Page created Apr. '03, upd: 02 April 2003 -

Toby's and Mickey's - Traveling With Dogs

4. At the airports - Checkin/Departure and Arrival

Upon check-in and boarding:

When you check your dog in for the flight: Tell the airline check-in personnel and animal handlers that as soon as possible after the plane has landed at the destination airport and reached the arrival gate, you want your dog to be unloaded and taken directly inside the terminal building. You don't want your dog to have to wait in the cargo compartment until all the baggage and cargo has been unloaded!
If it is posssible, try to make arrangements for that when you check your dog in for the flight.

Boarding the plane:
When you board the plane(*) , ask the flight attendant to tell the pilot that your dog is on board and that he should not drop pressure, or let the heat or a/c go off, in the cargo compartment at any time during the flight. The flight attendant may say they already know that, but be nice and ask if he/she would please just double check with the pilot and get back to you. - tell them you're so very concerned about your dog and can't relax until you get assurances of your dog's safety.
(* ) It is a good idea to also hand the flight attendant a copy of your dog's sticker/document to be given to the pilot. - (That's a copy of the one you taped on top of the crate. You can see a sample sticker/document at )

Remember: air (cabin)pressure *must* be maintained at all times in cargo compartments containing live animals! A drop in air pressure can be very dangerous for animals. & Heating or Air Conditioning should be maintained at all times in cargo compartments containing live animals!
The pilot needs to know that your dog is on board and he should maintain air pressure in the caqrgo compartment, and keep the climate control system (heating or airconditioning) in the cargo compartment *ON* when on the takeoff or landing runways as well as during the flight. Sometimes when the traffic is heavy the plane may have to sit waiting on the runway. If the pilot turns off the engines then the heating or airco will go off,. If that should happen your dog would suffer from either the cold or the heat.

Before landing or prior to de-boarding,
ask the flight crew what they (or you) can do to ensure that your dog is unloaded and taken directly to the terminal as soon as possible after the plane has landed and is at the arrival gate.

Upon Arrival:
Once you get to baggage claim in the terminal: Get after the airline to have the animal/baggage handlers unload your dog and bring him/her directly into the terminal. Don't let them make your dog wait in the cargo compartment until they've finished unloading baggage! ...(Hopefully,, you were able to arrange for that with the airline check-in personnel and animal handlers at your departure airport when you checked your dog in for the flight, and also asked the flight crew about that prior to de-boarding.)

**Regarding arrival in a foreign country**:
Your dog will be landing at a foreign airport, a strange place, with strange things, strange smells, and people speaking a language he may not understand. He/she will not want to be parted from you once you rejoin each other upon arrival - your dog will be thrilled to see you and will want and need the security of being with you.

Leaving the airport at your final destination:
When you have picked up your dog and your baggage, your dog will need to 'go out' to relieve himself (a.s.a.p.!) after being confined in the crate during the trip. Have your supply of paper towels and plastic bags handy to clean up after your dog. Be aware that your dog might not be able to 'hold it' and might relieve himself inside the airport before you can get him outdoors!
For goodness sake, be very careful - dogs can be lightning-fast escape artists when their crates are opened at airports! Keep total control of your dog at all times inside and outside of the airport. Outdoors: only let your leashed dog out in a safe, secure grassy area at airport.

... Next ==>> 5. Canine Travel Tips and Advice From Experienced Breeders

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