air travel w/ my chi...?? plz advise <-- clueless!

  1. hello my fellow pf-ers!!

    <-- i've had my pup for almost two years now, and i think i'm doing okay for being 23 and NEVER having ANY pets before in my whole entire life, but that makes me entirely clueless about things to do w/ my pup -but THANKS so much to all of you that will def help me out

    well, my mother and i have to fly to dallas, texas in a few months for about 2 weeks to for a wedding -however, since ALL of my family (at least the ones that i'd trust) will be going as well, so... there will be no one for my faye to stay w/. besides that, last time i went out of town for THREE days and i was going nuts because i missed her sooooo much, i couldn't handle it!!

    anyways, i would LOVE to take her, since flight to texas is only about 2 1/2 hours and she is easily traumatized, and i can't bear leaving her w/ unfamiliar friends or unreputable kennels.

    well... have any of you traveled w/ your dogs? were there any special rules or regulations you had to abide by?? do we just show up w/ her in her carrier and just hop on board? (i'm so confused, i'm scared i'll stick her on the conveyor belt to through the x-ray machine!! ...j/k, j/k -don't worry i'm just kidding! i wouldn't do that!!) i'm just kind of annoyed because we bought our tickets, and paid for the dog fare and they didn't tell us ANYTHING in regard to that...!

    in addition to the objective airplane/airport rules and stuff, how did your pups react?? any advice on how she'll take it, and is there anything i can do to ease her, and make sure she'll be just dandy?? -ALSO, if there are any of you w/ chihuahuas or small dogs, is there anything particular i should be cautious of??

    i would love ANY advice... i'm clueless about air travel and dogs, and i don't have any friends/family that have experienced this, so ANY advice is deeply appreciated! THANKS soooo much IN ADVANCE!! (sorry... kind of long, can you tell i'm REALLY anxious??)
  2. Hi janny328.

    Your chi, faye, is precious :smile:

    Ok .. this may be a long post. First of all, have you purchased your tickets yet? From your post, it appears that you have, as well as paying the applicable dog fee.
    Your first resource, is going to the website of the airline you'll be flying with. They will list general info on there, as well as maximum sizes for the carrier. Sherpa carriers are great!

    Keep in mind that the carrier has to fit completely under the seat in front of you for taxi, takeoff, and landing. Unfortunately you won't be able to have the carrier in your lap during those phases of flight. You can however place the carrier in your lap, or in the seat next to you (if empty) during cruise. Technically, the carrier has to remain zipped up for the entire time you're in the airplane. Those are the rules.

    Now IRL, I've seen it all. Dogs in non approved carriers ( purses ); little girls holding their pups in their laps; dogs escaping and running up and down the aisle. In a nutshell, it's all about safety. During cruise altitude, I don't think anyone will object to you opening up the carrier and letting your chi's head pop up so you can pet her. Or putting your hand in so you can comfort her.

    Flying is stressfull - perhaps you can talk to your vet and ask about recommendations on air travel, and whether they suggest the use of doggie xanax.

    Definately make sure she's used to a carrier -- if you do decide to take her on the plane, it's a good idea she has a favourate toy, and a blankie she can burrow under. It does get chilly onboard, especially on the floor.

    I'm sure I'll think of more as the day progresses, if you have any questions feel free to pm me.
  3. ^Great advice! I can't think of anything to add!!!

    **Although I do stress to take her with you in the cabin...never let the dog fly in the cargo area...I have heard too many horror stories :sad:
  4. As for the dogs health I would just talk to a vet about stress levels. I know some vets give medicine for smaller dogs because the stress ends up affecting their stomache. But sounds like you have great advice. Worst case just call the airlines and see what their procedures are.
  5. I'm flying with our new puppy next week so I can relate. I've NEVER flown with a pet before. I contacted the airline & paid the pet fee, bought a medium sized Sherpa carrier, going to pack doggy treats, pee pads & leash in the zippered storage pocket.. The only additional thing is to be sure & bring proof of current vaccinations. My vet told me to just come in and get a "certificate of health" in case the airlines asked for it. I don't think many do but you never know. Good luck!
  6. As others have stated, make sure the airlines know you are traveling with a pet in the cabin.

    Make sure the carrier is a part of the dog's routine. Start now, and make sure the dog can handle the carrier for several hours. Get the doggie zanax as a backup. It is not fair for fellow passengers to listen to a screaming, barking dog for 4 hours plus. Practice in the car with the carrier in the back seat. Line the carrier with pads, then a small blanket or towel. Bring a few extra.

    Good Luck!
  7. thank you soooo much roma375, Couturegrl, Handbag_lvr, acegirl, and decocritter...! i really appreciate all of your advice and input!

    special thanx roma... i really appreciate all of your attention to detail. like i said, i am totally clueless!! but i have a much better idea now

    -we already bought the tix, and i was worried b/c the airline had nothing special to say about bringing pets in the cabin (nooooo way i would let her travel cargo, she's really tiny and gets cold easy)

    (well, seeing as this is "tPF", i know you won't look down on me for this, as many of my friends have @ the thought!!) i was actually going to purchase a LV dog carrier for faye, as i have always wanted one, and because they are a bit stiffer and roomier for her than the juicy one she currently has. i actually spoke to my SA when making another purchase this past week, and she said the small is a good size for under the seat...

    anyways, i will definetly check out what else i need in terms of the specific airline needs

    b.t.w. my boyfriend asked around and heard that dogs need to have shots administered 10 days or less, prior to flight?? have any of you heard this or done this??

    again... thanks so much for your help!!

    (p.s. to Couturegrl, i had no idea Carmen was long-haired!! how cute, i've been thinking about getting a long-haired as a sister for faye!)
  8. ^^ no they don't need shots, what they need is a health certificate. Call your vets office & depending on how long it has been since your dog had a check up, you will either need to schedule an exam or they will just have you come in & pick up the form.

    Does your dog use pee-pee pads? If so, make sure that you bring some with you so that she will have her familiar place to pee.
  9. ^^ YES, she uses pee pads, although it's only a two hour flight, and we live very close to the airport -so I have a feeling she won't need to go til we get to my aunt's house (but we're bringing them!!)

    thanks for the help!
  10. LOL Carmen is a 'short hair with fringe'---her mom was a long hair and her dad was a short hair, so she has short hair on her body but tufts of long hair behind her ears and a silky tail...she can't make up her mind!! LMAO!
  11. Janny, you're very welcome.

    Different airlines = different rules. Usually, as long as you have a health cert you're good to go. Chances are they won't even ask you for it when you're checking in.

    The one thing airlines will look for is that a pet can stand up, and turn around in the carrier. If she can do it in the juicy one, then just keep that. I mentioned the sherpa because you can smoosh it, and make it fit underneath the seat. As pretty as the LV carrier is, I'd advise against it, just for the reason that you can't smoosh it like the sherpa. I think the height of the carrier is too big. And guess what? If the carrier won't go completely underneath the seat in front of you, then you and Faye won't be going anywhere :sad: . Check the airlines website and see if you can find the maximum measurements of the pet carrier.

    You and Faye will be fine :yes:
  12. Even though it is only a 2 hour flight, you need to consider drive time and airport wait time, etc. You also want to consider the dogs nerves. Also their ears might pop and stop up just like humans. Have a few kibble tiny pieces for her to chew and swallow from time to time. I would not over feed or water her during flight, but enough to calm her down.
  13. Dane Cook was telling a story about how he brought his Min Pin, Beast, on a long flight with him. It was an overnight flight so Dane thought it would be okay to put him in the seat with him. They both dozed off. He woke up later on to a big, burly passenger whispering to him, "Hey, your pooch is loose."

    Then Dane took some time to wonder out loud who says, "Your pooch is loose?"

    So now Dane has to go up and down the plane, calling for Beast, but careful not to wake anyone else up.
  14. I do NOT travel with my pets. Far to expensive and the stress put on them is greater than the kennel. I have two so each always has a buddy. I should mention that 99 percent of the time my bf is not traveling with me so he watches them.. If you can find a friend.. well get them to watch your dog. IMHO travel is much too stressfull.
  15. your 2.5 hr flight shouldnt be too stressful. i did a 9hr flight with mine and she was fine (she couldnt eat 24hrs before and had little h2o) but she got treats and some h2o during the flight and was comfortable. unless you are flying first class, the place to put your dog under the seat infront of you is TINY so dont get the LV, stick with something smooshy.