Anyone flown with their dog before? Any tips?

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Tiny Rogi

Barked: Sat Jul 23, '11 5:09am PST 
Rogi is flying to Canada with us this summer and he'll be about 3.5 months when the traveling date arrives. He'll have had his second set of shots then.

We're flying Southwest & AirTran. Anyone have experiences bringing their dogs with these carriers?

I'm worried if our pup may start welping/whining/barking during the flight or if he needs to go potty. Are sedatives or Rescue Remedy for Pets a good idea? I do have a few belly bands and doggy diapers...wondering if I should have him wear that.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Sat Jul 23, '11 7:35am PST 
Where are you flying from? Many places are going to be too hot for him to be allowed to fly, even if you are landing in Canada.

Most airlines do not allow your dog to be sedated and it is not recommended.

At 3.5 months I think you should prob accept he might mess in his cage. i would not put anything on him like diapers and belly bands. you do not want anything on him or in the cage that is going to hold his body heat during the summer. A 3.5 months he really can't regulate his body temp well. It can be even more dangerous for him to travel.

Make sure to check with Canada for their vaccine requirements to make sure everything is in order, along with the health certificates, ect.

Pasha - let\'s PLAY
Barked: Sat Jul 23, '11 11:37am PST 
Search online with the words like Southwest Airline Pet Complaints and AirTrans Airline Pet Complaints . Hopefully if anyone has had problems they will have posted at Complaints.com ComplaintsBoard.com RipOffReport.com etc

Check to see if you can buy a seat for your dog. I have heard they do allow two pets per cabin. If he is small, put in pet travel duffle bag and carry on with extra charge.

If too big, most airlines will not let you put a dog underneath if the temperature is above 70 degrees because they may not have AC in the baggage hold. If you must put him underneath. No drugs as that can make a dog have trouble breathing in a stressful environment.

Put a folded beach towel in the travel crate. if he has an accident it will soak it up.

For water, the clip on bowl usually filled with water and frozen into an ice block a few days before you leave, so the water won't spill out, but the ice will be melting so he will have some water.

It is dangerous to put your pets on as baggage. The big danger is they go up a conveyor belt to the luggage hold and sometimes if the pet jumps around it can roll off the thin conveyor belt from a high elevation, and the pet can get hurt or the door may break open and the dog panics and runs away. This has happened to some people who are terribly heartbroken.

Also, make sure your pet has a microchip with info on where you are going, and phone numbers for you, family, friends, vet, incase he escapes.

Also a collar with a slide on or clip on stainless steel CollarTag, safer then the hang down pet id tag as the CollarTag does not fall off or get pulled off.
I found the best pet tags at BoomerangTags.com and they will deeply engrave both sides of the CollarTag so it is very readable compared to aluminum cheap hard to read tags from the big pet stores. And the BoomerangTags engraving is easy to read for the life of your dog. Stamped Aluminum tags need replacing every 3 months I found out when I use to get them so a BoomerangTag will last so will actually be cheaper.

When you switch planes, check with each airline that your dog has made the switch. Many dogs are lost when you switch planes and more are lost when you switch to different carriers.

As soon as you arrive, go get your dog. Don't wait, things can happen. I had my pet left in the middle of a big airport unattended by Delta. Delta did not know where he was. They took him off the jet and just left him in the middle of the public aisle. We walked all over the airport and found him all by himself in the middle of a busy aisle of people walking back and forth in the airport. Someone could have taken him and he would have been gone. Airlines will not care for your pet like you do. To them, it is another piece of baggage.

Is there anyway you can drive him? If too big to go on as carry on.

See if there are any alternatives to travel. Can you travel on a train or bus with him or rent a car and drive. If you are with him, nothing can happen. But left to strangers, dangers can and will happen as no one will care for your pet like you will.

Good luck and search for Pet Complaints with these airlines.


Miss Bossy Fluff
Barked: Sat Jul 23, '11 2:32pm PST 
I'm guessing you're bringing your pup into the cabin with you, right?

Sophie flew from El Paso, TX to NY as a puppy. I also flew with my Dachshund (at a different time). Both dogs were in carriers that fit below the seat in front of me. It wasn't a huge deal, just make sure to bring any necessary paperwork. Neither puppy would go potty even though I brought puppy pads and let them out in an airport bathroom stall for that purpose. They just held it. The Dachshund, Rocky, did get hungry as we were changing flights so I gave him a small amount of food. Sophie mostly just slept.

I didn't have problems with whining but it can happen. Sophie only whined on the last flight and not for too long. I talked to her softly and put my hand on the crate so she could sniff me.

Make sure your dog is comfortable in their carrier ahead of time. I had both puppies sleeping in their airport carriers ahead of time so they were used to them.

Work hard; Play- harder.
Barked: Sun Jul 24, '11 1:11am PST 
Pasha, Air Tran only does carry-on pets.

Scooter and I use to fly Air Tran all the time, including when he was still a SDIT (and not eligible to fly for free since I didn't qualify for an ESA). They've always been accommodating, but then again, I only fly Business Class with them.

My suggestions are: get him acclimated to the carrier now. Plan on bringing piddle pads in case he needs to go; most of the air port relief areas are outside the security area. I'd feed light the night before and give him plenty of opportunity to empty out before arriving at the airport. Bring a non-metal slip lead for going through security; the carrier has to go through the x-ray machine and you can carry the dog. The slip leads is just in case. Regular sedation is not allowed, but a small amount of Rescue Remedy can be given. I'd work out the dosing before the big day and keep in mind he has to be able to stand up in the carrier (I've seen dogs that couldn't due to over sedation).

AT is a stickler for the rules; the dog will have to stay in the zipped carrier and under the seat in front of you for the duration of the flight. If you must potty him in flight, you'll have to take the carrier and piddle pad into the lavatory; it will be a tight squeeze. It is much easier to potty them in the terminal restrooms. They don't generally mind if the top is open and the dog's head is out while in the terminal, as long as the rest of his body is inside and he isn't bothering people.
Tiny Rogi

Barked: Mon Jul 25, '11 12:43pm PST 
Thank you for all the helpful responses Dogster members!

Yes, he will be flying from California and under the seat. I've thought about rescue remedy as well. I've seen some things online where they say you can use either the human type with alcohol or the pet version without it depending on how your pet responds to it. Has anyone tried either or on their dog?

Also, are the airline carriers super strict with the soft carrier sizing? I know the limit for height is around 8.25"-8.5" and I have a carrier bag (more dog purse style though with mesh windows from Wag-A-Tude) from Petco that is 11" high and it can be squished down. I wonder if this will be a problem or if I need to buy another carrier. Trying to cut down on too much spending. I've seen the Teafco Argo carriers that have the ~8" height. Anyone use one before?

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Mon Jul 25, '11 1:06pm PST 
Varies day to day and from check-in person to check-in person regarding size of carrier. Some are strict, others not so much. But if I were you I would get the regulation sized one, least you be turned away at check-in on the day of your flight. That would really put a damper on things..

Hey! I hear- people landing- on the Moon!
Barked: Tue Nov 8, '11 3:15pm PST 
I know this is an old thread, but can still be useful for others who are flying with their dogs:

From Air Trans site:

•The pet kennel is limited to maximum dimensions of 8.5" high x 17" long x 12" wide.

From Southwest Airlines site:

The under-seat dimensions are as follows:
Window Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H
Middle Seat: 19"L x 19"W x 8.25"H
Aisle Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H

Hope this helps others out. smile

Member Since
Barked: Mon Nov 14, '11 11:04pm PST 
One of the options would be rather expensive, you can travel via private jet or charter. It means less hassle at the airport and you get to travel with your beloved pet in luxury and convenience.

This site offers this kind of service http://www.independentaircharter.com

I don't walk, I- prance!
Barked: Thu Nov 17, '11 1:16pm PST 
question...when you are measuring your dogs height, do you measure from feet to shoulders or to head? thinking so the max height is 8.5" to the dogs head when he is standing or shoulders?
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