View Full Version : Traveling with your cavalier

16th January 2008, 02:40 AM
Have anyone ever travel by plane with a cavalier? I did some research and most airlines will allow carry-on pet if it fits in a small carrier (I believe only 9 inch height, which I don't think my cavalier will fit in it).
- How do you transport your pet?
- If you carry your cavalier with you what did you put him/her in?
- How big was the carrier?
- Which airline did you use?
-Where in Europe would be the most pet friendly destination?


16th January 2008, 10:55 AM
You can travel within the states with your dog in a carrier if the dog is under a certain size and remains in the carrier under the seat. This takes a bit of training and rules vary per airline and reservations must be made in advance.

You will not be able to bring a dog into Europe in the cabin and if you want to bring your dog at all to Europe, you must start the rather involved Pet Passport process at least 7 months in advance. The dog MUST go in the hold and it is extremely costly. Having just brought a dog from California to the UK then on to Ireland where I live, I can tell you the cost of a one way ticket was more than the round trip ticket for me, and the processing fee on arrival in the UK (you have to pay the cost of clearing the dog and all the paperwork checks) was close to $500 on current exchange rates. So you'd not really want to be travelling with your dog to Europe, probably, unless you have a LOT of spare cash (I am talking the region of $1500 once you pay for all the preliminary tests and vet checks and USDA and vet paperwork,plus the one way ticket, plus the processing costs).

If you google Pet Passport you will get details of the programme (should be on the USDA site) plus you must comply with the requirements of the entry country. Without the Passport, the dog must go into mandatory quarantine for 6 months at your expense. If the paperwork isn't correct, the dog goes into quarantine. So it is a pretty involved and detailed and costly process.

Personally, having flown dogs myself, I think it is far more stressful for a dog to accompany people on long haul holidays like this than it is to be back home, safe in kennels (short flights for a dog comfortable in a carrier would be less stressful for *some* dogs but *more* stressful than the hold for many others! I know that crate trained dogs are likely a lot happier in their crate in the dark hold that squished under a seat amongst noise and smells of people and food). While we may enjoy staying in new cities and finding hotels (easy to do in continental Europe) that take dogs, from the dog's point of view this would be a continuously stressful experience of being taken to strange places every day, left alone in strange rooms each day, crated as you can't leave the dog loose in the room (if your dog barks, this will create problems for you as well), and you as a tourist would be very limited in what you can do with a dog (for example, you can go to many restaurants, but very little else beyond walking around). The dog often needs extra injections because there are different diseases in many areas (the mediterranean for example). You would need to re-microchip your dog because US microchips for some stupid reason do not comply with international standards that the rest of the world uses, so cannot be read unless a shelter or vet has a US scanner, which vastly lowers the chances of your dog being returned if it strays or gets lost somehow.

Europeans on the continent occasionally travel with their dogs but in my experience this is actually fairly rare except in summer, when they are staying put in one place and not moving around all the time -- or when they are very wealthy. Their dogs tend to be well socialised to public places like restaurants and to being crated in hotels. Most American dogs are not, simply because they do not have this opportunity. Hence I think most US travellers on a normal type of vacation to Europe where they want to travel, take trains, visit cultural sites and dine out, would find a dog to be a real liability pretty quickly.

So I'd always weigh up whether people are bringing dogs on holidays more for them or whether the dog would actually enjoy it. In most cases, most dog trainers will agree that dogs are very stressed by travel and are much safer and happier back home waiting to greet their owners on their return. :)

I have travelled with my dogs, flown some of them twice, taken them by train a few times, and wouldn't do this by choice (the train was OK but clearly stressful as well). I would take them by car to a place where I would be stationary and the holiday involved daily hikes and walks that could involve the dogs (eg it would be a dog *focused* holiday, not a people holiday where the dog is an add-on).

17th January 2008, 05:09 PM
Just a quick question on this topic.... my mam got a new cav puppy just before christmas and she's spoiled rotten! When my parents had to go away then for a few days we looked after lucy but my mam felt like a murderer leaving her behind! My parents go away quite a bit and we always said we'd look after Lucy any time they did go away BUT just out of curiousity, is it possible to bring a cav on plane (not in the hold) to spain or do you have to go through all those strict procedures and put them in the hold? They go away for about 4-6 weeks every summer and I know my mam would love to bring Lucy with her (the thought of leaving her behind would stop my mam going!). I'm in Ireland by the way. Thanks!!!

17th January 2008, 07:27 PM
She needs to go through the entire pet passport process which takes 7 months minimum. You could take her out to Spain no problem but without the Pet Passport she'd need to be quarantined for 6 months on return and there's absolutely no exceptions to this. Also you need extra injections and rabies to take a dog to Spain -- there are other diseases in the Med.

Almost no one takes dogs on planes out of Ireland -- Aer Lingus no longer does nor does Ryanair -- and those who do take dogs only take them in the hold and go through very costly procedures when you bring the dog back in via air. Ferries are less arduous.

Honestly, for a short trip I'd probably just board the dog or leave with friends. I'd be worried about theft, the dog getting lost (Irish microchips may not be read or traced outside of Ireland) and never being returned, and illness. Most dogs will be a LOT happier and less stressed staying with someone or in kennels, believe me. Owners hate to find this out but most dogs forget about them about 5 minutes after they go and just get on with their living for the moment -- Tara can confirm this as she takes all of mine whenever I go away and boards lots of dogs every week! They will be delighted to see you when your return, but they will be very happy with their day to day life without the stress of travel and strange places. I actually put overstressed rescue cavaliers INTO kennels as the bland atmosphere is actually quite soothing for a lot of stressed rescues. We tend to read such experiences with human eyes rather than taking a dog's point of view.

If people travel with a caravan and dogs though I think they can have an excellent travelling experience. They remain in the same place, there's routine, and no unfamiliar forms of travel squished in a box or bag.

18th January 2008, 03:18 PM
I haven't done it with my cavalier yet, but I always take my Hannah (Italian Greyhound) when I fly, weither it's a short trip or a longer trip, but she's a certified service dog for me, so we can avoid the carrier, she just sits in my lap or behind my back, so if I need her help she's there for me. I run a rescue, and refuse to ship a dog in cargo, if someone out of state can provide a good home for a dog I have in rescue, the only way they can get the dog is to either drive to Utah and pick it up, or pay for a plane ticket and I'll fly to them with the dog in the cabin. Puppies it's easy, adult dogs are always taller then the carry bag, so it's a matter of getting the dog use to and comfortable in the carrier, both on the ground and being carried! I agree that on short trips with your pets, it's probably ALOT less stressful on the dog to just leave it either in a kennel, or my preference is to find someone I really trust with my dogs and pay them to baby sit while I'm gone!