Doggies & Airports

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The true- hardcore dog.
Barked: Fri May 27, '11 11:56am PST 
Hiya Dogsters!

I'm about to fly to Alaska via Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines and I'm gonna bring my Chihuahua/Rat Terrier with me! big grin

I've never flown with a pet before. My grand plan is to take Gangsta as a carry-on (it's much cheaper and I'd feel better having her close-by anyway!), but I'm not sure what to expect. I know what I need to bring to take her with me (certificate of health, hard kennel, shot records), but what's it like bringing a pet on an airplane?

I also have a NINE HOUR lay-over in L.A. and some tips on what to do would be awesome! If some Dogsters could give me some tips for travel or what to expect on the plane would be great!

Thanks everyone!

Bodhi Wodhi
Barked: Fri May 27, '11 4:25pm PST 
Hi! I just recently flew with Bodhi. It was his first time as well. The first flight he was a bit nervous in the waiting area. He sort of had to take it all in really fast. I knew he was a bit overwhelmed, but no one else did. lol I made sure to give him some water, and he sat on my lap til we loaded the plane. He was very well behaved despite being a little bit afraid. He only whined once on the plane, and that was b/c I reached down to see if he was still alive. haha On the way back, I walked him through the airport before we got settled. That helped acclimate him tremendously plus he sort of knew what to expect. He received tons of attention. Lots of different people of all ages came up and petted him. Nine hours is a good bit of time. I would just walk him around and find out if there is an area to take him out and about. I would not feed too much if at all if you are unsure how he may handle it. Our flight was only an hour so he did not receive any food just water. I had his fav toy with him and a bone. He wasn't interested in either, but just wanted to watch. GoodLuck!!! I know I was more nervous for him than he was so don't stress! I'm sure he will be just fine as long as he is used to traveling at least in a car. big grin

Work hard; Play- harder.
Barked: Fri May 27, '11 10:19pm PST 
First, I'd suggest that you look up the site for earch airport you will be visiting (home, LA, AK). Most airports have rules in place as to keeping your pet in the carrier at all times in the terminal (minus when you have to take them out of the carrier when going through the security checkpoint). All US airports are required to have animal relief "stations" thanks to the ADA and the needs of SD handlers. You will want to know where those are located. Unfortunately, a lot of airports didn't really think things through very well and placed the relief area outside the security checkpoint.

Next, you can use a soft carrier (like a Sherpa bag) on Delta flights. There aren't too many hard carriers that will fit under the airline seats.

I'd double check on the health certificate. I know they are mandatory for animals flying as checked baggage and cargo. You may want to look up Alaska's animal import laws. Either way, you will definitely want to bring copies of your vax records; if you have an emergency and need to see a vet they will want proof Gangsta is UTD.

Scooter and I use to fly monthly (sometimes several round trips a month) before we came to Korea. I generally fed him light the night before, made sure he had ample opportunity to empty out before leaving the house, made sure to show up at the airport with enough time to get checked in (most airlines won't allow you to check-in online when you have an animal with you), then take him back out for a last chance to pee before heading to the security checkpoint. Depending on how long our layovers were, he'd get a light snack/meal and water.

Keep in mind that once on the plane, he will have to stay in the carrier under the seat in front of you. DOT/FAA regs are pretty strict about what animals are allowed to be loose in cabin (SDs and some ESAs) and what isn't. Due to a recent incident where a pet got loose from a carrier and bit two people, expect to be told to keep the carrier completely zipped shut at all times while waiting in the gate area. I'm really surprised that the PP was allowed out of the carrier in the gate area.

Lastly, make sure your collar/leash is not loaded with metal or bring a small makeshift slip lead for going through security. You can carry the dog through the metal detector, but I still suggest it being leashed just in case. The carrier will have to go through the x-ray machine (sans dog, of course).