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Flying your Shiba
  • MikeCPMikeCP
    Posts: 55
    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone have any experience flying their Shiba? I'm headed home for the holidays and I have to decide to board mine for almost 2 weeks, or take him home with me. Obviously boarding for 2 weeks will be super expensive, so I'd like to take him home with me. Plus, it'd be great to have him during the holidays.

    Does anyone have any experience shipping your Shiba? What airline?

    Post edited by sunyata at 2011-09-22 16:36:59
  • I've done it a couple of times. Think the main thing is making your dog comfortable in his/her crate. Maybe practice lifting it while she's inside it and dragging it across the floor.
    On one aiport I saw them drag the crate from the entrance of the building to the place where I picked him up, must have been very noisy in that crate.
    On most airports you pick the dogs up in the "special luggage" delivery, but in some (Budapest for instance), they actually put them on the tray with all the normal bags and stuff.

    He always seems a little stressed when I pick him up, but a short walk inside the aiport turns him back to normal. I think it's possible to drug the dog if he's really scared of the whole flying thing (may be different rules in different countries), but I don't like the idea of that. If he falls asleep and throws up because of the drugs he may "drown" during the flight.. not good.

    I used Norwegian airlines.. doubt you've got them over there ;)
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    I would call each airline and check carefully before you purchase any tickets. Different airlines do things differently and some may have seasonal embargoes depending on your route. Some also have special climate and pressure-controlled cargo holds specifically for pets, and because the area can only hold so many pet crates, reservations need to be made in advance. And it's just good to check with the airlines so you're clear on how they operate.

    My Shiba came with me overseas and we rode via EVA Airlines (which took really good care of him, maybe because one of the stewardesses happened to have a Shiba of her own and was very pleased to meet Bowdu) and Air Canada (not as impressed with the latter, but that had more to do with communications from the ground crew which may not be their fault but the airport staff). So I'm not sure where you're going to/from, but that probably doesn't help.

    This article might be of interest though:
    "Traveling with Pets: Airlines with the Most Dog Deaths"

    I also heard about something called Pet Airways ( where pets can actually travel in the main cabin. But I haven't really looked into it and suspect this is a luxury that is beyond the scope of your average holiday traveler...
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • JudyJudy
    Posts: 183
    I had a foster shiba flown to me in PA from FL on US Airways as cargo. I recommend a nonstop flight if at all possible. He had to switch planes in Charlotte NC and because they were running late, the pilot from Charlotte decided to not load the cargo. We were waiting in Harrisburg only to find when the flight arrived that the shiba was not on the flight; he was still in Charlotte. We contacted Charlotte to be told the next flight did not have to allow him on it. I freaked out at that point, was put in contact with the airline person who was watching over him and she told me she would do her best and to call back to confirm he was on the next flight, which he was. Poor boy was in his crate for over 12 hours. They are not allowed to open the crate to potty.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    Not sure if you guys are still in the DC/MD area... But if you are (or are in one range of one of the other airports this airline services), I would try Pet Airways...

    I have heard a lot of good things about them. Plus, your pet gets to ride inside, instead of in the cargo area.

    Also... DO NOT DRUG YOUR DOG!!!! (I can not remember who suggested it, but PLEASE do not do it!)
    Drugging a dog can cause major complications and even death at altitudes. Most (if not all) airlines will not allow you to use sedatives prior to flight for this reason.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • I've done it and my pup was fine. You just have to make sure that he is checked within 10 days of you flying. Also make sure that he is cleared to fly in cold temperatures. Even though they are cold weather animals, the airlines will not fly him unless it is marked specifically with temperatures. Also, as mentioned before, DO NOT drug him. Just ensure that he is in a big enough cage so that he will be comfortable. I put his blanket and a couple of toys in with him when I flew. He slept the whole time. For some reason, he didn't have much of an appetite, but after a couple of days he returned to normal.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Just to continue to add to the discussion, how "comfortable" the dog is in the crate is probably determined by the airline. The ones I looked at were pretty strict that the dog's ears should not touch the top of the crate when standing. Even if this means you have to go up to another size crate that seems way too large, the airline could require you to do so before accepting the dog for flight.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    Hmm, I will possibly be heading to the E. Coast sometime late October - Early November. I want to take Mika with me. She is still very small. I'm wondering if I can fit her on those approve airlines carry on and fit her under the seat in front of me. If she does fit, I'm probably going to try to get a red eye that is nonstop, plus it will be during her sleeping hours so she probably won't mind it so much.

    Has anyone flown their shibas with them as a carry on when they were pups?
  • Serkle kSerkle k
    Posts: 974
    I've read a post on here where the shiba was flown in the cabin cause they were still very young and small enought to fly in a soft crate, and be put under the seat in front of them. I doube that Stella would be able to fit or be comfortable in there for the 4-6 hour flight from coast to coast (Depending on where you'd be going).

    My parents went to visit my brothers out in LA this weekend. They were all asking me to go out there too, and they wanted me to bring Stella. I, 1) couldn't get the time off, and 2) am not comfortable with the idea of flying her around anywhere after all the reports from this summer. - just my opinion.
  • JennyBJennyB
    Posts: 53
    I haven't flown a pup in the cabin, but we always fly with our cat there. I think there is a 20lb limit, you have to have a soft carrier that will fit under the seat (be aware that many Business class and First Class seats can't accommodate this), and you have to call the airline ahead of time and "book" your pet to fly in the cabin. There is a limit of 1-2 animals in the cabin total, so it's good to get in there early.

    Our longest flight has been transatlantic -- 8 hours -- and our cat wouldn't make eye contact with us afterwards. But I think that the cabin option is best if you can get it and it's feasible. Unless your puppy screams. I can't imagine HOURS spent locked in a tight cabin with a screaming shiba.

    Our Eskie's ears brush the top of his carrier when he's seated and he's a bit hunched. We've had no problem with the airlines flying him in that sized carrier, except that everyone wants to love him.

    Good luck!
  • bumping thread.
    Going to be traveling to south carolina from reno in december. They have never flown before, and I have high anxiety when it comes to flying, but unfortunately driving and a train wasnt an option for us, and I am not boarding them for a whole month.
    I know it's going to be stressful, and just thinking about it I am worried. Will they be ok in the cold? Will they get lost? will they LIVE???

    I wish you could just buy a seat FOR them and have them right next to you on the plane.
    what are things I can do to make sure they are as comfortable as they possibly can be?
  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    Jet Blue lets you have the pet in the cabin with you, if they fit in a carrier under the seat.

    Situations where the pet is not in the cabin, planes have a temperature and pressure controlled room behind the cargo area where pets are kept, so they aren't cold etc.

    Post edited by Kiba0713 at 2013-11-11 08:30:41
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I also read about someone who traveled with their Shiba in a soft carrier in the plane, and not cargo area. The shiba laid down in the carrier and as long as the dog fit in the carrier, I believe it was okay. You may try a search to see if you can find it.

    My mom flew her English Pointer from Japan to Austin, and like someone mentioned above, she was not allowed to open the crate at any time. She was not allowed to feed her dog either, and put up a fuss about it at quarantine in Dallas because they were going to take away her dog food. She explained her dog had not eaten for 17 hours (Japan requires a 4 hour advance check in for pets flying) and would not be able to eat for another 12 hours and would starve, so several agents agreed it wasn't good and let her toss kibble into the crate. She also had to check with the airline about crate size. They had very strict restrictions, needed a vet approval (not sure if this is necessary for domestic flights), shot records (for quarantine, again only international), and a back up in case she was not accepted.

    Definitely try to find a direct flight. It will be easiest on all parties. Also if allowed, put something with your scent in the crate with them, as well as stuff they are comfortable with (bed). SabineAstroph, I would reconsider the driving if you have more than one pet. Flying is not cheap and with the worries you have and the length of time you'll be away, it may be more economical and sane. Not to mention the hoards of doggie goods you'll have to haul!
  • DjinnDjinn
    Posts: 161
    Thread necromancy again ;)
    Due to some family crises it looks like we'll have to relocate from Japan to Australia. I am very very worried about this~ the dogs are not used to being confined and Hayate has terrible separation anxiety. Quarantine in Australia will be ten days minimum plus the trauma of a long long trip. Quarantine requires a vet seal them into the crate in Japan and the seal should only be broken (ie crate opened) after arriving in the quarantine facility a fairly long drive from the airport. All up it could be 24 hours in the crate :( I do have about ten months to start trying to prepare them). What I'm stuck on is wondering if doing this to them is actually selfish... would it be better for them if I were able to find a new family locally? But that's a lifetime versus one bad fortnight of travel... but on the other-hand maybe being sad and missing us versus maybe dying from stress... I don't know what to do :(
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    A day of stress is worth it to tolerate if it means that your Shiba will be with you for the rest of his life and happy. It's definitely worth it, for you and your dog. In sure you aren't the only one that has done it, I'd research the process more and maybe try to find someone that has done it for advice.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • DjinnDjinn
    Posts: 161
    Yes, in a fantasy world where I am a billionaire that would be lovely :P

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