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May 14, 2008



Can your vet take her? Most vets offer boarding and even if yours didn't, he's got a special connection to her. Did he offer? She'd be in excellent care.

The very reason we don't have a dog is because of the travel situation. We want one badly and have a great "pet camp" here in town. Taking animals on airplanes is almost always more trouble than it's worth.


Tina - Yes, we could board her and we have friends here who would happily take her while I'm gone. It's not so much NEEDING a place to keep her, it's that I WANTED to take her, and now I'm not sure if it's such a good idea.


When I was growing up, we took our dog on two plane trips, both for cross-country moves. As far as I know, the vet just gave us some sedatives (for the dog), and our dog was fine. But we never took the dog on vacations that involved planes, so I don't really have any advice. I am such a big help! You're welcome.


oh my god, the puppeh! Where are you going (take me)? How long is the flight? I would be super concerned and not take Lydah (but instead, TAKE ME) if it was a super long flight, but maybe an hour or two would be okay, with vet recommended sedatives?

So in conclusion, take me.

Wickedly Scarlett

Wow! How super terrified would I be after that discussion!! Neither of the vets that I took my dogs to before putting on an airplane had that reaction... They both actually did suggest AGAINST sedatives since they said that it was probably more dangerous than keeping them awake.

I really didn't have a choice with them anyway though--they were in Louisiana and needed to get to Washington, where I was, and they sure weren't going to drive themselves. They did seem pretty upset when we got them off of the plane, but I saw quite a few other dogs being matched back up with their owners, and none of them seemed anywhere near death.

Oh, and did the airline tell you about the health certificate that you'll be able to get from your vet? We had to present that, along with our dogs when they were dropped off, but maybe different airlines have different rules... Good luck!


I definitely vote to board Lydah. As if flying weren't stressful enough, you'd have to look after her and reassure everyone around her. At least if you board her, you know she'll be taken care of (right?) and you can call to check every so often. I know that leaving her behind is not what you had planned, but with your vet's concerns and the strain of travel, I think it would be best.


I don't think Lydah would be harmed forever from going on a plane. If she's used to her travel cage it should be no problem and a sedative shouldn't be called for.
Me thinks your vet and his wife have their own problems with flying...


I have heard of pets dying on planes. I'm sure it's not COMMON, or you'd hear it all the time, but to me - Not worth it. Find a kennel you like and trust. The one we use has scheduled playtimes with the dogs. Your dog would probably be at least as stressed out traveling with you, even with fun dog activities, as he would be at a kennel.

Operation Pink Herring

I totally understand wanting to take Lydah with you. I basically want a dog so I can take it around with me on errands, walks, hikes, etc! I don't really like the vet's scare tactics, but since you have several good options for boarding her, I'd leave her home with the friends or the vet. I doubt anything would go wrong, but it probably would be scary for her.


-R- - (that's a lot of dashes, by the way. I think it's getting gratuitous) I am glad to see that you have successfully taken dogs in-flight and had no ill-consequences. This is heartening.

Tiff - you know you can come with me ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. So there's that. Also, vet-recommended sedatives? HA! The vet currently is 100% convinced that I will NEVER take Lydah on a plane - that's the only way he was letting me off the phone!

Scarlett - Super terrified is right. And yeah, I have the little certificate thingy, but...ugh. Am glad to see that you've flown dogs and had no problems.

RA - always the voice of reason, this is pretty much exactly what I am thinking I *should* do. Now that you've seconded it, I think I might should just commit.

Trudie - ha, the vet DOES have his own problems with flying! And he is projecting them onto me! I thought it was no big deal! What I wouldn't give to take the whole phone call back...

3carnations - again, very reasonable, probably the best plan of action. Why can't I ever have a voice of reason? Even one in my head? :)

OPH - I had no idea what you would say - was thinking it might be something like EFF THE VET! But since even YOU are saying I should probably leave little Lydah diva dog here, it seems final. However, perhaps you are just SAYING to leave her here because if she did get hurt, I'd rack up even MORE vet bills and then would beat you even more soundly in our spreadsheet contest?

And yeah, I am in a spreadsheet contest, everyone. If you still, somehow, thought I was cool, let's all just get on board with the fact that I am definitely not.


I have 3 dogs and I wouldn't check them in luggage. I have heard horror stores-hot compartments, the crates banging around, dog injuries, seriously stressed dogs. Is it too late to claim she's your see & eye dog? They get to ride in the cabin.


Oh no! I have zero experience in this area, so no advice. But I hope you come to the right decision for adorable Lydah!


Obviously it's your call. but you knew that. I think either choice isn't all that 'world-ending.'
I would think about Lydah's personality (know one knows better than you) and how she might handle a flight of however long, combined with the new routine and new location for the duration of your stay. just going to a new place is enoughto throw some dogs off so that they aren't really themselves or able to enjoy what they would normally love. one of my dogs can roll with anything and loves whatever comes along. my other dog is much more anxious and can't handle too much change all at once. so think about that compared to your own desire to have her with you. then do what ever is the least stressful for all involved. i'mglad you have options either way.
I personnally haven't flown with my pets but I know it happens (high priced breeders do it all the time I would think - I have a friend who picked up her new great dane at the airport.) I doubt very much that she will DIE, but if she's more like my anxious dog then you might not want to put her through that. ANYhow. now I really want to know where you're going! can my dog come instead? =)


We have flown multiple times with both our dogs but they fit under the seat in front of us. My older brother moved to Prague a couple of years ago and had to fly his akita over there. The scary thing was they had a connection in Amsterdam, and the airline lost the dog. They tried to convince my brother to head on to Prague, but he wouldn't leave until he could make sure that Nadia was on the same plane as him. I think he would advise you to board your beautiful pup.
We have a great boarder that we've left our dogs with for over 2 weeks and they love it. Try and find one that lets the dogs out to play like they are at home. Ours watch movies during the day and play with all the other little dogs.

Good luck and sorry for the long post.


I guess on this one, I would say the vet knows best. Unfortunately, you probably shouldn't take her. Think about how awful you would feel if things took a turn for the worse!


OK I had a great plan for you…emphasis on had.

I was going to suggest that you talk to your wonder-vet and get some pup sedatives. Then get one of those dog handbags with the air holes. Now, make an aluminum foil canine suit so the x ray didn’t pick up the dogs skeletal structure and there you go…repeat on the way home…then I got to the pic of your pooch… I think your going to need a bigger bag…


I have never flown a dog anywhere, but I know two people who have. One person bought his dog as a puppy and had her flown over from where she had been. She arrived in a crate full of sawdust and woodchips and such, and had apparently wet herself and was stinky. Other than that, she was just fine. The other person flew their dog from Alaska down to Central California. They did not give their dog a sedative because they didn't want to dope her up. They said she was fine, too. I saw her once they were down here and she seemed very happy, rompy, and playful.

It's tough, though, to make a decision where you know that something could happen, even if it probably won't.


I had NO idea plane travel for animals was so bad.

You'd think more people would warn their friends about this type of thing...


I know I haven't been reading your blog for very long and I've never given you advice before so do with this what you will but please, please, please do not put her in cargo. It can be very traumatic for dogs and there are more things that can go wrong than you'd even imagine. I say this from both my experience as a former flight attendant and as a dog owner.

Take a look at urbanhound.com. It's been a great source of advice for me. There are people who have had both great and not so great experiences with cargo dog travel so you should get a wide range of opinions and advice. Search the Traveling with Pets function. You can get a lot of information and may will help you reach a decision and do what's best for you and for Lydah.

Sorry to be so new to your blog and come across as a heavy. I just want you both to be happy!!


I've taken my dog on the plane several times (maybe 4) and she's always been fine. Mad at me afterwards, but fine. She's an 80 lb lab who could eat nails and not get sick though...so not sure if the comparison is exactly the same.


Relatively new reader to the blog, first time commentor . . .

My mom used to work for Northwest Airlines in the Customer Services Department, answering all the lovely hate mail they (sometimes deservedly) received. She told me one of the saddest she had to deal with was a man who was extremely upset about his DDOA (Dead Dog On Arrival). Apparently short-nosed dogs don't do well in the hold. But I have seen (with my own two eyes!) long-nosed dogs being okay, just peeved.


I know you want to bring her on vacay with you, but I can tell you firsthand, the cargo hold of airplanes is a definite NO for any animal, unless absolutely necessary. It's cold and loud and shifting and most animals freak out. I would not recommend it, having worked for an airline and seeing the animals come off the plane.


I don't bring Bailey anywhere that we aren't driving. And if that means boarding her or having someone watch her then so be it.

Taking her on a plane in the cargo area is not a good idea.


I have traveled with my dog on a plane before and it was a HORRIBLE experience. Unlike Lydah (OMG she is huge now!), my dog is a tiny maltese and allowed to board the plane with me, as long as she stayed in her cage that went under the seat. As soon as I placed her cage under the seat, my dog went crazy. She started barking, crying, and making other emabarrassing noises. I finally had to take her out of her cage and try and hide her under a blanket. When I got her out of the cage, she was all wet as if she had been sweating. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Don't do it--save Lydah.


I think this is one of those times where the human has to really remind herself that Kydah wil be SO much happier just staying home with a friend, I know you will miss her and all but she is a dog ( ouch, I know!) and she doesn't think like we do, so even with the Vets comments aside it just isn't kind to fly a dog on vacation because for her it really won't be fun, she won't remember it fondly in her old age or be desperate to send postcards so all her friends will just die with envy, bless your heart, leave her to have her own vacation at home while you have fun on yours. ( I know I am so bloody hard, also I am quite happily leaving my human children here while I fly to the US, Boston to be precise, next month for days of glorious fun with girl friends, so I sort of am taking my own advice) Lydah will be fine, honestly.


Poor you! I know that you've planned on a fun vacation and that you were looking forward to taking Lydah with you. I guess it's a question of whether the stress of not knowing how Lydah will do in the cargo hold is worth it. I agree that it sounds like the vet used scare tactics on you and I also understand you not wanting to let fear rule your life. You're in the best position to know how much Lydah can take, and how she'll do in a strange situation like that. Personally I'm conservative with this type of thing, so I'd err on the side of caution and board her.


If it was me and Elli instead of you and Lydah, I would take her as long as the flight wasn't more than a couple hours.



Well, my husband is a pilot, and, ah. I can't say anything, really, because they aren't my stories to tell, but based on what he's said, I wouldn't do it. I'll just put it that way. It would probably be fine, yes, but ... stressful, at the very least.

Either way, though, you've gotta do what you've gotta do. I don't always give my rabbits the BEST LIVING CONDITIONS EVAR, because sometimes that's just not very practical and you know, they'll most likely get over it. :)

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