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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Airline travel with a puppy

Hello to all!

I am prepping for my new puppy and I am contemplating flying to PA (where my breeder is located) to pick up my puppy instead of having her flown to me. I was wondering if anyone has some good suggestions on the type of carrier that would work best. Being former military, I've learned to pack lightly and I won't be bringing a lot of personal items (just enough to get through the weekend) and would like the puppy to be my carry-on so I don't have to worry about her being in cargo. It looks like I'll be flying American Airlines and I've read their regulations for having a dog be a carry-on but I can't seem to find some good information for a carrier for a puppy, just adult dogs. Any information would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 12:07 PM
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https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...tance/pets.jsp

I would make sure you have clear documentation on the pups age and vaccines.

I did notice that dobes were not on the restricted breed list.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 12:52 PM
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You'll need to make sure that the weight of the puppy and the carrier don't exceed 20 pounds, and that they will be able to stand up without their head touching the top of the carrier.

I had a friend who recently flew with her Border Terrier as carry-on, and the gate crew was measuring the dogs and carriers before allowing them to board.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:15 PM
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Wow! New puppy...
Me, PA to CO and back, I'd drive. But then, I love driving and hate flying. LOL

John
Portland OR
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
You'll need to make sure that the weight of the puppy and the carrier don't exceed 20 pounds, and that they will be able to stand up without their head touching the top of the carrier.

I had a friend who recently flew with her Border Terrier as carry-on, and the gate crew was measuring the dogs and carriers before allowing them to board.
Really, know that gate crews were doing that! When I've flown and granted this was me observing, I didn't see anyone measuring dogs! Maybe that depends on the airport or I might have missed that whole thing. I did read the whole weight thing which makes sense to me. I figured it didn't hurt to at least plan just in case I am able to have the pup as a carry on.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
Wow! New puppy...
Me, PA to CO and back, I'd drive. But then, I love driving and hate flying. LOL

John
Portland OR
I had thought about driving but with Colorado weather being so unpredictable, I just didn't want to risk it. That and I have a ton of airline miles that I figured I'd actually use!

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 02:56 PM
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Most Dobe puppies don't qualify by weight plus carrier or if they do they end up too tall for any carrier that will fit under the seat (which is still a requirement as far as I know.)

Regulations used to be quite a bit looser but have gotten tighter and tighter over the years. As far as what kind of crate to get/use--the sherpas are preferred since they are lighter and are configured to fit under seats much better than hard crates.

Good luck.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
Most Dobe puppies don't qualify by weight plus carrier or if they do they end up too tall for any carrier that will fit under the seat (which is still a requirement as far as I know.)

Regulations used to be quite a bit looser but have gotten tighter and tighter over the years. As far as what kind of crate to get/use--the sherpas are preferred since they are lighter and are configured to fit under seats much better than hard crates.

Good luck.
I had been looking at sherpas but I just was curious if anyone knew of any other brand. I'd like to avoid her being in cargo but if that's the only way, so be it. Just wanted to explore my options. Thanks again!

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 04:11 PM
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Hello,

I just flew my puppy from NJ to CO as a carry on, no issues on Delta, but I don't deal with American Airlines.

She was 8 weeks old and 18lbs. The hardest part was finding a carrier for her as it needs to be big and soft to fit under the seat in front of you. My suggestion would be to wait until you get there and you see her size and then go to a petstore and buy one. I bought one before we got there and didn't realize how big my puppy was. Bigger than most of her male siblings. So I had to buy a new one, money down the toilet.

My puppy is also one that likes to get her way so she WAS NOT having the crate thing. I would suggest getting some children's benedryl, just in case it's needed.

Who's the breeder, it scares me when I see PA for fear that it could be Kimbertal. Please say it's not Kimbertal.

Good luck
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 06:41 PM
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Driving vs flying.....

A lot of dobe pups by 8 weeks are right on the edge of being too big to fly with you as a carry-on, and there are temperature restrictions for flying as cargo.

"Cold Restrictions. Pets cannot be accepted when the ground temperature is below 45°F at any location on the itinerary unless the pet has a veterinarian's statement of low temperature acclimation."

I would guess that would include on the ground in Colorado?

So you may end up stuck on the ground waiting for warm enough weather to fly. Or waiting on the weather on the road somewhere. But you can drive in lower temps than fly, and there really isn't that much snow in the fall here.


All things considered....to me, avoiding the hassle and worry, and being able to make my own decisions about when the weather is good enough to travel, would make a drive my choice.

I think. But it is a heck of a long way across the country and would take a big chunk of time.....tough choice. It's good to have plans for whatever gets thrown at you.

I'm hoping you have a hassle free-trip...keep in touch. You might even be able to find someone here can help you get in touch with needed resources if you run into difficulties along the way.

Last edited by melbrod; 10-10-2018 at 07:00 PM.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 07:38 PM
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@GR
Geez Karen... When did you get a new pup?

Guess I'd better give you a call! LOL.

John

Edit to say:

@ yuki

My last boy was 22 lb. when I brought him home. You could always ship him. Although, that would not be my choice.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
Hello,

I just flew my puppy from NJ to CO as a carry on, no issues on Delta, but I don't deal with American Airlines.

She was 8 weeks old and 18lbs. The hardest part was finding a carrier for her as it needs to be big and soft to fit under the seat in front of you. My suggestion would be to wait until you get there and you see her size and then go to a petstore and buy one. I bought one before we got there and didn't realize how big my puppy was. Bigger than most of her male siblings. So I had to buy a new one, money down the toilet.

My puppy is also one that likes to get her way so she WAS NOT having the crate thing. I would suggest getting some children's benedryl, just in case it's needed.

Who's the breeder, it scares me when I see PA for fear that it could be Kimbertal. Please say it's not Kimbertal.

Good luck
Browsing various travel sites, they kept having me fly with American but I also have a bunch of travel miles with them thanks to work. I also have miles with Delta as well so that's good to know that Delta had no issues!

And that's a great suggestion! I was thinking about buying a carrier beforehand but you brought up a good point! Thanks so much for the advice.

Oh not, its not Kimbertal! Before I had found this site, I had inquired with them and they were so rude to me so that was it for me. I kept asking for the health testing that they do and they kept saying, "Are you going to buy a puppy or not?" Yeah, no, I hung up the phone. I'm getting a pup from Pat with Shadeko! Super excited and honestly, she is one of the nicest people I've ever met.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Driving vs flying.....

A lot of dobe pups by 8 weeks are right on the edge of being too big to fly with you as a carry-on, and there are temperature restrictions for flying as cargo.

"Cold Restrictions. Pets cannot be accepted when the ground temperature is below 45°F at any location on the itinerary unless the pet has a veterinarian's statement of low temperature acclimation."

I would guess that would include on the ground in Colorado?

So you may end up stuck on the ground waiting for warm enough weather to fly. Or waiting on the weather on the road somewhere. But you can drive in lower temps than fly, and there really isn't that much snow in the fall here.


All things considered....to me, avoiding the hassle and worry, and being able to make my own decisions about when the weather is good enough to travel, would make a drive my choice.

I think. But it is a heck of a long way across the country and would take a big chunk of time.....tough choice. It's good to have plans for whatever gets thrown at you.

I'm hoping you have a hassle free-trip...keep in touch. You might even be able to find someone here can help you get in touch with needed resources if you run into difficulties along the way.
Thanks so much. And yes, driving would take way too much time. Flying was the first pick simple because I have so many travel miles and I have family in PA that I was going to visit before I pick up the pup. Yeah, I really really want to avoid having her in cargo so I'm hoping that she will be able to go through as my carry on.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
@GR
Geez Karen... When did you get a new pup?

Guess I'd better give you a call! LOL.

John

Edit to say:

@ yuki

My last boy was 22 lb. when I brought him home. You could always ship him. Although, that would not be my choice.
I had considered that or even a flight nanny but I have some close family in PA that I had planned on visiting before picking up the pup.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 08:44 AM
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Could you possibly split the difference and fly to PA, then rent a car to drive back to CO?


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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Could you possibly split the difference and fly to PA, then rent a car to drive back to CO?
That is a rather long drive and honestly, I don't know if I'd be comfortable doing that drive in winter.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 07:26 AM
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PLEASE make any other arrangement for your puppy instead of putting him in the cargo of an aircraft. Leaving his litter is going to be a very hard time for him, he's going to be shoved in a cage, and put in a dark very noisy area, he will experience pressure changes just like we do and there is a very good chance he won't be handled with care. This puts a lot of undue stress on a very young pup and could have an effect that lasts a lifetime on his personality, especially if he is in a fear period. If that is not enough to change your mind, look up the horror stories of animals that are injured, become sick and even die. The fact is that the airlines kill hundreds of animals every year, and no it's not just one, it's all of them. I work in the aviation industry and I would NEVER put my animal in cargo.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
Wow! New puppy...
Me, PA to CO and back, I'd drive. But then, I love driving and hate flying. LOL

John
Portland OR
I'm with Left Coast John - I'd drive - lol
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Control_Freak View Post
PLEASE make any other arrangement for your puppy instead of putting him in the cargo of an aircraft. Leaving his litter is going to be a very hard time for him, he's going to be shoved in a cage, and put in a dark very noisy area, he will experience pressure changes just like we do and there is a very good chance he won't be handled with care. This puts a lot of undue stress on a very young pup and could have an effect that lasts a lifetime on his personality, especially if he is in a fear period. If that is not enough to change your mind, look up the horror stories of animals that are injured, become sick and even die. The fact is that the airlines kill hundreds of animals every year, and no it's not just one, it's all of them. I work in the aviation industry and I would NEVER put my animal in cargo.
I am trying to avoid putting my puppy through cargo that's why I am looking at the carry-on option. But if worst come to worst and that is literally my only option, I may have to go through that. Currently, I have been researching and speaking with my breeder about this issue. We both feel that we will have a better answer when the time comes because right now, there are too many unknowns

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I'm with Left Coast John - I'd drive - lol
Yeah but that drive from PA to CO in the winter is something I don't feel comfortable with. If it was the summer, then that's a different story.

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by yuki_cos View Post
Yeah but that drive from PA to CO in the winter is something I don't feel comfortable with. If it was the summer, then that's a different story.
I don't know yuki - lol Lets see here - You would most likely go threw Kansas ! Miles and miles of open spaces ! Then MO - into IL - Miles and miles of corn and beans fields ! then into Indiana ! 70 go's right threw Indy - I'm only 18 miles South - then - on your way back ---- You can stop by to show us your new puppy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then threw OH and then PA - which you can stop by and show Dax0402 and show off the puppy !


Well --- thinking about driving threw KS - which I have I drove threw --- And MO --- getting to KS - Your thinking about flying is sounding better and better the more I think about it
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 12:01 PM
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So I looked at AA policy regarding transporting animals as cargo, you said you'll be traveling during the winter, AA do not allow animals transported when the temperature is below 45 degrees at either location. However, they may waive this if you have a letter written from a licensed vet basic info plus the temperature your pet is acclimated to but animals will not accepted if the temperature is below 20 degrees even with a letter from a vet. Additionally, pets are accepted on a first come first serve basis and space is limited. There are a lot of variables to consider....traveling as a carryon, your puppy may be too big by the time he is ready to come home. If he can't fly as carryon, there are no guarantees he'll be able to fly in cargo due to weather. You could fly first class or business class on a A321, which the crate would not need to fit under the seat, they are placed in a dedicated animal friendly compartment during TO, landing, turbulence, however combined weight of carrier and pet cannot exceed 20 lbs., which would also be cutting it close. Something else to think about, is the cropped ears, posted/cone adds 3-4 inches or so to height so the carrier would have to be even bigger.

I know you don't want to drive, but it sure would suck to fly all the way there and then not be able to travel home with your pup. What about flying there and driving back? Or you may want to think about forgoing a puppy out of this litter and waiting until the weather is a bit better.

BTW I've made the drive from MI to OK 4 times in the winter and it really wasn't that bad. I'm sure the breeder would be willing to hold him for a few extra days-week in the event of inclimate weather.
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
I don't know yuki - lol Lets see here - You would most likely go threw Kansas ! Miles and miles of open spaces ! Then MO - into IL - Miles and miles of corn and beans fields ! then into Indiana ! 70 go's right threw Indy - I'm only 18 miles South - then - on your way back ---- You can stop by to show us your new puppy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then threw OH and then PA - which you can stop by and show Dax0402 and show off the puppy !


Well --- thinking about driving threw KS - which I have I drove threw --- And MO --- getting to KS - Your thinking about flying is sounding better and better the more I think about it
I've done Norfolk, VA to CO and that was a rather long drive and that was the near end of summer. Yeah with winter, I always have this fear that I'm somehow going to get stuck in the middle of some field with no cell phone reception! Actually that has happened to me and I got lucky when a nice farmer saw me and helped!

If anything, I will be posting (would it be considered spamming??) a bunch of pictures of the little one!
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Control_Freak View Post
So I looked at AA policy regarding transporting animals as cargo, you said you'll be traveling during the winter, AA do not allow animals transported when the temperature is below 45 degrees at either location. However, they may waive this if you have a letter written from a licensed vet basic info plus the temperature your pet is acclimated to but animals will not accepted if the temperature is below 20 degrees even with a letter from a vet. Additionally, pets are accepted on a first come first serve basis and space is limited. There are a lot of variables to consider....traveling as a carryon, your puppy may be too big by the time he is ready to come home. If he can't fly as carryon, there are no guarantees he'll be able to fly in cargo due to weather. You could fly first class or business class on a A321, which the crate would not need to fit under the seat, they are placed in a dedicated animal friendly compartment during TO, landing, turbulence, however combined weight of carrier and pet cannot exceed 20 lbs., which would also be cutting it close. Something else to think about, is the cropped ears, posted/cone adds 3-4 inches or so to height so the carrier would have to be even bigger.

I know you don't want to drive, but it sure would suck to fly all the way there and then not be able to travel home with your pup. What about flying there and driving back? Or you may want to think about forgoing a puppy out of this litter and waiting until the weather is a bit better.

BTW I've made the drive from MI to OK 4 times in the winter and it really wasn't that bad. I'm sure the breeder would be willing to hold him for a few extra days-week in the event of inclimate weather.

There are definitely going to be a lot of factors involved but really, I think my best option is to wait until we have all the details finalized. There's still plenty of time left to plan but I do like having back-up plans.

When someone you love walks in through the door, even if it happens five times a day, go totally insane with joy - David Dudley
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