View Full Version : Flying with a Cav

28th November 2006, 02:57 PM
I have been unsuccessful in searching the internet regarding information on flying with small dogs. My husband and I would like to bring our 'will be' 7 month old Cav - Sofee Marie - with us to Florida in February for a 1 week vacation.
Two questions:
1. Flying with us in the cabin - My concern is by 7 months, she will be too 'tall' to stand upright in the small Sherpa bag we have purchased. She is currently 9 lbs., 7 oz at 15 weeks, and her legs are quite tall already.
2. Counter to Counter - A few folks have mentioned to me 'count to counter' travel, but I can't really find out what this is.... I assume it is not putting Sofee in cargo, but different than traveling directly with us under the seat.

If anyone has had experience with this, I would love to hear about it. We usually fly Delta or JetBlue.
thanks so much!

Maureen and Sofee Marie

Cupcake Love
28th November 2006, 04:07 PM
My husband has flown with my parent's dog and it was pretty easy once we figured out the rules! :) He flew Horizon and they required the dog to always be in its carrier and stowed under the seat. Nacho, even at 4 months old, was a rather tubby thing and he ended up having to lie down, which was fine because he then fell asleep! I'd suggest calling the airline and figuring out what their rules are since it can be very challenging to find the information on their websites. :)

28th November 2006, 04:12 PM
Good Topic of discussion.

I myself will be travelling on a 5 hour flight back to Washington state with Kosmo this June.

To be completely honest with you I think I am going to put Kosmo in the underbelly of the plane. He is much to tall to be able to stand up in the sherpa and because of the long flight I want him to stay comfortable.

I also know that he's comfortable in his crate as he's been crate trained since he was a baby. I would much rather put him in a place where I know he will be safe and comfortable.

I would like him to be under the seat but I am choosing his well-being over what I want.

I'de like to know what counter to counter is though.. :)

28th November 2006, 06:05 PM
I think counter to counter means flying in the cabin though maybe that means check the dog in, it is taken away to the hold, then returned at the luggage counter on arrival? The only other option to cabin travel is in the hold.

One very important thing to consider -- are you really sure you want to bring your dog? People often do this more for themselves in the mistaken assumption that the dog would rather be with them -- when actually, air travel is pretty stressful for many if not most dogs, whether in the cabin (where they MUST stay under the seat in a bag the whole time, very stressful for any dog not crate trained and even then the space is much smaller) or in the hold, where they are in a crate handled by many unknown people and subjected to unknown loud noises. Flying is as exhausting for a dog as for humans and the change in environment for the holiday time is also often very stressful for a pet.

Most dogs are IMHO and the feeling of many trainers, much, much happier in a safe homeboarding or kennel environment and it also leaves the humans free to enjoy their holiday and not be tied to coming home to their dog each day for walks/pee breaks. I have also stayed in hotels where I have had to listen to other people's dogs barking all evening long in their rooms while the people go out. As much as I like dogs I really wouldn't want to be in that type of situation again.

Dogs basically sleep all day and are quite happy in a pleasant kennel -- with heated indoor area and a run -- or with a good dogsitter. They get to meet other dogs, get exercised, and generally most quite enjoy themselves, as people who work in kennels will confirm -- the dog is only upset for about 5 minutes after the person leaves and then, as far as they are concerned, they settle into their routine til the family is welcomed back on return. :)

Personally I would not fly with dogs unless absolutely necessary -- for medical exams, because they must stay with family, or whatever.

If you want to fly with a dog you need to carefully check out the requirements of the airline itself -- they require reservations, all have size and weight restrictions for in-cabin carriage and will only take a limited number of animals on a flight; some do not take animals at all. In addition you should have the dog vaccinated for anything that might be a concern in the destination that might not be vaccinated for at home. Warmer climates often have additional health concerns (this is true in Europe).

28th November 2006, 06:16 PM
Will it not be much easier on the dog if they have been crate trained from the beginning?

I absolutely feel that its' necessary for me to take KOs back home with me as much of my family will never get the chance to fly here and they are ALL looking forward to meeting him. I'm staying in dog friendly environments and I will also be gone over 2 weeks.. :yikes Think I might die without him for that long.. :D

I do feel that he'll be OK in the hold of the plane though. I might throw in a booda bone or something that i know he likes for the flight. He's used to be crated and didn't make 1 peep @ the vets during neuter time.

As far as vaccinations go, it's very important to check that out and check with the airlines even if you're flying within the US. I will have to present vaccination records to the airline agents as well as book several months in advance.

We'll have a blast though. :flwr:

Gingers Mommy
28th November 2006, 07:04 PM
I flew with Ginger to Miami, Fl. from NYC and it was a very pleasant experience. (3 hours)
Gingers also crate trained and she loves her Sherpa bag.
It was a bit sqaushy under the seat but she fell asleep right away and only woke up when we landed and I picked up the bag.
People were shocked that I had a pet with me!
At the time she was approx 8 months old.
You do have to check with the airlines regarding their regulations and make a reservation, as Karlin said each airline has their own rules and only allow a certain number of pets if any. I did have her paperwork from the Vet saying that she was allowed to fly and fully vaccinated.
I went down to be with my Family for 2 weeks and the atmosphere was much like if I was at home, I had a crate sent down there (as that was the first of many trips we'll take down there) and brought toys and other things for her.
I didnt even give her any bones in the sherpa as she was not restless at all and was just hanging out. I did have her out on my lap in the airport before we boarded.
I tried to get info regarding flying before leaving as I was very nervous for my baby's first experience. Some people (including the vet) suggested giving her half a tablet of Benedryl. I didnt like the idea of putting her to sleep and bringing her up 30,000 miles in the air, and then landing and not being 'home'.
My breeder said not to give her anything which is what I did and she was fine. She also suggested when possible, fly earliest or latest in the day that way the baby will be tired and not as alert. She said not to make a big fuss and just go with it.
If your going to be with your family and you know you'll have plenty of time to be with your dog then I say go for it, bring her/him on the plane with you, not in the underbelly.
Also though as Karlin mentioned if you dont have much time or really want to relax! then leaving them with a sitter is the best option. We just came back from a carribean vacation for Thanksgiving and as much as we wanted her there it was the best thing that she stayed here. I missed her to death and practically cried (ok I did!) when we left her but I when I was there I realized it was best for all of us.
Good Luck! Let us know what you decide.

28th November 2006, 07:24 PM
estee, how much did ginger weigh when you took her in the cabin with you?

I am just concerned about kosmo flying in the cabin because he's so tall.. he's about 13.8lbs now but his legs are very long and i don't want to make him uncomfortable that's why i said something about the underbelly of the plane.

Gingers Mommy
28th November 2006, 07:28 PM
I totally understand. Ginger was about 13lbs and shes like 19 or 20inches Long. Definatly longer then her Sherpa, but she curls up into it like she did when she was a pup. Does Kosmo like to curl up in a ball? Does he like his bag and feel comfortable in it? I know you said he loves his crate so if that will make you feel more comfortable thinking he is then thats the way to go. For some reason id be SO nervous putting Ginger underneath the plane and always worry about how loud it must be. But some people have said that there are special areas that they go...not sure.

28th November 2006, 07:34 PM
It's definately something I will have to look into. I just dont' want him to be uncomfortable. If he can be with me he will curl up into almost nothing, LOL. I swear, he will do anything to be with me. I think their on the plane limit is around 20lbs, but I will have to check it out.

I will be definately bringing him back though. It's not a "vacation" really for me, it's more of a visitation to my family who will all love him - I can't wait.

One thing maybe to do is to put hiim in the sherpa and carry him around in it and familiarize him with it before the decision is made though, huh? maybe i'll try that.

(PS momay- I didn't mean to hijack your thread ! sorry! :flwr: )

28th November 2006, 08:48 PM
This is all GREAT information, JUST what I had been looking for over the past two weeks and couldn't find. I just LOVE this forum!!! :fool:
Sofee is not too fond of her Sherpa, although we've only had her in it 3 times in the car. Overall, we've only had her for 5 weeks, so we are all still 'settling' in. She settles down after about 7 minutes in the Sherpa, but I think spending more time in it before the flight will be key, if we go that route.
Karlin - I am more of your mindset regarding vacation and overall stress of caring for a pet while on 'vacation' (to/from and while being there). My husband is more 'go with the flow' and each day will work out fine. I guess that's why we are married, a good balance!! :hug:
We have wonderful dog walkers with whom we could board her with and we would be 100% happy with their care of her.
Arasara, unlike you, we will not be visiting relatives, but will probably rent a condo or efficiency unit by the beach (one that allows dogs of course - on the beach too!) and just relax. We'll have to consider all this feedback and determine what our goals are and what is best for Sofee :d*g: and us.
Thank you again and Arasara no 'offense' taken - you are too funny! :flwr:

Gingers Mommy
28th November 2006, 08:58 PM
What I did with Gingers sherpa was I left it around the house open, and she would just run in and out of it. I think thats how she got real comfortable with it.
I have to take her in a bag if I want to get a cab with her anywhere, cause in NYC they dont 'have' to pick you up if you have a pet.
See if that helps any, try putting a toy or treat in it so when she passes she'll go in for it.
My husbands the same way! Yeah lets take her- why not! And im thinking, well I'll be in the middle of my tropical cocktail and feel SO bad because I know I'll want to go up and take her out for walks etc.
But so fun to have her on the beach with you and I think all I ever want is to be with her, and when I have time off I should be with her!
Although time alone was a tad bit nice I hate to say!
Going anywhere good?
We go to Boston every few months as my hubbys family comes from there.

28th November 2006, 09:33 PM
Excellent feedback, we'll do that tonight. She goes in and out of her crate no problem, we'll put it right next door and add a few treats.
Yes, you have expressed EXACTLY how I will feel - do feel - when I am away from her. Want to be with her all of the time, but know time away is a good thing too - actually necessary for both of us. I don't want her to become too focused on me. I try so hard to leave her and my husband alone, so she can bond with him too, but it's so hard!
We are thinking of going to Flagler Beach. It's one of the few beaches that allows dogs and the area is still 'up and coming' (ie., inexpensive to stay at!!). We may stay at the Topaz Hotel right across the street from the beach. 8) It's a kind of 'kitschy', but the restaurant is excellent and it has a pool. It's difficult to find a nice place that accepts pets :paw: for only 1 week - most want require a month's rental. http://www.flaglercounty.com/topaz/index.html
We both work in Back Bay section of Boston, have for years. Live about 15 miles north. Great city overall. I would love to get to NYC more often, but it never seems to work out. Oh well, can't have it all!

1st December 2006, 06:12 AM
I just flew American Airlines with Gus over Thanksgiving. I have the Large Sherpa bag and Gus weighs a woping 20 pounds! I usually keep it in my car, so he is used to sleeping in it. I got a sedative from my vet and gave him only half after not letting him eat for 24 hours and a long walk. He slept the whole way there and back to Chicago.

Putting dogs in cargo makes me really nervous... there is no temperature control and it is loud and dark... apparently there are many more deaths in cargo then the airlines even admit.

Cavs are such lovers... they will be fine if they can see their human!