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This is a question to people who show their dogs around the world. How do your dogs cope with travel by plane? Where do you get appropriate crates, especially with equipment for fresh water over this long period of time?

How far do you travel with your dogs - maximum? Which airlines are the petfriendliest? Can someone give me some sort of experience report? What is the safest way to travel? Does first class make a difference?

I am asking because a setter friend of mine would like to come from England to Australia, and we heard horror stories about dogs being left behind, or dogs being stolen and transported to countries where dogs are not so much respected. In general, I am terrified by the idea that dogs over 20kg must be transported like luggage.

My friends say that, although they have their visa and everything is settled, they would never leave without their dog, but rather stay in England if such a long flight is so dangerous and traumatizing. I must say I would feel the same.

Who can give advice?

Thanks a lot!

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Firstly you need to get an "airline approved " crate of the right size for your dog. If it is a long flight make sure you have a very thick layer of newspaper in the bottom, which will soak up urine if the dog needs to urinate,and a thick fleece on top of the newspaper. You are required to have a feeding bowl for water attached inside the door of the crate, and a funnel tied to the door so that water can be poured into the bowl from outside the crate. You can also attach a guinea pig water bottle to the door which will drip water into the bowl

Always try to get a direct flight, so the dog doesnt have to change planes. This is where things can go very wrong
If you are flying in the summer check airport restrictions at both ends on flying dogs when the temperature is high, for example you cant fly dogs into the southern parts of the US in July and August

Ask around to find out what airlines other people recommend and which ones to avoid. I have always found British Airways reliable. Also the Scandinavian ones like SAS and the Norwegian airlines. Recently I used an aircargo company to fly puppies to the US (North East Cargo) and they were fine, although a little slower than a passenger plane. Air France have been OK too
I avoid Lufthansa who are excessively bureaucratic, if they can invent yet another rule or another requirement for more paper , they will. And once I had a dog booked on a Lufthansa flight, arrived at the airport (four hour journey), and 30 minutes before departure , the baggage handlers discovered the crate didnt fit in the baggage hold! The dog didnt fly.
Avoid airlines who give precedence to passenger baggage over live animal freight, your dog may be left behind on the runway if there is too much baggage!

Make sure you have all the right paperwork done for the country you are flying to , and all the required vaccinations, blood tests, parasite treatment etc
I forgot to say, it doesnt make what class you fly, the dog travels airfreight to Australia.. So you need an airfreight handling company to arrange it for you and make the booking. They should be able to give you quotes for different airlines.
Some airfreight handling companies are better than others!
Recently I have used Extraordinair who were excellent, no problems

You can also ask a pet travel company to make all the arrangements for you,which will cost more than booking through an airfreight company.The pet travel company will want to provide the crate, arrange health certificates and parasite treatment do the paperwork, provide kennelling the night before etc and it all adds up!

And have you thought about quarantine when the dog arrives in Australia? You will need to arrive at an airport not too far from where the dog can be quarantined
Margaret, thank you for your help. I printed it out and will help my friend prepare the flight according to what you wrote - starting right now.

Hi I have just imported a puppy from Sweden to New Zealand. Firsty contact the airline to see how big the crate will need to be for the dog and which injections are needed for entry into Australia from MAF. When we emigrated from the UK to NZ I used Airpets Oceanic next to Heathrow Airport for advice and they were wonderful. Now this puppy flew from Stockholm to London and then from London to Auckland by Qantas. I have to say Qantas were very very good indeed. They even rang me a few days before arrival insisting that I was at the airport in time for the landing so puppy could be released as soon as he had been seen by the vet. When he bounced out of the crate he was in a better condition than I was with all the stress and worry I had gone through, he had quite obviously, by the condition of him, been treated very well during his flight.
Thank you so much for your advice.
The thought of a dog being traumatized for life, getting lost or falling prey to scam puppy travel agencies is just unbearable.
Your comment comforted me a bit.
Re dog travel by plane, after Margaret's comment I did some research and found out that there are puppy scammers around. One particular travel agency is victim of scammers. These people use the company's logo to lure people into either having their dogs transported - God knows what happens to these poor puppies - or they sell puppies online that don't even exist.

Ergo: We have to be very careful whom to trust, especially when we book online. Maybe for people who are regulars with their agencies, it's no problem, but for the newbies!

I'll do some thorough research and will post what I found out.




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