Sending your pet on an airplane without you…

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
1654 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

@Jacquelinesc84:  I haven’t done it with my personal pets, but when I worked at an animal shelter we had an out of state adoption and we sent the dog cargo.  Basically you put them in a crate with extra food incase they need it and a dish for water, bring them to the cargo part of the airport (the one I went to was super creepy) fill out some paperwork then you leave them there.  They transport them to the plane, load in the cargo hold (only SOME planes have temp controlled cargo holds… we found that out the hard way. If they dont and the  temps are going to be too extreeme based on weather they won’t ship the animals that day).  On the other side, the crates get lined up near baggage and someone needs to be there to collect the animal (with correct paperwork/shipping info).

The dog I brought there got extreemely carsick (even just two minutes in the car would make her puke) so we got her some medication from the vet for the hour long car ride and hopefully a bit longer since we were sure a plane would be a little longer.  When I got there and had to leave her I legitimately cried. I was happy she was getting adopted but I didn’t want her to be scared and alone.  It was rough.  I imagine it would be harder if it was your own animals.  Just an fyi from personal experience.

I got a call later that day letting me know they got the dog and she was fine, nervous but not completely traumatized.  I later got a package from the family thanking me for taking such good care of the dog and bringing her to the airport and everything.  It was a REALLY rewarding experience after the fact.

All of that said, who would be there to pick them up on the other side? Would someone be there to watch them at the new place?  It would be pretty traumatic to be put on a plane and then be dumped in a new house to be alone (or mostly alone) for two weeks.  If someone is going to stay there with them until y’all get there then I think it would be fine.

Post # 4
Member
1355 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

I’d never be able to do it. I’ve heard too many horror stories, especially weather-related horror stories. If we were going somewhere far away with the pets, they would be coming with us in a car, not on a plane. We wouldn’t even fly on a plane with them in cargo — too scared. Way too scared.

Post # 5
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Honestly, given the choice – I would pick a long car trip over a short, unaccompanied flight any day. We obviously didn’t have a choice when we moved from Beijing to Singapore with our cat, but it was truly one of the most stressful and anxiety-inducing experiences of my life. I was bawling my eyes out at the airport, with every possible worst case scenario running through my head. But at least I was on the same flight, so I was able to gauge that we were running on time, no delays, and on the other end we rushed to the quarantine hub to visit her.

I’ve done a 12 hour drive with a cat before, and it was okay. He actually slept for most of the trip. I know it’s still unsettling for them, but I much prefer the option where I can keep an eye on them every single minute of the trip and circumstances are within my control.

Post # 6
Member
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We had our 9week old puppy shipped to us on a 4 hour flight in cargo.  I was a nervous wreck the whole day, but our breeder was quite confident that he’d be fine.  The 4 hour flight turned into 7 hours due to delays and unloading time.  Although he was fine, he did poop all over his crate, but as soon as I picked him up for the first time, he would not stop licking my face. 

That being said, we have talked about what we would do if we had to do it again with him as an adult dog, and I’m not sure I would unless it was absolutely necessary – ie moving overseas.  I know he would be fine, I just don’t think I would be!

Post # 7
Member
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

A long drive might be more traumatic but if they go with you in the car, the chances of having something terrible happen to them will be reduced.  Honestly I don’t see why the cargo hold of a plane would be any less traumatic than the car.  At least they will know you are there with them in the car.

Post # 8
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’ve never done it, but I’d say to just be extremely careful about which airline you choose.  I’ve read too many of these articles over the past few years:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514660/Beloved-mastiff-BamBam-dead-abandoned-United-Airlines-baggage-handlers.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/08/04/illinois.airline.dog.deaths/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/supermodel-maggie-rizer-slams-united-airlines-killing-dog-cross-country-flight-article-1.1164809

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2512223/United-Airlines-Almost-Killed-My-Greyhound-Dog-left-hot-tarmac.html

 

Not to scare you (as cats supposedly do much better with this than dogs) but just do your research on airlines ahead of time!

Post # 9
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee

A popular blogger I read recently moved across the country and chose to drive because of the horror stories outlined above.  That was a LONG drive, but she felt very strongly about it.  I’m not a pet-owner so I wouldn’t know! 

Post # 10
Member
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Jacquelinesc84:  I honestly would not ship my cat or dog anywhere.  I’ve heard too many horror stories of cats/dogs being left out in the cold or heat, plus I think it scares the crap out of them when they are in the hold.  I wouldn’t want to expose my animals to that kind of stress.

I know traveling with cats is hard, but I would find someway to get them to your new home before the wedding via car (but who will take care of them there???) if you don’t want to bring them on the honeymoon/road trip.  

How far “out of state” is the trip for them?   Is there family you could drop them off at and then pick them up after the honeymoon?  

Post # 11
Member
1788 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I have 2 cats and a dog, and I would absolutely hands-down choose to drive them to the new home myself. They don’t have to come with you on your road trip honeymoon if you just specifically make a trip directly to your new home to drop them off first. It doesn’t sound as fun and seamless as your plan, but when you adopt pets, you agree to make sacrifices like that for their well-being.

I’ve just heard way too many horror stories about things that can and do happen to pets during air travel to even seriously consider it. 

Post # 12
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

For what it’s worth, FI and I are considering a move sometime in the future from the DC area to Tampa, Florida (a 16-17 hour drive) and we would 100% drive our dog.  We are actually making this drive for our wedding so we can bring our dog with us.  I also have a friend who works for the FAA and started her move today from the DC area to Arizona (a 3 day drive at best) and she chose to drive with her 2 dogs rather than fly them.

Post # 13
Member
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I would never ship my cat or dog.  

I’d take a week off of work and rent a car to drive it to the other side of the country if I had to.  I also don’t like the people that order a dog from a breeder and have it shipped to them.  Get your butt in the car and go pick it up.  Don’t have the time, energy or interest in doing that? Don’t get a dog.   But if a lick on the face once you pick it up out of his feces-ridden crate makes you feel better about your decision (like it couldn’t have been that bad.)  Hey – whatever helps you sleep at night.

Post # 15
Member
38 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2012

From the horror stories, I love my dog too much to risk it!

Post # 16
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@Jacquelinesc84:  I would never in a million years ship my dog on a cargo plane. I know a lot of people do it, but I don’t trust that people give a shit about her enough to take great care of her like we would. 

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