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traveling with your dog in the airplane cabin

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by raraavis, May 30, 2012.

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  1. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    does anyone have experience flying with a 20 lb pet in the cabin of an airplane? (sorry if this is in the wrong place Sonya)

    i ask because our "dog sitter" bailed on us. we leave for vegas in 2 weeks, and our trip is 10 days. we do not want to board our dog einstein for that long. one of my fiance's friends volunteered to watch einstein for 2 weeks (this was months ago). as of today, he backed out :eek:. it was going to be perfect for einstein because they have a big backyard, and his wife is off during the summer (meaning einstein wouldn't be all alone during the day, which is better than boarding him). so now we are scrambling to find a place for him. i have no problem bringing einstein to vegas with me since he can stay with my dad who has 2 dogs. it's the getting einstein to vegas part that is difficult.

    dog info:
    ~20 lb scottish terrier
    ~not very tall but is stocky (needs to be measured to see if he would fit).
    ~1 year and 4 months old at time of flight
    ~has all of his vaccinations (would need to get his health certificate)
    ~not aggressive

    flight info:
    ~SWA flight to vegas (1 stop): 4 hours, 1.5 hr layover, 2 hr flight, total travel time is approx. 8 hrs (9 hrs if you include my hour long bus ride)
    ~SWA flight back home (1 stop): 2 hrs, 40 min layover, 3.5 hr flight, total travel time is approx. 6.5 hrs

    i know non-stop flights are ideal, but there weren't any in my price range (and i wasn't even thinking of bringing a dog at the time i booked). also, i know there are "service areas" for animals, but are they outside of security (meaning would i need to go back through security to board my plane)? maybe a silly question.

    we would have to get him a carrier as well. any recommendations for that?

    i honestly don't know if this is ok to do with a dog or if it would be too hard on him. also i have no idea if i can take einstein on the bus to get to the airport. i'm pretty sure that dogs aren't allowed on the nj bus system. and that is how i get to the airport. if anyone has experience with this situation, please let me know! thanks!:wave:

    p.s. i included a picture of einstein for "aw" factor :)
     

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  2. MissinOH

    MissinOH Tourist

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    Einstein is a cutie! I have never flown with a dog but have flown with my cats. Wouldn't want to make a habit out of it, but relocation called. I use a soft side underseat carrier. I believe it is by Samsonite.

    The potty areas are located outside of security. Would make it tough with only a 40 min layover heading home. I have seen those potty training pads......maybe a trip to the restroom? :ssst: I would not get any meds from the vet to calm him down, didn't work so well the one time I tried it.

    I have been checking flight to Vegas for a July trip and they have been really high. Just checked this afternoon and they have dropped! Might want to check again in order to get the non-stop. Even if you have to pay a little more it is so worth it, and if you consider kennel costs you would most likely come out ahead. Good luck!
     
  3. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    With your trip coming up so quickly, you might be out of luck - most airlines limit the number of animals allowed per flight (I checked and for southwest it's 5)

    http://www.southwest.com/html/generated/help/faqs/pets_faq.html

    Southwest has specific information on what they allow, size of carriers etc. at this link.
     
  4. engicedave

    engicedave VIP Whale

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  5. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    thanks hoya, but i've already read everything i can find on southwest's policy :). i was just wondering about personal experiences and if people thought it would be ok to take him on such a long journey. thanks for getting all that info!:thumbsup:
     
  6. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    thanks for the link! that dog was only 9 lbs; my dog is twice that! i know it will be a big hassle to take him; i just can't feel right about putting him in a 4x4 pen in a strange place for 10 days. poor guy :(
     
  7. AeroSKI5150

    AeroSKI5150 Low-Roller

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    Wish you were closer to Boston and we'd love to take him :wiggle: Our two Beagles love having playmates -- I usually have a co-workers dog for their two week summer vacation at some point as well.

    I can heartily recommend the Best Friends "pet motels" - we've been using one here for 10+ years and they certainly do go above and beyond. Much more than a kennel - play groups, one on one walks, etc. Not sure where you are located, but I see they have two locations in NJ:

    234 Boundary Rd. Bldg. #3, Marlboro, NJ 07746
    1379 Route 130, Windsor, NJ 08561


    Hope it works out!
     
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Wow, all the places near us have lots of outdoor space and playtime (or not, if your dog does not play well with others....) Never staying in a 4X4 for the entire time.....

    I've not flown with pets. The dogs we've had have been Irish Wolfhounds, and when I've moved the cats, they've driven. What a nightmare ;-) Now with just a cat with an automatic feeder and an RFID chip into the garage with her food, she survives on her own when we're gone, with occasional checks by family if/when they're nearby.

    Have you called SWA to see if you'll even be able to get the dog on your flights?
     
  9. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    i could definitely be wrong about this. i only know of a couple of places near where i live, but i'd be willing to go farther out if it meant he had a good environment for that long. and yes, he plays extremely well with others. thanks for reminding me to looking into better boarding facilities! :nworthy:
     
  10. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    If you have a good carrier, I doubt you'd have trouble on the bus, but I can't speak from experience with NJ buses specifically.

    If you can get your dog to fit comfortably in an under the seat carrier, he should be fine. Southwest has always been great from what I've seen with animals in the cabin. But be sure to call them right away and let them know you are bringing Einstein.

    I'm not sure 40 minutes is enough to get off one plane, potty break outside security and then back to your second flight. I'd put a pee pad in the carrier. If you can work on getting him to pee on them before you go, you might be able to take him into the handicap stall in the bathroom and have him pee on the pad and then just toss it where they throw away baby diapers.

    Traveling can be very stressful on a pet. I would ask you to consider looking into another pet sitter or a kennel. We have a great place here where we board our dogs. My pets are my fur babies, so I worry so much. But the place has dog playdates, farm walks, one on one time with a person, grooming, swim therapy, etc. I can set up so many activities, they don't even notice I'm gone. :)

    Another consideration is a pet sitter who will visit in your house. Some will stay over, others will visit 3 times a day or so. Here are a couple places I recommend for finding a good sitter:

    http://www.petsit.com/locate/
    http://www.petsitters.org/
     
  11. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

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    We've flown with our 14 pound Shih Tzu in the cabin a few times from Seattle to KC via Denver and Seattle to Houston via Denver. The bag we used was a softside Sherpa (brand) pet carrier. Our pup didn't like the engine noise on take off, but once we were in the air she seemed to enjoy it.

    If your dog gets nervous, it may be a good idea to check with your vet about a light sedative. You may also want to bring a few treats and a small toy on the flight.

    Good luck!
     
  12. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    we fly with our 4lb chipom all the time. very easy, but they do limit the number per plane and you have to book early.
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We board our dog every trip.
    The kennel provides supervised "day camp" twice a day and she gets to play with other dogs, usually outside, but if the weather is bad, they have an enclosed ring inside. The ring is probably 50 ft in diameter.
    Kind of cute...we get a daily report card on her mood, who she played with.
    Not cheap. Including the boarding each night and the day camp it's $32 per day.

    Just an aside if any Vegas locals are looking for a place, I highly recommend:
    http://www.doggiedistrict.com/
    Our dog loved it there and would pull us through the front door. Same kind of setup as above. They are only in the kennel cage at night and "nap time". They also have a web cam in the play area, so you can link up and watch the dogs play and interact.
    What we don't do for our pets.:wink2:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
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  14. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Had to Google that one.
     
    Christmas
  15. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    yeah, i was thinking it would be too stressful for him. the boarding places near us are really just kennels :-/ but a friend recommended their doggy place that has lots of great things for stimulation and socialization. it's a bit of a drive, but i'd rather do that than try to take einstein on the plane with me. we really want to avoid flying with him. it is a last resort for us.

    thanks for the links, but i really am not keen on having a stranger come to my house (either just coming to let him out or staying in our place). we're reaching out to other friends. the problem is we live far from majority of our friends (most live on long island). his sisters usually are good for dog sitting, but one just had a baby not even a month ago, and the other one already is dog sitting for the whole month of june (she has two big dogs herself).

    i wanted to know if people thought it would be bad for einstein to travel, and i am not surprised that most say i shouldn't do it. i really appreciate the feedback!
     
  16. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    thanks for the advice kelly! i feel like einstein is just 5 lbs too heavy to travel well. it would be a tight squeeze to fit him under the seat, and i just don't know how he would react to flying. i've read that sedatives are bad to give dogs in flight because of the altitude and pressure changes, so i want to avoid that. the only thing i think would be a problem with einstein flying is he loves being social. so all of these people around him would drive him crazy. he would want to lick them all! :)
     
  17. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    wow 4 lbs! my purse weighs more than that! :haha: i do think if einstein were 12 lbs or less, it would be a lot easier to fly with him. with him being 20 lbs and quite stocky, i don't think it will work well, especially since i take two buses to get to the airport and will be carrying my checked luggage bag, einstein in his carrier, and a big purse. yikes! :eek:
     
  18. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    that $32 isn't bad at all for what you describe! our vet charges $28 a night just for the kennel space. we would have to pay extra to have him walked, and he definitely wouldn't have a play area :( there is a doggy day care near us that would be nice, but they don't do overnight boarding. since we'll be gone 10 nights, we're looking at at least $300 in boarding fees (probably more if we go to a place that actually interacts with the dogs :rolleyes2:). why is jersey so expensive?!?!
     
  19. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Doggie Diapers for flying on airplanes

    Hi Everybody! I just bought my old terrier doggie some doggie diapers. She is getting old and makes wee wees sometimes. So I put on a doggie diaper
    on her when needed.
    It will be so easy just to change the diaper when needed when you fly with your small doggie. Just make sure you buy the right size.

    Hi Raraavis, I saw your doggie's photo and I could tell by looking into his eyes that he will not like flying for all of those hours. He has sensitive looking eyes. Please take the trouble of taking him to that doggie place where you have to drive a long ways. Your dog will be fine.

    I love my doggie very much like you love your doggie but there are times when we need to let others take care of our doggies.
    I do feel guilty when I leave her home with my dog sitter who sees her 3 times per day. But my dog has gotten used to it.

    For many years I stayed home with my dog instead of going out to have a good time or to travel. But now I feel the need to travel before I get too old and sickly to travel. I leave a credit card and a letter to my vet if my dog should get ill all of a sudden. I do trust my dog sitter. LucyR.
     
  20. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    Another idea would be to check with your vet's office, the doggy daycare place, and possibly craigslist; see if there's anyone who might watch Einstein at their house. If you do find someone on craigslist, be sure to get references. Do you take Einstein to a groomer? They might know of someone too.
     
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