Flying with dog
Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:26 PM
I was wondering about medicating him, or some type of natural calming something or other, but it Also scares me to give him a drug when I won't be there to monitor him. I've flown two cats and a dog across continents, so I'm not so much worried about the logistics, more so his issues. Sigh. Thoughts?
Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:27 PM
Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:34 PM
Why can't you drive?
How do you know it won't traumatize him?
Jude doesn't sound like a dog that would handle flying. The only dogs I've flown were very happy in their crates, generally quite confident and did not have any noise sensitivities, separation anxiety or other conditions.
Dangerous Dreams Farm
Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:47 AM
This does not sound like a recipe for a good flight for your dog (and probably not for you, either). And, if he has "separation issues, large ones", I'm not sure I can agree with "...this won't traumatize him or anything..." either.
...He doesn't crate awesomely, I know he'll bark the entire flight, he has separation anxiety issues, large ones, especially in scary new places...
Is your six-hour flight the flight time only? Or does that include the time spent crated and away from you before the flight after checking in your baggage? As pointed out, is driving an alternative? Is another form of transportation that might suit him better an alternative?
I have flown with Dan from Washington DC to San Diego CA by way of Seattle and back again twice, where he has spent up to about 11 hours in the crate (not all of that flying time, of course, as it included pre-flight and lay-over times). Fortunately, he's a very confident dog, well-acclimated to the crate, does not experience any overt separation anxiety issues, and is accustomed to travel and new places and experiences to a reasonable degree. Plus, we flew with Alaska, where I think the dog-as-excess-baggage handling is excellent (and I have photos to prove that). I have to admit that I had some concerns the first time we flew but, seeing how well he handled the flight, was extremely pleased.
You would need to check with the airline and your vet about whether or not medication is an option. Sometimes, that can have unexpected effects that make things worse and you wouldn't be there to monitor that.
I really wonder if Jude might not be better off with either your travelling in a different way (driving) or perhaps even being boarded at a good facility or left with a trustworthy friend that he likes. For his sake, as he already has several issues working against him for this sort of situation.
I wish you the best with your decision-making.
Celt, Megan, and Dan
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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:08 AM
My dog also has "separation anxiety issues, large ones"------when I had to begin crating him again after he chewed my house up while I was out of town, he snapped most of his teeth off chewing inside the crate. After working with a veterinary behaviorist for several years and LARGE doses of Clomicalm, prescribed by the VB, he is able to tolerate the crate. He is NOT happy, but he is able to tolerate it.
If I were you, I would be hesitant to put my severely anxious dog through an experience that he will be unprepared for and definitely frightened during.
Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:55 AM
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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:49 PM
If he doesn't like a crate and has large separation anxiety, I think that it would be very likely to traumatize him, perhaps severely.
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Dogs with severe separation anxiety can be pretty destructive to themselves and the crate when kenneled and left alone in a familiar place... I can't even imagine what the same dog could do to himself while crated in a plane's cargo-hold.
I have a Lab that I flew with on a 3-hour flight about 5 years ago. He's pretty laid-back, but can be a touch sensitive. He was not terribly excited about the crate before the flight, but tolerated it just as he does pretty much everything else. Well, he apparently didn't like flying - had to literally shove him in the crate to get him back on the return flight home, and he wanted NOTHING to do with that crate for a long time. He crates well now, but I won't ever fly with him again unless I absolutely HAD to.
Sedating or drugging a dog for flight is a no-no; as someone mentioned above, most airlines won't even fly a dog that has been sedated. Sedation can cause a change in respiratory function, which is not good at high altitudes.
If you absolutely have no choice but to fly the dog, I'd spend every waking moment until your trip making that crate the best place in the world for him!
Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:26 AM
The trip does not sound in his best interest. I would have a hard time boarding my dogs for two weeks, but it does sound like a better alternative to flying in this case. If it's a six hour flight, I'm guessing driving would be fairly prohibitive and take up the majority of your trip. It could be a fun adventure, though, if you are set on keeping him with you.
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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:44 AM
Dangerous Dreams Farm
Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:02 PM
Though you said you've flown other animals, so you do know the logistics. I'm just trying to frame it from his point of view.
Most if not all air lines will not permit a dog to be drugged for transport. If I were you, I would worry about him going into a frenzy of fear during all that alien strangeness, and trying to tear up his crate. If so, he could very well do himself severe harm, from breaking his teeth to breaking toes and claws, to who knows what. Even if he doesn't freak out, he may void his anal glands, pee and/or poop in the crate and generally render himself even more miserable.
I simply do not think that a dog who does not crate well and who has severe separation anxiety could be a good candidate for flying. I would worry that this actually could traumatize him.
I hope he's not as bad as your post suggests, as you've clearly got all of us alarmed!
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera
Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:32 AM
Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:38 PM
Our boy also has SA, and has learned to tolerate his crate, but I could never imagine putting him in the cargo hold of an airplane. He's far too fearful in strange situations.
I hope you're able to find a good solution for your doggie. Keep us posted.
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