Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tips For Shipping Dogs

I was working on a post about shipping tips when I came across this

It pretty much covered everything I already had listed, and then some, so I'm posting it in it's entirety here.


Flying your dog safely is a concern addressed by the Animal Welfare Act. This Federal law protects animals commercially transported by requiring minimum standards of care. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) enforces this law.

Here are some tips to ensure flying your dog safely:

  1. Take your dog to the Vet. Airlines and state health officials generally require health certificates for all animals transported by air. In most cases, health certificates must be issued by a licensed Vet, who examined your dog within 10 days of transportation.
  2. If you are traveling abroad, check with the country your pet is going to. Most have quarantine policies. Each country has their own set of rules. For specific country info:
  3. Check with the airline well in advance of travel regarding its animal transport rules. A few airline Transport Websites are listed below:
  4. Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old and must have been weened before traveling by air.
  5. Kennels must meet minimum standards for size, strength, sanitation, and ventilation. They must be enclosed and allow room for your dog to stand, sit, and lie in a natural position.
  6. Get your dog used to the kennel it will be traveling in. Let it spend varying lengths of time in the kennel several days before travel. Some dogs get very stressed when placed in a strange cage. An familiarized pet will reduce that stress. Also, you may wish to put some article of clothing that you have worn in the kennel during transportation. This may help calm the pet. An old T-shirt that you have slept in for one or more nights will work well.
  7. Label the pet carrier with your permanent and travel address and phone numbers. Same goes for the ID tag on your dog's collar.
  8. Instructions for feeding and water over a 24 hour period should be attached to the kennel. The 24 hour schedule will help the airline in case the flight is diverted from its original destination.
  9. Sedation of your pet is not generally recommended for air travel. Refer to a statement from the American Veterinary Medial Association (AVMA)
  10. Use direct flights whenever possible. This will minimize your dog's flight time, accidental transfers or delays.
  11. Travel on the same flight as your pet, if possible.
  12. Carry a leash with you. Walk your pet before check-in and after arrival.
  13. Only small dogs can go in the cabin. Some airlines may not even allow them in, and will transport them as special baggage in a heated and ventilated hold. Do not worry, dogs actually travel better this way because it is quieter and they will rest in a darkened environment.
  14. Contact the airline you have selected to confirm that they accept your pet on the day and flight that you prefer. Some airlines restrict the number of animals on a flight so the more advance notice you give them the better it is. Reconfirm at least 48 hours before departure.
  15. Find out how soon before the flight you have to check in. Pets become stressed with all the bustle at an airport, so keep it to a minimum. If your pet is allowed in the cabin, check in as late as possible. If it is going in the hold, check in early so that it can go to the baggage area and be put somewhere quiet and dimly lit in order to relax.
  16. To prepare your pet, reduce the quantity of food the day before but give it enough water; take your dog for a walk before leaving for the airport and again before check-in. A light meal 2 hours before tendering the animal to the carrier will help to calm it and is a legal requirement in the United States.
  17. If you ship your pet as air freight, check with the airline to ensure the air freight facility is open so your pet may be claimed by the consignee.
  18. It is better to ship your pet on weekdays as all staff are working and liaison is easier all along the route. Avoid holidays if possible.
  19. Transport of pug nose dogs, such as boxers, pugs, bulldogs and Pekinese, in hot season is not recommended. These animals have difficulty in maintaining a normal body temperature in hot weather.
  20. Carry a current photo of your dog. If he is accidentally lost, having a current photo will make the search easier.

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