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Thread: Traveling with pets

  1. Regular Member
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    #1

    Traveling with pets

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    Soon I'll be heading back home to California to celebrate my Great Grandmother's 100th birthday. I'll be home for a couple of weeks, but when I come back to NC, I'll be traveling with a puppy. At the time I go home, it's going to be about 12 weeks old. I have already looked at different airlines and requirements for booking my travel, kennels, and other disclaimers from each airline. I was wondering if anyone has experience with flying with dogs IN the cabin with them. My main worries are of course if the dog decides to urinate. I know of course get a kennel thats lined for such a thing (that's a requirement) and of course put puppy pads down, I'm not an idiot, my concern would be if it started to smell. Is there anything I can do to make sure I can avoid that, because urination just sitting in the same spot for five hours I would imagine would start smelling. Would I be able to take my puppy to the restroom to dispose of the wet puppy pad and put new one in? I wouldn't be worried at all about this if it was only a short flight, but a nonstop from California to NC is roughly five hours.

    Which brings me to question two. Would it be better for me to fly a nonstop, or would getting a flight with a layover be better?

    *I would much rather get a full grown dog from the pound or a kill shelter, but DH family lives in California as well, and their German Shepard had puppies, so of course DH and I talked and decided to take one.

    **I already know the requirements of several different airlines as well as making sure the dog is vaccinated and well, and have a report from the vet. I don't need anyone bashing my decision of getting a puppy opposed to a shelter dog, nor telling me I shouldn't do it. I just want experiences from people who have traveled with their dogs on board and if they have a preferred airline.

    Seriously, if it wasn't for my DH family having puppies that they're selling (not charging us for) I WOULD NOT be doing this and I'm already hesitant about doing so as is, and if driving was an option, I wouldn't be posting this thread. But if anyone could give me any tips on what will make this trip with a dog easier as well as preferred airlines when traveling with a pet, I'd really appreciate it.
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    #2
    I've never had a dog but maybe you could try to play with them a whole bunch before you get to the airport in the hope they will pass out and sleep a ton? My mom has a 2 yr old dog and when he was a puppy, she'd take him to puppy daycare for a whole day before roadtrips because then he was so worn out he'd sleep in the car the whole way.
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    #3
    I've never flown with a dog (or had a puppy for that matter) but my gut response to your second question is that a direct flight is probably better. I think having a layover would just prolong the experience. If you had a layover its not like you can go outside and walk plus it ups your chance for travel delays. Once your on the plane the puppy will probably settle in and sleep. Will a 12+ week GSD be small enough to take in the cabin? Good luck!
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    #4
    PaUSMC's point about the 12+ week puppy being small enough is a very valid point and I was wondering the same thing. My brother has a GSD and he was pretty large at that age.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaUSMC View Post
    I've never flown with a dog (or had a puppy for that matter) but my gut response to your second question is that a direct flight is probably better. I think having a layover would just prolong the experience. If you had a layover its not like you can go outside and walk plus it ups your chance for travel delays. Once your on the plane the puppy will probably settle in and sleep. Will a 12+ week GSD be small enough to take in the cabin? Good luck!




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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PaUSMC View Post
    I've never flown with a dog (or had a puppy for that matter) but my gut response to your second question is that a direct flight is probably better. I think having a layover would just prolong the experience. If you had a layover its not like you can go outside and walk plus it ups your chance for travel delays. Once your on the plane the puppy will probably settle in and sleep. Will a 12+ week GSD be small enough to take in the cabin? Good luck!
    I have a lab and he was about 16 lbs at 12 weeks so I'm sure the GSD puppy's weight should be fine.




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    #6
    I've flown with my full grown Chihuahua whippet mix, he's pretty tall for a small dog and he fit fine. I would try to go with a direct flight, a layover will just make the travel time longer and my dog was actually more relaxed on the plane than in the airports. He would get more restless while we were waiting at the gate, but the moment the plane started he would curl up and fall asleep. I believe we had one 5 hour flight and one two hour. He didn't pee while we were on the plane, but considering yours is a puppy it most likely will. I have heard of many people taking their dog to the restroom to swap out pee pads, but when I was going to go check his I was told I wasn't allowed to. They do sell pee pads that aren't supposed to trap the odor and they work pretty well. I got my dog one of those filled bones thinking it would keep him happy on the flight and he didn't even touch it, but he's pretty relaxed and would rather nap anyway. For a puppy though I'd definitely pack some kind of treats and toys.
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    #7
    Yeah I'd be nervous about the size of that puppy :/ to fly with a dog in the cabin im pretty sure the carrier has to fit under your seat, no?

    But anyway, a layover would be better if your flight is gonna be around 5 hours. He might just sleep the whole time but in case he doesn't, I'd rather have a break to let him walk around. If you end up having to fly him in cargo though, no layover is better because it decreases chances of him getting lost.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Yeah I'd be nervous about the size of that puppy :/ to fly with a dog in the cabin im pretty sure the carrier has to fit under your seat, no?

    But anyway, a layover would be better if your flight is gonna be around 5 hours. He might just sleep the whole time but in case he doesn't, I'd rather have a break to let him walk around. If you end up having to fly him in cargo though, no layover is better because it decreases chances of him getting lost.
    I'd look into micro-chipping the pup immediately in California if possible. I don't know if there is an age restriction, but if there isn't it might be a good idea. Theft would be another worry I'd have with a GSD puppy on a layover. A vet might also be able to prescribe something the way they do for road trips.
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    #9
    Have you seen a 12 week old GSD? There is no way they could fit in a crate under the seat.

    We flew our Australian Shepherd under the plane to Germany and will be flying her back to the States very soon. We had no issues and she did really well. I mean, I'm not sure she loved it but she was totally fine when we picked her up.


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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by EverlastingLove View Post
    I'd look into micro-chipping the pup immediately in California if possible. I don't know if there is an age restriction, but if there isn't it might be a good idea. Theft would be another worry I'd have with a GSD puppy on a layover. A vet might also be able to prescribe something the way they do for road trips.
    Idts, as far as I know you can't sedate an animal at all in any way for a flight because they could stop breathing or something. Definitely microchip him though. And confirm with your airline the exact guidelines for flying with a dog before you move forward with this plan because I really don't think this is going to work out the way you're hoping. Like it's not that a 12 week old gsd is a big huge dog or anything but it's not going to be able to fit in a small enough carrier to fly in the cabin.
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