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Old 01-25-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Catonsville, MD
2,358 posts, read 5,476,085 times
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My 2 human kids and I have the opportunity to spend the summer in Alaska, and I don't want to be without my 2 canine kids for the entire summer, so they are coming with us. Of course, I'm nervous about having them travel by air, so I'm hoping somebody can relieve my mind. They are too large to go in the cabin (one Belgian Shepherd and one corgi,) so they'll be going in their crates. Is there anything I can do to make it easier for them? Anything I shouldn't do?

I really have nobody to leave them with and I won't put them in a kennel that long, so our minds are made up that they're going with us. They are both 7, btw, and in good health (though the corgi did have some back pain last year that seems to have disappeared now, thank goodness.) Any thoughts?
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,715 posts, read 10,202,806 times
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Can't really offer much help as I have never flown my dogs anywhere. But Since it will be summer I would check with the airlines for the dates I leave and my return dates and see if dogs are allowed as there are periods during the summer that alot of airlines will not fly dogs in Cargo as the temperature while sitting on the ground gets too hot. I have been up to Alaska and it would have been fun having my dogs along so I wish you luck.

I have to say you have two breeds I admire so I looked on your profile page to see if you had a photo. Like any good dog mom you do. What beautiful dogs. Your Corgi is adorable! Your two kids are mighty darn cute too. Have a great time in Alaska.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:21 PM
 
15,149 posts, read 19,795,641 times
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When I was active in dog obedience competition, I flew my dogs occasionally. Some trips were ok, others werent. Delays in which the plane (and, therefore, the dog in the cargo hold) sits on the tarmack in sweltering heat, rough handling by cargo employees, being tossed around when the plane hits weather pockets...the list of problems is endless. The last time I flew my dog he somehow suffered a back injury (maybe his crate was dropped) from which he never really recovered.

I know a summer can be a long time away from your dogs but my recommendation would be not to take them. If they're boarded together, they'll really be just fine. I worked for a vet for a while and one of my jobs was to take care of the boarded dogs. It was truly harder on the owners than on the dogs; within a day of when they were left, the dogs had adapted well and did not pine or mope; they were their happy, exuberant selves. When the owners returned, of course, the dogs were ecstatic, but they honestly did not think of the owners until they saw them again.

If you're determined to take your dogs, please be sure that the crates are closed securely and have several bungee cords around them. If the crates are dropped, the door pins can easily come out and I've known a LOT of owners whose dogs got out that way when loading or unloading and were never seen again. Too, type a short note to the pilot letting him know your dogs are in the cargo area; enclose a photo of each dog in the envelope and give it either to him or to one of the attendants as you board the plane. (Do this for both the trip going and the return trip.) Try to watch your crates being boarded; I also know owners who flew to California (for example) and their dogs ended up in New York because they werent loaded or were onto the wrong plane.

For further assistance and information, contact a local dog obedience training club. They should be happy to give you more tips. Most likely, they can also give you the name of a responsible, trustworthy person who can either board your dogs or come to your home 2-3 times a day to feed, exercise and spend time with them while you're gone.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,311,579 times
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You should search this forum. There are numerous threads on this topic.
I would be VERY careful about putting the dogs in cargo over the summer. It is very hot and can be very dangerous. Animals in cargo are treated as bags and as such can also get lost, hurt, etc. I would also highly suggest boarding them. It's also a very long plane ride and you'd have to check on restrictions for taking dogs to Alaska.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,832 posts, read 56,098,276 times
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I'd drive - aftyer all, it is accessible by a highway. That way, your dogs are safe with you.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 20,084,615 times
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I've flown with my dog several times and around the world. She managed just fine. Here are some tips for you to fly with your dog. You can DM me for more...

1) Crate train your dogs before flying. Make sure they are comfortable and feel safe in the crates.

2) Make sure the crates are airline approved and have breathing holes on all four sides. You can drill extra holes in the back for that purpose.

3) Book a nonstop flight. If it is during the warmer months, fly at night and make sure you are landing and taking off during cool parts of the day.

4) Check with the airline on their pet handling policies. You want to make sure the airline loads the dogs last and removes the dogs from the plane first.

5) Make sure the pets are microchipped and that all your address and other information is taped to the crate and include a copy in the crate for safety.

6) Regardless of what others say, don't give them water on the flight. It just spills and ends up in the crate.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:55 AM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 36,917,468 times
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Woofers gave some great advice. I have flown with my guys, and while it is not my favorite thing to do, I have never had any problems . As 3XWoof said, make sure they are comfortable with the crate. Check with the airlines...as they have strict rules re health certificates, size of animal vs crate, and temps on either end of the trip. I always make sure name of animal, my name and address and telephone # are on the outside and inside of the crates. I also plastic tie the crate shut...so there can be no escapes. I also include a well worn tee shirt of mine....scent gives the dogs comfort and help relaxes them. You can also give them some Bachs Rescue Remedy...but only if necessary. I always dislike giving any kind of drug/medication when flying, just in case of complications.
If you go to the airlines website, that you will be using, they will have an entire section on the do's and don'ts of flying an animal. Good luck and have a great trip. Alaska is a great place to visit...especially in the Summer!
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:31 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,251,782 times
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We have lived in St. Croix, USVI for 2 years and have adopted 2 rescues, plus our rescue from Florida makes three. We met a vet technician at the vet's office and when we travel, she stays in our home with the dogs. So we not only get a house-sitter, we get a pet-sitter and the house is always cleaner than when we left it. Cost is $65 per day. Her costs vary depending on the number of animals, medication or other special needs. We have traveled with 1 of our dogs but she fits in a carrier under the seat in front. I have heard so many horror stories about lost pets that I wouldn't consider the cargo option unless the flight was less than 3 hours and as one poster said, fly at night if possible - good suggestion. I've used a product called "Happy Traveler" from a natural food store for 1 of the dogs because she vomits during the car trip from home to the vet. It really works and she is still alert, just calmer. Whatever you decide, the suggestions given here are really excellent. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 20,084,615 times
Reputation: 4220
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetBeachFL View Post
WSo we not only get a house-sitter, we get a pet-sitter and the house is always cleaner than when we left it. Cost is $65 per day.
If she's ever not available, let me know.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,251,782 times
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To Woof Woof Woof! Yes, I'll keep that in mind and considering your location, "near the arctic", shouldn't you be paying me? LOL

In any case, please keep me in mind if you find that someone needs a four-legged companion. I trap strays and find homes for them but in St. Croix there is a predominant mentality that dogs are "things" (e.g. alarm systems). Recently, a dog adopted from the shelter (there is only one and it is a kill shelter), was returned because it was too nice. Dog-fighting is rampant here and a neighbor adopted a stray that was clearly a "bait" dog. Sad but very true.

Moderator cut: solicitation offer

Last edited by leorah; 01-31-2009 at 08:46 AM.. Reason: no advertising, even for a rescue looking for good homes
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