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Dogs flying on Northwest Airline

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by DogLover, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. DogLover

    DogLover New Member

    I am going to take Chobby and Bella, both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, from San Francisco to Minneapolis at the end of Auguest. We are flying during the nights, so temperature is more appropriate for them.

    However, I have read articles regarding pets flying in the aircraft, either positive or negative. I am still concerned. Had anyone here flew their pet(s) in the past? How did it go?

    Thanks in advance for any input. :D
  2. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Do you crate your dogs now? if not I would get them used to being in a crate, start by short periods of time and then longer. They have tose natural things you can gat at the pet stores to calm them.

    something like this and I would try it out first

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/P ... 843+113757

    hopfully Lil sees this, she flew her dog to Europe
  3. DogLover

    DogLover New Member

    Honeybears, thanks for your reply. Yes, they are both good with crate. I also saw another natural supplement, called Ark Naturals-Happy Travellers. Let me do some research see which is better.

    I searched for some reports on airline incidents where pets were injured, lost or deceased. Northwest seems to have very few of reported incidents.
  4. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    That is so funny, my eyes immediately went to this post!
    How big are your dogs exactly? Because some airlines, you can have them with you if they are under (either) 5, 10 or 20lbs. But if you are flying alone, I think they only allow 1 dog/person. So make sure you check on that before you leave. Some airlines have policies that say only 2 animal/flight at all. What I was told each time I flew, was to be the first to register in the morning, so that your animals are definitely on.
    Also check on regulations because some airlines won't fly dogs if the (ground) temp is above or below a certain temp, too hot or too cold.
    I have heard people say, this airline does this or that special for the animals, but I don't think that is true. I once heard someone say that midflight, the attendants walked her dog. Unless there is a secret compartment that I don't know about, thee is no way for your dog to be walked mid flight. Also on the ground they won't take your dog out either.
    Make sure your dogs have water and food, that is a rule on most airlines. I put a rabbit waterer on the sides of their cages and I gave Luther some treats to chew on, but not real food, (i worried it would fly eveywhere).
    When I flew back from Germany to USA, the german vet gave me some meds (I forget what) he said the Luther had to have to them to remain calm during the flight (Dale, my cat, rode with me in cabin because she is smaller, he was just barely to big) But those meds slow down their heart rate and can throw off their senses, so I didn't give it to him. I had a friend (who has a chow) say that she gave her dog a little benadryl and she was fine. Again, I'd be too afraid.
    The first time we flew, the crate didn't matter, so we used a wire crate (his normal crate) but the last time we flew they said he had to be in a plastic crate, so we got one. Check with the airline to be sure.
    Hmm ...what else
    In my opinion, I would only fly with a pet if it was absolutely necessary. I think it puts immense stress on the animal. Luthers personality changed a lot after he flew, I don't know if he was tormented on the ground, or just scared of all the new people he was seeing or because the animals are put on the plane just like the luggage is and they bounce around, but he isn't the same dog as he used to be. If you are going for a week, 2 weeks even a month, it is bettere to leave the dog at a safe kennel than bring them on the plane.
    Oh one more hing, you have to tell/reserve the spot for your dogs beforehand, but there is no guarantee they will let your dogs fly. It is stupid like that, they always warn me about it. So make sure you have a back up plan just in case!!
    good luck & safe travelling!!
  5. DogLover

    DogLover New Member

    lil96, thanks for your reply.

    Yes, I took care of the airline reservation and the pet fees already. It's a direct flight in the midnight. Both my husband and I will be travelling. That's why we are taking both dogs. I am waiting to hear back from our vet regarding the prescription medication that can help to calm the dogs as well.

    We are going on a vacation for a week. We were debating whether we should take them with us. Chobby, my older one, had a hip surgery early this year, and he can't be running around with other dogs in the boarding facility without supervision. Yet, he needs appropriate exercise amount everyday. I am not worried about him flying in the aircraft because he enjoys watching people and new surrounding, and he had flew once before when he came to California. Another more important reason is, both of them are like "super glue." They will probably get more traumatized if we are not around for a week. I also thought about hiring my neighbor to take care of them, but no one can really supervise them during the day time.

    I purposely scheduled to fly during nightime so that the temperature is appropriate, and their sleeping clock start ticking around 10pm.

    I called Northwest a number of times already, and it seems to take good precaution when handling pets. I also found out that there are slots in the luggage area in the aircraft where the crates will be places, and this protects the crates from other objects.

    lil96, did you fly Northwest when you travelled with Luther and Dale?
  6. DogLover

    DogLover New Member

    By the way, does Northwest or any other airline hire a pet specialist to transport pets from the terminal onto the aircraft?
  7. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I have flown several times wit them, I think part of one trip was with Nortwest, but their is no one special to handle the animals, just the normal baggage people. I have seen them and I have a relative who is a baggage handler. The whole thing is sort of sad, I think. I also think that they should have spaces, like where the bathrrom are to keep pets, for an extra fee. Maybe with the new rules about no carryons and stuff the will rearrange the top part and people will be able to watch their dogs.
    Oh some tips people gave me is post your dogs name on te crate and put the time you last saw them on their crates and write their final destination on there too(even if it is a direct flight, they lose luggage all te time, I am sure a dog or 2 has been lost).
    Also be really careful with the meds, even if the dr says it is ok to take them, they are still a bit scary.
    The things with the slots, is that the crates go into a big container, just like regular luggage, just that there is no luggage, some places secure the crates down and some don't, you have to check with the baggage handler to make sure s/he does that.
    The people on the phone and at the airport generally have no clue what goes on down there, they are just reading a guideline from some database somewhere. Make sure you ask your flight attendant and the people at the gates about the dog before boarding.
    Once when I was on a small plane, I was sitting in the back and I could hear Luthers cage tumble around back there and him yelping, I felt terrible, those people too said that his crate was beng held down. Also, even if the crate is held down in place and nothing else can hit the crate, the dog still bounces around inside the crate.
    If a dog is drugged, it is harder for it to balance and maintain itself, so it might end up getting more hurt in the end (as opposed to a nondrugged dog). Take care!!
  8. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Doglover, since you are only going to be gone a week and traveling across country, w I would leave the dogs at home. I have heards its one of the most stressfull things dogs can experience. And as Lil said those prescpitions meds are scary. My friend overdosed her dog and when I went to pick her and the dog up at the eir airport well its was horrible.

    I would only use flying as the last resort like moving.

    For the money you are paying to fly them you could hire a sitter and they would be so much happier at home.

    good Luck
  9. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    I just flew my dog Krissie who is absolutely terrified of everything from Germany to UK....I thought about a sedative even though I usually tell people not to use them (her fear is extreme)....I decided against them because I know they can do more harm than good.....(its wierd when its your own dog you get too emotional and your emotions take over everything you know!!!!) I hounded everyone....I read that you should make sure the flight crew know that you have a pet in cargo so they can regulate the temperature....they are in the same temp and air quality that the passengers are in....the woman that was responsible for transporting Krissie from the cargo depot to the plane came into the gate area and talked to me....(I was a basket case :oops: ) everyone was great....I knew Krissie would be scared but it was either put her throught the flight or send her back to the shelter....she was okay when we landed, a bit shaken up....Id also put a sign on her crate saying "DO NOT OPEN...WILL ESCAPE"....I just wanted to be sure that if anyone opened her crate it would be in an enclosed area.....unfortunately the German vet gave her an unapproved dewormer for entry to UK so DEFRA kept her, re-dewormed her and she had to stay in quarrantine for 24 hours she was shaking by the time I got her back but once she was with me again she was fine.
  10. DogLover

    DogLover New Member

    Thanks you all for your feedback and inputs. It was a difficult decision for me. Leaving them behind saves us money and hassle, but they will also suffer from emotional trauma, and I learnt this from the past incidents. Make long story short...Chobby had a hip surgery early this year. His recovery went well and smooth, and he still loves going to see the same surgeon. However, his personality changed after his 3-4 day stay at the hospital. He seems to fear much more when being left alone. Well, that's why I had to take him on the trip. I can't imagine how much he will suffer not seeing us for a week...

    Bella is frightened by everything and everyone who wants to touch her. Hiring a sitter doesn't seem to be a good solution either.

    They both are little tough, sturdy dogs, and they can definitely handle the 3.5 hr flight, as long as Northwest doesn't get them lost. I guess I will just have to take precaution, note down all the details, ask for their status, etc.

    As far as medication, I am not going to give any to them. Yes, it sounds scary. I will exercise them a little more that day, and make them a little more exhausted. By the time they finish watching people in the terminal, they will be ready to sleep on the airplane.

    I am losing my sleep thinking about this...
  11. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    It seems I read about some airline that has a separate cargo space for animals, with the temperature regulated and everything.

    I can't imagine ever putting my dogs on a plane, unless I had to go overseas for a really long time. I think I would take a few days extra vacation and drive from SF to Minneapolis. I'm sure there's lots of stuff to see in between.
  12. DogLover

    DogLover New Member

    Hi all,
    I am in MN now, and I didn't take the dogs. I changed my mind at the last minute, as I wasn't comfortable with the idea of flying them like luggages. I miss them dearly...

    Thanks for sharing your opinions! :D

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