainly did not help with wild animals carrying something but we thought it was the best we could do. When he whined we stopped as soon as practical and did not have any accidents. It all worked out fine. The upside is we have a great riding dog today.
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  2. #32
    Member laurelwood's Avatar
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    I'm a flight attendant for a major airline. I've flown quite a few puppies all over the country in the cabin, and even though I could fly my dogs in the cargo hold for no charge there is simply no way I'd do it. I know there are plenty of people that ship dogs in the cargo hold with no problems, but I've also seen too many things go way too wrong from an inside perspective to risk my dogs. There are some private air carriers I'd trust to ship my dog (like Tex Sutton) and there are really great ground shippers (like Kati Becker's Move The Dog).

    Flying your puppy in the cabin is not difficult, in fact I tell people it's probably cheaper and easier to buy a round trip ticket and fly a puppy with you than to ship in cargo.
    -You'll need to tell the airline you're travelling with a pet when you book your ticket, there is usually a small fee (between $25 and $75).

    -Most airlines state you need a health certificate but will rarely ask to see it, but better to be safe than sorry.

    -Go with a soft-sided carrier, like a Sherpa. Even if a hard-shell carrier fits the supposed dimensions the reservation agent tells you it probably won't fit... trust me on this. Line the carrier with disposable potty pads and an old towel.

    -Pack a small carry-on bag with extra potty pads, baby wipes, a small bowl for water, and puppy food for at least a couple of days- you'll be prepared for just about any situation. Don't worry about sedating your puppy, he'll be fine. Even he cries a little bit he'll still be much less annoying than 90% of the other passengers. Almost all pets in the cabin fall asleep shortly after takeoff.

    -You'll take the puppy out and carry it through the metal detector at the security checkpoint while the carrier goes through the x-ray. Travelling with a pet can make you subject to additional security screening. This can include swabbing you for gunpowder residue, as I found out when I went straight to the airport after training and shooting flyers all day. Give yourself extra time to get to the gate for this additional screening.

  3. #33
    Member Truffle's Avatar
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    When I came back from Texas with my puppy (2200 miles round trip in a car), I did two things that I think helped the health of the pup. First, after I aired her, I wiped down her paws with a disposible wet wash, which hopefully removed any bad stuff on the ground that got on her paws. Second, I bought a gallon of bottled water and used only that for her water en route, even at the motel for the overnight stay. There was a park close to our motel, and my husband and I took the pup over to a deserted area before bedtime and spent some time calling her back and forth between us, until she was tired. The grand plan was that she would be tired and sleep in her little crate beside the bed. Pup had other ideas, and spent the night in bed with us, where she slept just fine. I told her she'd better enjoy it, because it wouldn't happen again.
    Shirley Christian
    Fort Collins, CO
    shirley.christian79@gmail.com

  4. #34
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    >>Second, I bought a gallon of bottled water and used only that for her water en route, even at the motel for the overnight stay.

    Good thought but why not go one better? Take a gallon jug to pick up the puppy and ask the breeder to fill your jug with their water. That way the pup will arrive home having had the water he's always been used to. Once home, you can move him to your water. Just a thought ...
    Eric

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  5. #35
    Senior Member The Snows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurelwood View Post
    i'm a flight attendant for a major airline. Don't worry about sedating your puppy, he'll be fine. Even he cries a little bit he'll still be much less annoying than 90% of the other passengers.
    lol!
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  6. #36
    Member Maryde's Avatar
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    Might want to send your Sherpa to the breeder prior so the pup can get used to being inside before the trip.


    Mary

  7. #37
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    I've done this several times & it's really not difficult.
    (1) You have to reserve space on the return flight before you leave & pay for it, just like a person seat.
    (2) The airline will tell you the maximum size of the sherpa bag. Get one that has windows both sides & zips open on top. It should fit at least partially under the seat in front. I always unzip the top for more air and have that end facing me & my legs. After takeoff I pull the bag out as far as possible. Dont unzip the topall the way without being ready for an escape artist.
    (3) Don't feed the dog if you can help it until you get home, if it's the same day. I get ice cubes and feed the pup those.
    (4) Don't worry about the puppy getting used to the bag before . It will be glad to be in it as it'll be scared out of its wits - doesn't know you, first time away from litter, noises, heat etc etc. It'll sleep all the way if you let it, except during plane changes. It's a BABY, they sleep 18 hours a day or more.
    (5) Wee-wee pads are great. One in & a couple to spare. I take a couple of poop bags and a couple of plastic shopping bags in case the pup poops between flights, & then you can trash that without being obnoxious.
    (6) The Sherpa bag is small enough that a well socialized pup probably wont relieve itself in it. Likewise it hopefully has learned to move away from its littermates in the whelping box or ex-pen to relieve itself.
    (7) The water in the airports is clean - it has to be. The pup wont drink much anyway. Remember the icecubes while you're in flight.
    (8) Ask the breeder for a small bag of the kibble for home - on you drive home give it some dry - keeps it busy because it'll be starving!
    (9) DONT FEED THE PUPPY AT ALL DURING THE FLIGHTS or the waits. Pups poop a lot. It doesnt need anything until you settle for the night,either at home or your motel.
    They are hardier than you think. Enjoy!

  8. #38
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    If the breeder wants you to take the puppy that early it won't be fully socialized & you may have problems with wetting etc. It may be better to pick it up at 9 weeks if you can't deal with holiday travel. Dont think about driving in winter. It's cheaper to fly & easier on you & the pup.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Moose Mtn's Avatar
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    Just made a flight with a new pup on Sunday.. We have done this before, and it was easy as can be.

    We had NOT planned on bringing a pup home with us.. Just flew to Tx to see our young dog in training.

    I called the day before our flight home, and asked about carry on pets. it was $75 with Frontier.. no HC needed.

    I got one of the Southwest Airlines brand dog carriers.. It worked fine, but I think I might shop another brand next time.. i just wanted to be sure it was approved..

    It had good ventilation, but was short and wide.. pup could stand up.. but not much head room.. and the bottom was soft.. so it was a little tough to carry.. But the pup seemed to settle into it, as it was more of a pouch feel for her.

    Pups we have flown with have never made a noise on the flight. I buy a cold water bottle after we get thru security, and put the bottle in the carrier to keep them cool.

    Never had one poop or pee in the bag.. they do just as soon as I get them out at the airport ( outside) but our flight is only 2 hours.. or 3 hours port to port with check in.

    generally, you will carry the pup, outside of the carrier as you go thru check in and screening.. the carrier goes thru TSA just like carry on baggage, and you carry the pup .. often you get fingers swabbed.. So be sure if you were firing the blank pistol or shooting birds, that you get your hands good and clean beofre you do security.

    I also direct the air vents to the floor as soon as I get seated.. get some air flow down to the pup... arrange the bad, so you can slide a hond in to check pup as needed.
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  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by laurelwood View Post
    I'm a flight attendant for a major airline. I've flown quite a few puppies all over the country in the cabin, and even though I could fly my dogs in the cargo hold for no charge there is simply no way I'd do it. I know there are plenty of people that ship dogs in the cargo hold with no problems, but I've also seen too many things go way too wrong from an inside perspective to risk my dogs. There are some private air carriers I'd trust to ship my dog (like Tex Sutton) and there are really great ground shippers (like Kati Becker's Move The Dog).

    Flying your puppy in the cabin is not difficult, in fact I tell people it's probably cheaper and easier to buy a round trip ticket and fly a puppy with you than to ship in cargo.
    -You'll need to tell the airline you're travelling with a pet when you book your ticket, there is usually a small fee (between $25 and $75).

    -Most airlines state you need a health certificate but will rarely ask to see it, but better to be safe than sorry.

    -Go with a soft-sided carrier, like a Sherpa. Even if a hard-shell carrier fits the supposed dimensions the reservation agent tells you it probably won't fit... trust me on this. Line the carrier with disposable potty pads and an old towel.

    -Pack a small carry-on bag with extra potty pads, baby wipes, a small bowl for water, and puppy food for at least a couple of days- you'll be prepared for just about any situation. Don't worry about sedating your puppy, he'll be fine. Even he cries a little bit he'll still be much less annoying than 90% of the other passengers. Almost all pets in the cabin fall asleep shortly after takeoff.

    -You'll take the puppy out and carry it through the metal detector at the security checkpoint while the carrier goes through the x-ray. Travelling with a pet can make you subject to additional security screening. This can include swabbing you for gunpowder residue, as I found out when I went straight to the airport after training and shooting flyers all day. Give yourself extra time to get to the gate for this additional screening.
    To reiterate laurelwood's post - here is a horror story about shipping an adult dog by air http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigat...232739231.html

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