Moving cross country with a full grown doberman was actually much easier then imaginable.
Fendi is a certified Service Dog – which definitely made the process much easier. Once again she flew American Airlines – and again they were absolutely wonderful and accommodating with the dog.
Danny called the week before to purchase a 3rd ticket for her. This way we had an entire row of seats so she could have more room. It is a pretty long flight (4-5 hours) so we wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
The flight was in the afternoon. We only gave her a small amount of water in the morning and no food in the morning. We gave her the first anxiety pill (as prescribed by our vet) en route to the airport.
Fendi was a perfect angel through security. Unfortunately, I did not know before hand her service halter and collar would trigger the alarm system. I had to take off all her gear and two security people pat her down. She didn’t seem to mind though and they were very nice! We had looked up the animal relief area in advanced, and I would say that was the most unpleasant part of the trip. The small “grass” patch was extremely small and there was deification everywhere. Fendi being the queen that she is refused to set foot in the room. I am thankful we fasted her in the morning as she did not need to use the washroom well after we were off the plane.
Right before takeoff, we gave Fendi her second anxiety pill. The purpose of the anxiety pills were to keep her calm and sleepy the entire flight, as I mentioned it is a long time to be confined around a lot of unfamiliar people, noise, and sensations. They let us board early so we could settle Fendi in. I was very grateful Danny got us the extra room for her, because even though we were in the Comfort+ seats the legroom is still quite small. She seemed a bit stressed during the take off because she was panting a lot. Once we were up in the air she settled in very nicely and slept the entire flight. I actually had to wake her up to exit the plane.
All in all – another very good experience with American Airlines. I strongly feel they are the best choice for flying with your dog!
TIPS FOR FLYING WITH YOUR DOG:
- Make sure you check your airlines policies – Every airline has different policies for size, space allocation, etc. Most have these outlined on their website. I would highly recommend calling the airline as they can give you clarity on these guidelines. Most airlines require you call for animal room availability and confirmation for the pet.
- Prep you pet – Expose your dog and puppy to as many busy situations as possible. Where you can do this will depend on your location and your dogs status (ie pet vs. service animal). You can bring them to busy parks, public areas and pet friendly stores/restaurants.
- Consider their schedule – Try to accommodate as well you can around your pets schedule (when they sleep most is the best time to fly). As I previously mentioned, make sure you know in advanced where the pet relief areas are. We postponed Fendi’s meal for the day as well as limited her water so she could be comfortable and accident free on the plane. Which brings me to ..
- Consult your vet – Anxiety meds and fasting could work well for your vet to ensure comfort and safety. You also need to make sure your vet is completely up to date.
- Bring comfort – Smaller dogs can of course be in carriers – but I do not personally have experience in that arena. We brought Fendi a comfy blanket (very key), some kibble for treats, and a stuffed toy to cuddle and chew on.
- Paperwork – Check & double check you have all paperwork pertaining to your pet. Vaccine records & anything pertaining to service/ESA certifications are always important to have on hand.
- Action plan for arrival – Again, research the airport for to know the animal relief areas. Keep your car at the airport (thats what we did) or arrange for a car pickup well in advanced. We also prepped for Fendi’s arrival in Vegas and set up everything for her well before her arrival – this way she could walk right in and feel comfortable in her new home.