Category Archives: animal transport

flying with a puppy – the deed is done

The doggie dropoff at Laguardia Airport went without a hitch this morning – but not without a lot of worry leading up to the big event.  My son and husband met the breeder at 5:15 a.m. at the Des Moines airport and got possession of “Charlie” –  an about 3 pound Cavapoo puppy. (Incredibly cute cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a poodle). The puppy had already been fed and had had a pee. Charlie wouldn’t drink from the clever water bottle that converts into a dish (good idea but doesn’t seem to work – not w/our dog either).  My son reports that during the flight (a direct one, amen)  he took the puppy out of the carrier and held him and he just slept. So sweet.  And the flight attendants were fine with this.

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Flying with a puppy #3

We got a puppy carrier to take on the plane today from my aunt and to my surprise it looks like my old LANDS END diaper bag – a little bigger than a kid’s school lunch bag and almost as confining. There is a ventilation panel on the side but otherwise it seems to be all enclosed. I had expected something more like a very small version of the kennel or crate our dog sleeps in. Guess this will work.

We also got the clever water bottle that converts into a water dish but it didn’t work with our six-year-old Vizsla Ernie – she just sniffed at the water in the weird dish and backed away. Maybe she’ll be more appreciative – and drink from it – when we’re on a walk and she’s thirsty. Here reaction today was: “why would I drink from THAT when I can slurp out of my trusty water bowl over there?”

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flying with a puppy part 2

I looked at Delta’s pet-travel rules and pulled a few Flying with Puppy recommendations off the internet, which raise a few thoughts:

–        In addition to a health certificate, the puppy may need proof of a rabies vaccine. (Delta doesn’t mention this so maybe not an issue.)

–        One website advised owner/breeder to forward a copy of the health certificate and proof of vaccination to the airline “immediately.” (Delta doesn’t mention this)

–        Sounds like my son should bring along a little bowl and bottle of water (“portable pet water bottle, with fold-down drinking reservoir” whatever that is.) Plus some puppy pads, towels and wet wipes.

–        Delta doesn’t allow the dog to leave carrier when onboard the plane or in boarding area or airport lounge

Here’s specifics:

From delta:

Health Requirements

Health Certificate

A health certificate is required when shipping your pet as air cargo. While Delta does not require a health certificate for carried-on or checked pets, upon arrival, the certificate may be required by the state. For clarification, please call your veterinarian or see the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services.

The certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of transport. The certificate must contain:

  • The shipper’s name and address.
  • Any tag numbers or tattoos assigned to the animal.
  • The age of the animal being shipped (USDA regulations require animals be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before traveling).
  • A statement that the animal is in good health.
  • A list of administered inoculations, when applicable.
  • The signature of the veterinarian.
  • The date of the certificate.

Live Animal Checklist/Confirmation of Feeding

When you check in your pet, you will be asked to complete a live animal checklist. When you sign this checklist, you are confirming that your pet has been offered food and water within four hours of check-in. On the checklist you must also give feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period. If in-transit feeding is necessary, you must provide food.

Government Regulations

Some states may require a health certificate for your pet. Your veterinarian, the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 800-545-8732, or the Department of Agriculture of the state you are traveling to may provide you with more information.

Pets As Carry On

Your pet can travel with you in the cabin for a one-way fee of 125 USD/CAD* (to be collected at check-in) for travel within U.S./Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico (200 USD/CAD/EUR* for travel outside the U.S., excluding Brazil where the fee is 75 USD/CAD/EUR*). Fee is $100 to/from/within Asia.

Pets permitted in the cabin include dogs, cats, and household birds. The following restrictions apply:

  • Your pet must be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel under the seat directly in front of you. Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight. You must contact Delta Reservations to determine the appropriate kennel size.
  • Your pet must remain inside the kennel (with door secured) while in a Delta boarding area (during boarding and deplaning), a Delta airport lounge, and while onboard the aircraft.
  • Your pet must be at least 8 weeks old.
  • Your pet in-cabin counts as one piece of carry-on baggage.
  • Pets are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call Delta in advance at 800-221-1212 to arrange to bring your pet on board.

From websites:

Get a checkup and a health certificate from your veterinarian. This is required by airlines and is also a good idea for making sure your dog is healthy enough for the trip. You’ll also need proof of a rabies vaccine. Keep in mind that the health certificate must be issued within 10 days before you fly.

(Health Certificates and proof of vaccination are required by all airlines.  Get them from your veterinarian and forward a copy to the airline immediately, and always carry the originals with you on the day of the flight)

Pack Pet Supplies for the Flight

A scared or nervous pet may urinate, defecate or vomit due to nerves. So it’s vital that pet owners take along at least two extra puppy pads and two extra towels (of sufficient size to line the bottom of the pet’s crate or carrier. If you plan to keep any soiled towels from the crate bottom (instead of disposing of them), bring along a plastic zip-lock bag to contain moisture and odor.

Also bring along a package of baby wipes to clean your pet following any unexpected messes. Dry cabin air, combined with panting that often results from stress, can lead to thirst, so also bring along a portable pet water bottle, with fold-down drinking reservoir.

In addition, pet owners should also visit the airline’s website for information on regulations concerning travel with pets.

The airline’s website will list all required documentation that pet owners must present, along with information on dimensions for in-cabin crates and carriers. In short, if your crate won’t fit under the seat, it will be transferred to cargo, so ensuring that a crate is the correct size will help pets and owners to avoid unpleasant changes in plans.

Will Your Pet Travel In-Cabin or In Cargo?

Flying in cabin vs. traveling in the cargo hold of the airline is the first consideration for pet owners. Most dog, cat and other pet owners would prefer to have their pet with them in-cabin, but regulations require that all animals remain in an airline approved crate or carrier, that must be small enough to stow beneath the seat. If your pet can’t comfortably fit inside a small crate, then he will have to fly in cargo.

  • Do not feed your puppy within 6 hours of the flight.  Offer water two hours before take-off.
  • Always let your puppy have a bathroom break JUST before loading!!!  And take time to give your pet exercise before putting it in it’s carrier.

–        If your pet is unrestrained, stay alert to the possibility of escape.

–        Take extra containers of fresh water with ice cubes for the road. Consider buying no-spill  ravel bowls

Withhold Food and Water Before a Flight

A pet should not be given access to food within 12-18 hours of a flight; water should be limited during this time period. Withholding food and limiting access to water before the dog’s flight will help lessen the likelihood of an accident while the pet is on the airplane.


Acclimate the Pet to the Crate or Carrier

Prior to an airplane ride, the pet should be allowed access to his crate or carrier. Throughout the day, place treats inside the crate for the pet to find and enjoy. Feed the pet inside the crate. Place toys or a favorite blanket inside the crate so that the pet begins to associate the crate with pleasant experiences.

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Flying with a puppy

Well I’m learning all kinds of things today as I make plans for my son to fly to NYC with our relatives’ new puppy – who is from a breeder near Des Moines.

– You have to be 18 to take a dog (or other pet?) on a flight.

– The dog tix costs $125. And counts as your carry-on luggage – so if you have luggage, you have to pay another $25 to check.

– The puppy will be in a carrying case that fits under the seat and will arrive with food and “wee wee pads.”  Fortunately, my son has a direct flight to NYC (the one that will Delta will no longer offer as of early September.)  My son may want to take the puppy out and give him some water during the flight, we’re told. Not sure how that works. (maybe he brings a little bowl?)

– you need to have the dog’s health certificate in hand and show to airport folks.


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