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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Plane travel advice

Thanks to all for the warm welcome of our new puppy ZuZu!

We very much would like ZuZu to be comfortable flying.

I have purchased an airline approved carrier and getting her used to it with treats and praise. She actually likes perching and napping on top of it.

I respect the experience of the members of this forum and would appreciate any insights or best practices. We plan a short 90 minute flight for her flying debut.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 05:48 PM
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A 90-minute flight will be easy. I use my airline carrier (SleepyPod Air) as my car carrier so that Loki is used to getting in it no matter where we are going. I zip him in in the car too - even if it is just around the corner.

I always get to the airport a little early, check in and then take him outside one more time to potty. I don't give him food or water for several hours before a flight. For 90 minutes, you shouldn't have a problem.

Take pee pads, wipes, paper towels - just in case! Otherwise, you should be fine.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 05:57 PM
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I think the most important part is for the puppy to be used to crate/confined space.

I flew both of my dogs as puppies (Zelda's first was 6 months old, Link's was 3 months old.). Both of them between West coast and East coast with transfer so they were for good amount of time. They were uneventful trips. They just stayed in their carrier on the plane and that's about it. They were quiet in crates before ever flying and they stayed that way 99% of the time inflight. I tapped the bag with my foot with a shush if they start whimpering. I have a towel in their bag just in case they had to go, but it was just a precaution. They held it just fine.

I brought potty pads with me and let them out in the family restroom during transfer so they have a chance to pee and have a little water. I sneaked Link to the airplane potty to do the same just because he was so young, but he didn't even pee.

In general I believe the less of a fuss you make it the less of a fuss they'd make. Just treat it as nothing special, no/minimum cooing, talking, engaging with them.

Link (May 2015) & Zelda (Feb 2014)

Last edited by abi38; 07-25-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 06:28 PM
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We live in Massachusetts and just flew to California for vacation with Penelope. Six hour flight.
She is 5 months old and did do great.
Prior to the trip we took many longish car rides in her carrier. She got to the point where she gets in in her own and sleeps as soon as the car moves. Next, we got her used to being in the carrier while we carry her around. She enjoyed that too.
The morning of the trip we fed her a light breakfast. Our flight was at 5 so we left our house around 1. We pottied her at the airport before boarding the plane. We lined the carire with towels as she shreds any and all pee pee pads. We stowed her under the seat and covered it with a towel.
She slept the entire flight with no issues whatsoever.
Potty again at San Diego airport.
I think 90 minutes is a great starter. Good luck and safe travels!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 12:14 AM
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I agree with all of the advice (especially using the bag for car trips). Perry has to fly long distance with us about twice a year (to and from). Because of the length of our flights I got him one of the carriers that open up on the sides as well to give him more room (I can't find the picture from my last post with it, but I posted a picture of it under a plane seat). However, for a 90 minute flight it's probably more hassle than it's worth - zipping it open, trying to get it zipped closed in the confines of the plane. I do take Perry out at the airport - I've never had someone say anything to me when he was walking on his leash through the airport (though wouldn't do that if it was crowded) and I take him out in the pet relief area if they have one, in the bathroom if they don't, and on the plane (take the bag into the bathroom when it's not so busy and let him out for a few minutes) but he never does anything except stretch.

I generally don't feed him at all the day we're traveling, but that's also because he gets car sick (ride to/ from the airport). I do give him a little water a few times on the flight, but doubt you'll need to on a 90 minute flight. I also include several of his favorite toys in his bag with him, and I usually keep one of my feet by the bag, especially if he gets restless.

I would recommend, especially if you haven't traveled a lot with her yet, to make sure you bring paper towels, some wet wipes, and a plastic bag (to put the soiled ones in) just in case she does get sick or has an accident
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 12:26 AM
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My understand is that official rule is that pets must be kept in carrier at all time, but I read about enforcement depends on airport. I only let mine out openly in the our airport at the fake grass potty area. Hence me using a family restroom instead at transfer (and got yelled at from a mom).
Personally I'd be leery of letting them walk around in the airport. It's one thing they hold it in the carrier, walking about give them less incentive to hold it and I'd hate for them having an accident there.

Link (May 2015) & Zelda (Feb 2014)

Last edited by abi38; 07-26-2017 at 01:16 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 06:12 AM
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Holza, did you check if the two airports you're flying in and out of have the potty areas?
When taking her out of the bag for security, loop her leash on you first before taking her out.
enjoy the flight!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Great advice

Thanks all for the great information and sharing your experience! I think the biggest issue is making sure Mom and Dad are calm and collected
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 12:37 AM
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'holding it'

Quote:
Originally Posted by abi38 View Post
My understand is that official rule is that pets must be kept in carrier at all time, but I read about enforcement depends on airport. I only let mine out openly in the our airport at the fake grass potty area. Hence me using a family restroom instead at transfer (and got yelled at from a mom).
Personally I'd be leery of letting them walk around in the airport. It's one thing they hold it in the carrier, walking about give them less incentive to hold it and I'd hate for them having an accident there.
Oh absolutely. I've only let Perry walk in the airport after we've visited the pet relief area . I also agree, it does depend on the airport - you're right, official rules are that they have to stay in the carrier, but no one has ever said anything to me -- I don't do it a lot, usually only between the gate and the pet relief area (we usually fly out of the same gate at IAD and the pet relief area is just a few doors down) so I'll leave his bag with my husband at the gate, carry him to the pet relief area, then will walk back and will let him out of the bag until boarding is called.

I think you get away with a lot more when your dog is small and cute
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 05:50 PM
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Logan airports pet relief area was so awful even Penelope wouldn't step on it ( and she'll eat her own poop!). She went in the family bathroom on a pee pad just before flight.
San Sushi's key area was nicer. She did use that when we landed.

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