We took Mercy with us to California again this year, citing boarding costs as our “reasoning.”
Truthfully, we didn’t want to leave her home and since there were two of us, we figured that one could handle the dog, and the other take care of the baby. We were quite the hit in the airport- all the adults oooed and ahhed over little Sweet Pea and all the children oooed and ahhed over Mercy.
By the way, has anyone ever seen a family travel with their baby AND dog? I’d like to think that we aren’t the only crazy ones…
Mercy flew in her “little kennel,” the FAA approved kennel that can fit under a seat. Dogs under 15 pounds can fly in the cabin with their owners provided their kennel fits under the seat. Flying with your pet will cost you, but it was less expensive than boarding her while we were gone. We use Mercy’s “little kennel” whenever we travel with her, by car or by air. She knows the command and gets very excited when the kennel comes out. The day we left, our flight was at 5 pm and her kennel was in the front hallway along with the rest of our luggage and Mercy just kept going in there, as if to say “Is it time to go yet? Is it time to go???”
She was not sedated and she was perfectly fine. On our way to California, we had a longer layover and Keith was able to sprint out to the outside of the airport and let her out for a potty break before our second flight. On the way home we didn’t have any time between flights, but Mercy didn’t seem to mind.
These are a few tips I have found helpful in traveling with a dog:
– Have your dog’s shots up to date and carry that documentation WITH your dog, we stored the paperwork in a small compartment in her kennel. We’ve never been asked for proof of vaccination at the airport, but you never know…
– Do not feed your dog 12 hours prior to the flight to prevent airsickness and also to make sure that your dog won’t have to do a “doodle” during flight.
– Make sure your dog’s collar is secure. Check for wear on her collar to ensure that it will not break at an inopportune moment. Collars with plastic buckles can break and I don’t recommend traveling with these on your dog.
– Bring a 4 foot leash for use in and around the airport. It’s easier to control your dog when on a shorter leash. Some airports let you take your dog out, some don’t.
– Bring a few days worth of food for your dog IN YOUR CARRY-ON luggage. If you get stuck somewhere, Fido’s gotta eat and you definitely don’t want to change his food while stuck in a strange city. Some dogs get diarrhea when they change food.
– DON’T let anyone put their fingers in your pet’s kennel. Fluffy may have never bitten anyone in her life, but when placed in a stressful situation, she may react differently. Mercy has growled at well-meaning people in the airport before.
– Know a name of a vet near where you will be staying.