Sequoyah German Shepherds
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and Your Pet
Traveling with or shipping a
puppy can be a stressful event from all aspects – the
breeder, the new puppy parents, and the puppy himself.
First, let me start by
saying that the majority of all pets and animals that travel
by air suffer no serious consequences - 99.9% of the time,
there is never a problem. For example, Continental ship 6725
dogs in November 2010 with only one incident. Those are
pretty good odds unless of course you are the owner of the
one dog that had an incident. On the other hand, there are
enough cases that people are hearing about injuries and
death on a fairly regular basis according to the news. In
2012, there were 58 animals that were lost, injured, or died
during air transportation. In 2011, there were 46 animals.
In 2010, there were 57 animals injured, lost, or died.
However, there are some
things that you can do that will help your pet with
transportation on airline. Here are some of the things
that we recommend.
Get your crate early.
Make sure it is the right size (check with the airlines
if you are unsure). The travel crate must meet the
airline’s standards and be large enough for the pet to
lie down comfortably, turn around, and stand freely.
Mark the crate with “Live Animal — This Side Up” and
include your name, address, and telephone number in case
she gets lost or misplaced in transit. You also should
include the name, address, and telephone number of your
destination. The airlines require that the door must be
constructed of welded or cast metal of sufficient gauge
or thickness to prevent the animal from bending or
distorting the door. The door hinge and locking pins
must engage the kennel by at least 1.5 cm (5/8") beyond
the horizontal extrusions above and below the door
opening where the pins are fitted. The crate must also
be held together by metal screws and NOT any type of
plastic clips. Finally, the crate must have 2 bowls
attached to allow the dog to eat and drink should it
Take the time to let your pup/dog
become familiar with it before it's time to travel.
Start feeding him in the back of the crate. Put his
favorite blanket or bedding in the crate for him to
sleep on. Get him accustomed to going in and out of the
crate as well as being locked in the crate.
Take your pet around
town to help him get accustomed to the notion of
traveling. It might be beneficial to also put his
crate in the vehicle as well and allow him to travel in
it. That will help him get accustomed to being confined
- Watch the
weather. This is very important. The airlines
themselves are careful when shipping dogs when it is
either too hot or too cold, but, it is your
responsibility as well. Make sure any layovers are only
booked for cities that have a temperature controlled
Federal regulations prohibit shipping
live animals as excess baggage or cargo if an animal
will be exposed to temperatures that are below 45°F or
above 85°F for more than four hours during departure,
arrival, or while making connections.
- Do some
research. To make sure
everything goes smoothly, I recommend that owners also
do some Internet research (or place a few phone calls)
to confirm that they are in compliance with their
destination state or country for their pets
- Trip the the Vet
for a CVI. As the time gets closer to the
actual travel date, make sure that you take your pet to
your local veterinarian to get your CVI (Certificate of
Veterinary Inspection). This is also known as a health
certificate. YOU MUST HAVE ONE. Certification of health
must be provided no more than 10 days before travel.
Rabies and vaccination certificates are also required.
Your dog should be at least 8 weeks old and weaned.
Your veterinarian will most likely know what will be
needed for your pet to travel depending on the
destination. However, it is beneficial to call ahead so
that they can check with the USDA or the State Vet to
make sure they have everything they need. They will most
likely want to double check YOUR RESEARCH (Step 4).
With International travel, this is even more important.
Even with some states, such as Hawaii, you will need
special treatment. Often they will require extra steps
such as rabies titers, tapeworm deworming, or possibly
even tick control. Make sure you plan ahead! It will
take your veterinarian a few days to get to titers back
it those are needed.
Know your pet.
If your dog suffers extreme separation anxiety, you
might need to get something from your veterinarian
to help with the stress of their travel. Keep in
mind, this can also affect your animals ability to
regulate his temperature. If you have an English
bulldog for example, or any of the breeds with the
"pug" noses, also called brachiocephalic breeds,
they have a more difficult time cooling themselves
off - especially if they've been sedated. If they
suffer a panic attack or separation anxiety, their
stress can cause an increased body temperature.
Then, because of their breathing limitations, they
may have a hard time cooling themselves back off
through their panting. Though sedation can help with
the stress, you can also contribute to the dog not
"breathing" as well. KNOW YOUR PET!
In one case,
records show, an English bulldog died after its
owner administered a dose of Xanax before a flight
in late December from Orlando, Fla., to Seattle.
On the other hand,
there have been many reports filed during the last
few years that involve dogs injuring themselves
while trying to chew their way out of their crate.
One case in particular included a case of a dog
getting his mouth stuck on the metal wires of the
kennel door. Workers had to cut some of the wires to
free the dogs mouth. We recently had one of our pups
shipped back for some training and when he arrived
we found a chewed up crate but luckily no injury.
(and airlines too) do not recommend sedating your
dog if you can help it. Proper planning will
definitely help out here.
Book your flight.
Make sure you get to the airline early. Because your pet will
have to wait to be loaded on the airplane, you want to make sure you walk them
for their potty break right before they are taken back.
All dogs are required to be
pre-booked prior to arrival at the airline.
International flights must be
booked a minimum of 3 days in advance and a
maximum of 14 days in advance.
flights must be booked a minimum of 24 hours in
advance and a maximum of 14 days in advance.
The airlines will
require an absorbent material in the bottom of the
crate. You can use a towel, newspaper, or even
The AVMA recommends only newspaper or thin material be placed on the kennel
floor to keep the pet from accidentally inhaling some during flight or from
keeping the pet so insulated that they over heat.
Towels, blankets, and shredded
black and white newspaper are good choices.
Organic materials like straw, hay
or wood shavings are prohibited outside of the
contiguous 48 United States and Alaska.
newspaper, use non-color newspaper as the ink
used in color printed paper may be toxic to
- Upon Arrival:
Once you arrive at the airline and have a chance to walk
your dog, you will have to present him to the check-in
location. They will want to inspect the crate prior to
your dog being loaded inside. Then, they will ask to
have him placed inside and they will zip strip the door
shut as a extra safety precaution.
Most airlines will
then provide you with a number that will allow you to
follow your dog's flight until he reaches his
Choose a direct flight
Bring a leash and collar for walking your
pet prior to departure. Do not place the leash inside
Your pet should be offered hydration prior to going to
Freeze a small dish of water the night before the
trip so it won’t spill while loading. It should be
melted by the time your pet is thirsty. Ice cubes work
but not as well. The crate bowl can be removed from
the freezer and attached just before shipping.
Water bottles are permitted provided they
are firmly secured to the outside of the kennel and are
refillable without opening the door. A separate dish for
food as described above is also required.
Make sure that you place either some
treats or some of his food in a plastic bag and tape it
to the top of his crate - that way it will be available
should he need to be fed during transportation.
Also, place his leash in a bag and tape
it to the top of the crate as well.
Include identification tags with home
address and telephone number, as well as the address and
phone number of the person receiving the animal at the
Give your pet a nice, carb-heavy meal and
plenty of water the night before. Don't feed them at
least 4 hours prior to flight to reduce the risk of
Consider sleeping in an old t-shirt,
which you can then place in the pet's crate for the
flight. Your scent helps calm the animal.
Never send your pet wearing a muzzle or
choke collar; both can be dangerous when an animal is
Pets can sometimes be shipped COD if
Additional fees and charges that could apply: Terminal
handling charges, customs clearance fees, veterinarian
service, and/or kennel storage fees are in addition to
shipping rates and will be charged to the shipper or pet
owner upon arrival at destination airport. All fees and
charges must be paid in full prior to the release of
You may want to consider a permanent form
of ID (such as a microchip or tattoo) that can increase
the likelihood of reuniting you with your dog if it gets
lost far from home.
Carry recent pictures of your dog with
you. If he is accidentally separated, these pictures
will help local authorities find your dog.
your travel plans, keep in mind that extra large and
giant kennels will not fit on some aircraft. The maximum
weight allowed per piece may also be limited.
Traveling can be stressful for everyone - your pet is family,
so take the extra time to make sure that the flight is as easy
as possible on everyone.