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Flying Dogs—Dogs on Planes

One day I decided to move from one country to another in Europe and also decided to bring my dog with me. My little 100-pound dog. I couldn’t be the person who moves and leaves the dog behind!

This meant that she had to be flying on the same plane as me, in the cargo hold, in a crate. It wasn’t a long flight, only about three hours, but I was still worried about her the whole way there.
Happy Roxy at the new place
You don’t want to know how much I paid for her ticket…. The fee was 10 euros (around $13 CAD) per kilogram, and she weighed around 46 kg. Oh, and don’t forget to add the weight of the crate, too, so it came to about 50 kg (110 pounds). Yeah, you can do the math! At one point I felt jet renting was much better than flying her in a commercial flight. Also, I heard sometimes charter jet cost lesser than commercial airline ticket. They even allow pets inside the cabin along with you; it would have been a much less scary experience for my Roxy. Maybe for the next flight, we can book a jet and fly alongside her!
So, first, we had to crate-train her because she had never had a crate. She was fine when the crate was just on the ground, but she refused to go in it once we put the wheels on it. And we needed the wheels since carrying a 100-pound dog along with luggage is not easy.
Then our vet advised us to use some kind of sedation for her. He gave us a gel called Sedalin Gel Paste, which we had to apply inside her mouth right before she got on the plane. Her eyes got heavy after just 10 minutes and they were really red, too, but it was just the effect of the sedation. By the time she was taken from us to be put in the cargo, she was asleep.
After landing, I was excited to see her again. It took forever for her crate to be put on the conveyor belt, but, finally, at the end of the line of bags, there came my Roxy, peeking out through the gaps of the crate. My friend who works at an airport told me that I could actually take the dog out of her crate even in the airport, but the staff was looking at us with disapproval, so either they didn’t know that I could take her out or maybe there were different rules at this airport. Or they just didn’t want to clean up any mess she might make (which she didn’t, as Roxy is a well-behaved dog and we quickly walked out).

The whites of her eyes were still a little bit red, but they turned back to white by the next day. She was a little bit tired during her first day on our new home ground, but she gained her energy back soon after. So, overall, I would say that if your dog is used to different types of transportation (Roxy was an experienced train, bus and car rider), then there is nothing wrong with taking your dog along on your travels.

Your Checklist:

-Check if there are any important bylaws at your destination (for example, a quarantine for the dog).
-Find out the pet handling fees of your airline.
-Have your pet’s passport done in time.
-Have all the shots up to date.
-Find the perfect-sized crate.
-Put your dog in the crate first and THEN give the sedating gel.
-Ready to fly!
Optional: Put a sticker on the crate with your dog’s name on it (you can even attach a message) so that the people handling her in cargo can have a more personal experience with her.
As soon as we arrived, some of my relatives were waiting for us, and they burst out into a loud “Roxyyyy!” as soon as they saw us coming. And then they added, “Oh, hi there, Audrey.”
Have you had any experiences like this? What’s your best method for transporting your (big) dog? Share with us in the comment section below!

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