Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice
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Thread: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

  1. #1
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    DefaultFlying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    UPDATE Questions************* Starting at #6
    I will be flying the pup home w/ me. There are few items I need to plan for. I have been told at 7 weeks the pup can leave his mama and would ensure getting her to fit in a sherpa bag under the seat for in-cabin travel. I really do not want to fly her cargo, so... here is what I don't know and could use some help with advice.

    1) How big & how much could she weigh approximately at 7 weeks, 8 weeks? (She is English, and not born yet, January 8, 2008 is the expected date), (See pics below of the parents).
    2) Flying United, the size bag they have quoted me is 17x10x10, no weight restrictions. Can I cheat a little and get a bigger bag?
    3) What size bag would work.... there are so many.
    4) Purchase a used bag off Ebay, then relist it?
    5) Any other considerations I am not aware of?
    6) The flight is scheduled for 4pm from Missoula, MT connecting to Denver, CO 2hr flight, there is a layover of an hour and then a 3hr flight back to Virginia; Feeding and watering during this period of time- when to begin/end and anything inbetween.
    7) Bathroom Break: Where/When/How? During the first leg and the layover- can I get my pup outside so she can relieve herself?


    Mama:




    Papa:

    Papa & Son, Papa is in rear:


    Thanks for any and all help and advice...

    Doug

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  3. #2
    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    I have never flown with or dog before, but my son works for NWA and I have had him investigate it before.

    In cabin bag limitation: Don't plan on cheating. It is really all up to the gate attendant to let you on with a larger bag. If he/she is in a bad mood you are dead. The airline will back them up. It is not worth the risk of not being able to get on the flight.

    Taking an animal in cabin. Most if not all airlines have a limit on the nmber of animals they will allow in cabin, and the number is usually 1 (ONE) as in not two or three. You are going to have to by your tickets really early and make sure you do it with the airline directly and get that arrangement in writing.

    As far as an 8 week old Lab fitting in a 10x10x17 bag, I can't imagine that being a problem. One of the breeder's would know for sure.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

  4. #3
    TobysTrix is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    We just recently flew my husband's boss's shitzu back from Tripoli, Libya to Houston, TX. Stella flew in the cabin with us (when we moved here, we brought our 2 labs and 3 cats with us and they all flew cargo underneath, but that's another story). We had her in a soft-sided, airline approved Sherpa bag, I'm not sure of the exact dimensions, but 17" x 10" x 10" sounds about right. It's the same size bag that I have for my cats, and my 14-pound orange monster is the one who typically gets that particular bag. I'm not sure exactly what Stella weighs, but certainly she was no smaller than Toby (our chocolate lab) was when we brought him home at 7.5 weeks (12 pounds), so I'm quite certain that size bag would be fine.

    I would suggest that you line the bag with piddle pads or something absorbant, but make sure that whatever is in there is not a choking hazard. Also, if you can get a tiny blankie or old t-shirt with the mother's and littermate's scents on it, that might help your new pup relax a little in a new, scary environment. Maybe get 2 in case there are in-carrier accidents on the way, one to go in the carrier, and one to have at home for the first few nights. That's something I wish we'd done for Toby, but he had to settle for an old t-shirt of mine in his crate.

    Definitely take Ed's advice about booking early. The airlines are very strict about the number of in-cabin pets. They'll also probably want to check all the health paperwork, so make sure that's in order (your breeder should help with this). And be prepared that when you check in, the TSA representative will most likely want to do a full examination of the bag, so you'll have to take the puppy out for that. So at security, the bag will have to go through the x-ray and you'll have to carry the puppy through the metal detector with you.

    I definitely suggest the soft Sherpa bag, they're great and much better for in-cabin than the hard carriers. They are a bit pricey, but spend the money and make sure that you get one that is airline approved, you really don't want to risk getting turned away at check-in. If you don't have any smaller animals that could use the carrier after this trip, you could probably get rid of it on ebay. But maybe you'd consider donating it to a rescue organization that deals with small dogs and/or cats? They always need such things - sorry, I had to put my plug in for the rescues.

    In any case, best of luck.
    Toby and Chamois say: GO STEELERS!
    [[IMG][/IMG]

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    I agree with plan early and book early. Also make sure you book a flight early in the day. You don't want to be on the last flight and have it canceled. Also check in early.

    As far as the bag goes I have used a soft sided cat carrier. I bought mine at Big Lots for under $12.00. At the pet stores they are around $30 or $40. I would not buy one on e-bay because all of the zippers etc must work as the pet must be secure in the bag or you will be turned away. Mine are from Samsonite. They must fit in the under the seat area as the animal must be secure for take off and landing. The advantage of a soft sided bag as they mold to the area. If they ask you to confirm it fits ask to take the dog out as the bin at the gate requires you to stand it on end and no pup will like that.

    Remember the piddle pads and zip top bags for putting dirty ones in. Also a small thing of baby wipes may come in handy. Take a t-shirt and rub it on mom and any remaining pups so the pup will have something with a scent that is familar in the bag. That also helps to comfort them. Also a small bowl for drinks, a little of the kibble the breeder has been feeding if it is a long flight as now is not the time for an upset tummy.

    My only other advice would be to reserve a window seat. If not everyone going up and down the aisle will want to stop and pat the puppy. I was lucky when I flew my BR's dog home as a pup it was an early Sat flight so it was not full. They let me leave the carrier on the empty seat next to me during the flight though it had to be under the seat for take off and landing. I could leave the top open and pat the dog the whole time. The regs said in he must be in the carrier the whole time but they let me hold him on my lap as long as no one complained. I had a small baby blanket that shielded him from view so that helped. The person in the aisle seat was a dog lover and so they never complained.
    Good luck and enjoy your new little family member.

  7. #5
    labby's Avatar
    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    I'll try and send Susan over. She flew Ruby home from Detroit in July.



    Laura





  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    Do not get a larger than approved one. My cousin was trying to fly her Chihuahuas home for Thanksgiving, had pre-approved them with the airline to have them in the cabin, but bought a carrier that was one inch larger than the size required and they made her check them.

  9. #7
    Lexis Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by labby
    I'll try and send Susan over. She flew Ruby home from Detroit in July.
    YellowLabProject, I was going to say exactly what Labby said. Susan, aka WeHeartLabs, flew to pick & flew home with Ruby this past summer. If I recall correctly, she brought Ruby on board in the cabin with her.

    My pretty girl, Lexi!

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    Thanks everyone.
    Still a have a few lingering questions....
    Lexis, I thought Labby was kidding when she said she would send Susan over. Now I am confused what you and she are speaking of.... ???

    One thing that would help is if I had some measurements and weights. Anybody have any of their pups and or a growth chart. I found only one instance of one here on the board, but it was how much to feed.

    Thanks again....

    Doug

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    Just wanted to say that the parents are beautiful. Thanks for sharing their photos!

  12. #10
    Baloo317's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Flying the Puppy Home Questions/Experience/Advice

    Hee hee, I think they meant they'll direct Susan to this thread, Doug.

    But also wanted to add that the parents are gorgeous, best of luck with your new bundle of joy.

    (and don't forget - LOTS of pics!!)

    ETA: It's probably best to ask the breeder about sizes. We've had quite a range even just on this board, from under ten pounds all the way up to twenty for that age.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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