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Old 07-27-2013, 10:57 PM
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Julee Julee is offline
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Default Shipping dogs and cats as cargo?

We're looking at moving to the other coast sometime soon, and while Em will be in cabin, Bloo needs to be shipped. Help? How does one go about doing it? How much does it cost (we need to buy an airline crate, what size do we choose?)? Should we sedate her?

We also have two cats that will be coming, one of which is insanely shy and has a heart murmur. All of the same questions, except Delta said they could ride in the same crate in the cabin - any experience with that?
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:30 AM
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Do not sedate her. Cost will depend on the airline. Are you shipping as baggage, on your flight, or as cargo? I've done both. Crate size should be big enough for her to stand in without her head touching the top. My guess would be a 400, but I don't know how big she is. (mine fly in a 300).

She'll need a health certificate, which you get from a vet. This will need to have an address you're shipping from and to, so you need to have that information ready when you go to the vet to get it. Crate needs to have food/water cups, and absorbent bedding. You call the airline to reserve space for her on the flight. If you're flying her as baggage, you would go to the counter for the airline a couple hours before your flight, check in, and they'd take your payment then. Then they'll send you to the TSA agent, who will have you get your dog out of the crate so they can check the crate. Dog goes back in crate, and a baggage handler takes it away. (there are luggage carts to be rented in airports, which you can put the crate on).

If she's flying cargo, you would take her to the cargo facility at the airport, your chosen airline will have an office to accept cargo. They'll take your money there, and you just leave the dog in the crate.

If she flies as baggage, when you arrive, you go to the baggage pickup for your airline, and they will bring the crate to the oversize luggage door. If she flies as cargo, you go to the cargo facility at the destination airport to pick her up.

Also, be sure to check the policies of the airline you're planning to fly. Some have breed-specific regulations, and won't fly a "pit bull", or will require a special crate.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:53 AM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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^^Perfect info. I have only done this once (two flights, one trip) but we flew Shamoo as baggage. It cost 100 each way, the same it would have cost to have flown her in the cabin should she have fit under the seat. Flying a dog as cargo is typically 250 and required if you're not flying on the plane with them, most likely you'll use baggage.

The airline prefers you do not put water in the cups but did not mind that I froze water in one cup. You must tape one meal above the crate in a bag. The health cert must be within one month of flight. I got mixed reviews about chewies and stuffed kongs but both Portland and Alaska (Alaska airlines) were happy to allow them. I went over board but I put probably 6 chewies and stuffed yums in the crate.

We used a thunder shirt and an Adaptal collar just in case and Shamoo was content. Alaska was great to work with and gave us a tab when we got on the plane to let us know she had boarded.

We used the collarshop to make a collar with her name and my number embroidered so that there were no tags to be lost nor get caught in the crate grating.

Mmm... I think that's it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:55 AM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Oh and I second it, no sedation! Sedatives have been known to react differently at different altitudes and the dogs are with the luggage so there is no one there to help them should an emergency occur.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:44 AM
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I have no intention of needing a dog shipped any time soon, but this was great info to read over about exactly how it all works! Thanks Adrianne and Flyinsbt!

I think giving you the tag that says the dog has been loaded is a fantastic idea as well! Really gives you that piece of mind.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:53 AM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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I'm fairly sure Delta gives a stub once the dog is loaded, too.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
I'm fairly sure Delta gives a stub once the dog is loaded, too.
After knowing more than one dog killed on Delta flights, as well as having multiple dogs of my own LOST because they either didn't get them on the plane they were supposed to be on and I had to beg for them to go and physically find my damned dog wherever they left him, or they put them on a plane without their paperwork (!!) so they had no idea WHERE the dog was or that it even existed, or they put them on the WRONG plane... I wouldn't touch Delta if it was the last airline on earth unless I could physically fly with my dog and have that dog in my eyesight at all times.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:27 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenSins View Post
After knowing more than one dog killed on Delta flights, as well as having multiple dogs of my own LOST because they either didn't get them on the plane they were supposed to be on and I had to beg for them to go and physically find my damned dog wherever they left him, or they put them on a plane without their paperwork (!!) so they had no idea WHERE the dog was or that it even existed, or they put them on the WRONG plane... I wouldn't touch Delta if it was the last airline on earth unless I could physically fly with my dog and have that dog in my eyesight at all times.
I wasn't suggesting any airline. She specifically said Delta in her OP. Just to be clear.

For the record, I hated Delta when I flew on it and, given the choice, will not give them any money. There are much better airlines out there, for people. (And apparently for dogs, too)
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:38 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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I shipped Logan home when I bought him.

DO NOT sedate her. Sedating affects regulation of body temperature, and it's too easy for her to get overheated or too cold if she's sedated. There's also the possibility that the decrease in pressure could affect how the drugs work. Best thing you can do to acclimate her to travel is to make she she's VERY comfortable in her crate (the crate she'll ship in, or at least the same style) and make sure she's comfortable riding in the car in the crate. It's not the same as flying, but it's about as close as you can get. Logan was super relaxed when he flew - I saw him on the tarmac when they were moving him to the next plane, and he was just chilling in his crate as they were moving him.

I flew Frontier, and I highly recommend it. They send a note to you when your dog is on board, which REALLY helps with nerves. I think there are other airlines that do this now, too. Frontier has climate controlled and pressurized cargo areas (and I'd guess most, if not all, airlines have this too), so the reason there are limit in place for temperature is for when your dog is on the tarmac getting ready to be loaded or after they're unloaded.

I think Logan cost an addition $100 on top of my ticket to fly one-way, which is a really good deal since it costs $250+ to ship them alone. There are limits to how many dogs can be on the plane, so book early to make sure you get a space. I booked online and then called immediately after to get a space for Logan. Then I called again a day or tow before I left to make sure they still had me down for a dog on the return flight.

Make sure the crate you get is big enough for her to stand up naturally in, INCLUDING her ears. Tango's crate was HUUUGEEEE when I shipped him becasue he is tall and has big ears. I would have felt comfortable sending him in a crate a size or two smaller, but airline regulations forced me to go up in size. Logan's crate was actually a tad too small, so we just made him lay down when they checked It was plenty big enough for him, but his ears were questionable (thankfully they were also glued down lol). Some airlines are more picky than others, and I'm sure some individual people are more picky than others. But I'd rather be on the safe side. That said, some planes can only take crates under a certain size, so it's best to try to work with your airline on finding a crate that's large enough and still fits in the plane.

As far as what kind of crate, I bought a Remington crate sight unseen and had it shipped to Logan's breeder. When we opened it...we were less than impressed. I really, REALLY like the crate for shows because it's super east to put together and take apart, but it's not very solid or secure. Ideally it would need to be reinforced at all the fasteners with zip ties. So find one that has screws/bolts to hold the two halves together instead of clips/pins. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Vari-kennel is the standard, but I've seen crates for much less that look more solid and have more ventilation. Whatever you get, make sure it says it's airline-approved, and if possible, go look at it yourself before you buy it. Then call the airline and ask them to double check that it's the right crate.

You need to have something absorbent in the crate, as well as a bowl for food and water. I used a towel in Logan's crate, but his breeder pointed out bath mats are EXCELLENT for crates, as they don't slip. So use a bath mat Put the water bowl in the freezer a day or two before so you can put the bowl of ice in the crate. This means less spilling, and your dog won't gorge themselves on water and vomit. They make you put a bag of food on the crate in case something happens, too, though they're not supposed to feed it to your dog unless you tell them to or something happens. BUT, when I picked up Logan, there was 1 kibble in the bag, so apparently they either fed it to him or they spilled it. But if they did feed it, he ate it all, so he was relaxed enough to eat lol. You also need "LIVE ANIMAL" stickers on the crate, and they SHOULD have those or you at the desk when you check in. I looked EVERYWHERE for those stupid stickers before I shipped Logan, and after I finally found them, I found out there was also a set in the box with the crate AND they gave me a set at check in. They'll help you fill out the sticker when you get to the desk.

After they inspect your dog's crate, zip the doors shut with zip ties. There is no reason for them to open the crate door (so long as you mount the water bowl on the crate door so they can fill it from outside if needed), and I feel the zip ties deter them from opening it, too.

I've never shipped a cat, but I would imagine it would be the same as a small dog. In-cabin shipped is different than cargo shipping (but costs the same, so expect to pay $100ish per cat as well). The thing to check with them is to make sure you can bring the cats AND Em in the cabin. Since Em's supposed to go in your footspace/under the seat, and the cats are supposed to go under the seat, I can see them not allowing them together simply because there's no room. So double check that. As for the heart murmur, that is up to your vet. You need a health certificate no more than 20 days prior to flying, so if your vet feels like it's not safe for your cat to fly with a heart murmur, there's not much you can do about it. As for being shy, it should be okay - Tango was super shy about people he doesn't know, and he was fine. Another reason to ziptie the doors shut.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:54 PM
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Excellent advice above!

My 2 cents: Delta said to put both cats in the same carrier? I'd be a little leery about that... We tried that once with a couple of our cats (brothers), just going to the vet, and one freaked out and attacked the other one. Could not get them out of the crate fast enough (luckily we were still at home). We had originally thought that since the two got along so well at home, they'd be happier together in a crate. Turned out not so much...

Maybe you could experiment with the two cats/one crate on a short car trip?
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