dogs flying on airplanes

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dogs flying on airplanes


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Old 8th August 2010, 01:20 PM
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Default dogs flying on airplanes

We will be taking our two dogs with us to Mexico. We live in Indianapolis and are moving to Merida. The dogs are a red Doberman and a fawn Staffordshire, both weighing around 80 lbs. Does anyoneone have experience with flying dogs? I need my dogs ALIVE and well. I am nervous that they will get lost since airlines have been known to loose things. I have also read that the temperature should not be above 85. Can I combat the impending high temperature by taking a flight that arrives in Merida at night? Can anyone give me a run-through on the airport procedure for checking my dogs in at the airport here and then retrieving them from the Merida airport?

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Old 8th August 2010, 01:31 PM
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The airlines will have seasonal restrictions on when you can fly pets as cargo. In some cases, on some routes, they simply won't take them. In any case, it is quite expensive and then, there is the problem of customs at your destination. You must have all the paperwork in order, plus letters from the veterinarian, attesting to freedom from internal and external parasites, application of Frontline, etc. If customs decides to hold the dogs, it is unlikely that they will be cared for at all. There is a ten day limit before 'disposal'.
So, be absolutely sure that you get all the customs information, direct, in addition to the airline requirements. You will also need some serious pet carriers to prevent escape while handling. This is a very stressful situation for the dogs, and if they escape, they are seldom seen again.

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Old 8th August 2010, 05:40 PM
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RV gives you the correct technical answer, I will try and give you the humane answer...
I worked behind the scenes at SFO for 15 years and saw hundreds of animals ( mostly dogs) shipped, they are not treated very well by baggage handlers, barking dogs get their crates banged on, most of the dogs water is spilled, if a dog does escape and make it to a runway the safety officers do not try and catch them, they shoot...and last of all baggage compartments on planes are very cold and are not heated, I would never ship my dog on an airplane....hope this helps

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Old 8th August 2010, 05:45 PM
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Yes, that does help. I think we are now leaning toward buying a big van and moving ourselves, the dogs and our luggage in the van. I would have had an aneurysm worrying about them. There are too many variables that I can not control in getting them there safely.

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Old 8th August 2010, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicois8 View Post
....and last of all baggage compartments on planes are very cold and are not heated, I would never ship my dog on an airplane....hope this helps
I dont know about internal flights, but international planes have specially designated areas for animals which have heaters. Without those heaters they would die as the temperatures go way below freezing. Both my daughters are cabin crew on an airline that carries pets (thomas cook) and they say that they are treated with the utmost kindness, respect and attention at all times - the cabin crew see to that and are very aware of the pets on board! Also most airlines do not deal with pets themselves, but use specialist pet carriers who oversee all the paperwork and the crates in which the pets are carried

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Old 8th August 2010, 07:37 PM
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From the USA to Mexico is only technically 'international'. Many flights are on 'regional' or 'code share' airlines. Then, there is the Mexican attitude toward travel with pets; something that Mexicans rarely do and wonder why we do it.

About a 'big van': It will be handy for your move, but you will probably hate it from then onward. Mexican towns have narrow streets and very tight corners, making larger vehicles very difficult to maneuver in many places and often impossible to park. As such, I would suggest that you consider something more like a small SUV. You might even be able to carry the dogs on top, in secured carriers facing backwards. They'll love the fresh air & won't take up space or bother you inside the vehicle. A trailer might not be practical, as it would become a part of your vehicle on importation and would have to leave Mexico any time the vehicle exited. That means keeping it and storing it safely until the next time you leave the country and could dispose of it.

Another option: Use a U-Haul as far as the border and put your stuff in storage. Drive to your destination with the dogs and settle in. After a month or two, when the dogs are comfortable, have a friend or maid stay with them, while you take a few day's vacation to get the rest of your stuff from storage. That can often be the least complicated and most economical solution; also solving the vehicle size problem.


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Old 8th August 2010, 10:06 PM
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I am not posting this with the intent of scaring you, but in case you didn't see this story, 7 dogs died this week after being on an American Airlines flight that was an hour late taking off.

7 dogs die after American Airlines flight to Chicago

The airline spokesperson says in the article that they fly 100,000+ pets safely annually, so maybe this kind of event is statistically so rare that we should ignore it (like the stories about drug trafficing in Mexico that cause people to think it's not safe to travel there). Unlike plane crashes that always make the news and are tracked by statistics, however, I don't know that there are statistics that track what percentages of pets are injured, lost or die when handled by airlines. Here's a story I recall seeing earlier this year about a dog that was lost by an airline, and another lost dog is referenced at the end of the article:

Airline loses holidaymaker’s pet dog in transit -Times Online

With dogs on an airplane, I would think the issue is not only the temperature of where they are kept and how they are handled, but whether they would stay calm and lay down and sleep during the flight or be anxious and possibly get overheated from panting. Flat faced dogs like pugs and bulldogs are particularly susceptible to overheating, but I don't think your breeds would be high risk. If you decide to fly your dogs, you might want to talk to a vet about giving them an anti-anxiety drug before the flight, the type of drug that people use to calm down dogs that panic in thunderstorms.

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Old 9th August 2010, 01:47 PM
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Default Bringing Dogs into Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnow View Post
We will be taking our two dogs with us to Mexico. We live in Indianapolis and are moving to Merida. The dogs are a red Doberman and a fawn Staffordshire, both weighing around 80 lbs. Does anyoneone have experience with flying dogs? I need my dogs ALIVE and well. I am nervous that they will get lost since airlines have been known to loose things. I have also read that the temperature should not be above 85. Can I combat the impending high temperature by taking a flight that arrives in Merida at night? Can anyone give me a run-through on the airport procedure for checking my dogs in at the airport here and then retrieving them from the Merida airport?
Hola...We brought 3 dogs in with us 2 1/2 yrs ago, and it WAS an experience to say the least.

The Merida airport no longer has animal handlers, so you will have to fly into Cancun and take a taxi or have someone pick you up there. We had to take a "van" taxi as I'm sure you will have to do to fit in the bigger cages. It cost us $5,000 MP for the taxi then - but that was because the "driver" had to stay in Cancun an extra night, due to the fact that they "lost" 2 of our dogs along the way and we missed the connecting flight ... we found them in the sun, on the tarmac. We stayed overnight at an airport hotel (the extra charge was $30 US/per dog per night), but we had them evoke article ??? and the airlines had to pick up the cost of the room. I imagine you could possibly get a van taxi for around $2,500 - $3,000 MP. They will not allow animals on the ADO buses.

Once we got into Cancun we had a real hassle because all the paperwork etc., is geared for a max of 2 dogs so you should be OK and not have a problem there. It took us 2 1/2 hours to get thru customs with our 3 as there was so much paper work involved with having a 3rd.

A point of caution - make sure you get ALL papers back from the people at Cancun customs. They kept ALL our medical records for the 2 that came in cargo, but I got to keep the papers for the one I had as "in cabin". Apparently, these records went to Mexico City for whatever reason (our Spanish was not good enough), and we have not been able to get them back (Our vet tried for us)

The airlines were very good though, they made sure they had someone come on the plane after loading the animals to let us know that the pups were on the flight and safe. This made us feel so much better. It was climate controlled in cargo - they have a special area just for animals. At the time they had a max capacity for 6 dogs, so be sure to check with the airlines - get them on your ticket at the time you book your flight, and make sure to confirm that all airlines have animal handlers, as fewer and fewer do now.

OK...that was our experience bringing 3 dogs in from Canada. Hopefully, your's will be much better with only 2 - there should not be a holdup in Cancun.

Amber

Once here though, the pups loved Merida.

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Old 9th August 2010, 03:23 PM
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Hola...We brought 3 dogs in with us 2 1/2 yrs ago, and it WAS an experience to say the least.

Thank you for the response. That does seem like a stressful ordeal. We have decided to buy a van and move our stuff and dogs all together. I want to avoid my dogs being found on a tarmac.

What kind of dogs do you have? How did they adjust to the heat? Is there decent dogfood down there? One dog requires food without dyes so we just get it for both of them.

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Old 10th August 2010, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NoMoreSnow View Post
Thank you for the response. That does seem like a stressful ordeal. We have decided to buy a van and move our stuff and dogs all together. I want to avoid my dogs being found on a tarmac.

What kind of dogs do you have? How did they adjust to the heat? Is there decent dogfood down there? One dog requires food without dyes so we just get it for both of them.
Love your name "NoMoreSnow" LOL ... we're from Canada so can relate to that!

We have chihuahuas. We could only take 2 "in cabin", so instead of leaving one of the twins alone in cargo, we put both of them in cargo, as they had never been apart, even for a few hours. Even when they went in for their operations, we left one twin in the vets a day longer, and the vet had the cages side by side till they could both get discharged at the same time. We took the little one, Clint Eastwood on board with us.

All of our dogs have adjusted to the heat beautifully, but we know people with large dogs with medium to long hair, and they seem to be doing well also. Perhaps the heavy fur acts like an insulation against the sun??

As far as dog food goes - we were amazed!! We brought as much as we could, but found that they had all the major brands here and a lot of specialty items as well. I can't say for dye free types, but I'm sure if they don't have it in the major stores, a vet would probably have it (or could order it in for you), as they seem to carry some very specialized things. We even found "puppy milk" available here!

I think it's a good choice to drive your pets down if possible. If we could have, we would have. As it was we had to buy tickets from Halifax to Vancouver just to get a flight that could take us all at that time of year.

Have a great trip
Amber

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