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Flying or driving?
  • gogogogo
    Posts: 20
    I've read all the posts in this section and did searches on plane and car trips. I am looking a pup that would be about a 9 hr drive away in one direction, I would have to make this trip on my own so no other human travel companion. In order to minimize travel time, I could take a 1.5 hr direct flight by plane instead. It would an 8-week old Shiba, so it appears that it would fit underneath the seat for airline travel.

    I'm trying to weigh the positives and negatives of driving versus flying, so any input would be helpful. I'm concerned about taking a pup on such a long car drive alone and the risks of potty breaks in public areas. On the other hand, I don't want to traumatize the pup with a plane ride. Please note it would be in cabin only, not in cargo. If we were refused to board, I would book a one-way car rental and drive back.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3485
    Personally, i would say plane. It is faster and the pup will be in the cabin with you. Most airlines require the pup to stay underneath the seat during the flight, but who will be able to resist the cute shiba puppy! Its a bit risky driving 9 hours by yourself. Plus you'll have to crate the puppy for safety. Also doing pit stops along the way...it'll take you at least 10 hours to go home. Although i believe somebody on the forum did a 9 hour trip herself.

    Just curious, Is a certificate of health required for puppies flying cargo only or does it apply to both cabin and cargo?
    Post edited by Bootz at 2011-11-11 15:42:41
  • Stef777Stef777
    Posts: 246
    I would also say Plane. I have not done either but I would say for both you and the puppy 1.5 hours is WAY better then 10 plus hours. If you do go the plane route I would make sure to bring a lot of stuff for your puppy in case he gets really scared. Maybe even a hot water bottle or one of those stuffed animals that has a fake heartbeat? Just to keep him calm.
  • If the pup can come in the cabin with you, you might fly. I would have flown to get my Akita puppy, except it turned out I needed too many connections and the cost was high. As long as you check in with the airlines ahead of time, and make reservations (they usually have a limit on how many in-cabin pets can be on a flight) you should be fine.

    I've done the long drive every time I've gotten a dog, but never by myself. I have also picked up a pup for someone else and flown with him (he was an 8 week old GSD puppy) and it was fine. He whined quite a bit, but people were pretty understanding since they knew he was a puppy, and his whining was not out of control.

    Something to keep the puppy calm in his crate would be good....good suggestions about a stuffed animal or whatever. He may cry the whole time (and I know Shiba pups can be LOUD) so don't be surprised if that does happen, but then again, he may just fall asleep. And even on the off chance that he is really obnoxious, it's a short flight, and you'll get through it, and it's not any worse that a screaming baby. (in my mind a screaming puppy is much preferable!)
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Going to bump this thread as I'm about to go through the same thing and am curious how this went! Picking up an 8 week shiba soon (the drive is 20 hours, the flight is 4.5). Assuming I've correctly jumped through all the hoops of cabin traveling with a puppy (i really really don't feel comfortable putting him cargo or trying to get him shipped), what can I expect. There will be a 1 hour flight, a one hour layover, and then a 2 hour flight with the pup. Adding up all the early boarding, etc, what can I do to make it easier for him to be in the crate that long? I'm assuming I lay down puppy pads in the crate with a blanket and just clean his accidents as soon as I can?
  • Popcorn523Popcorn523
    Posts: 20
    Bumping this as I'm in the same shoes as teddyjames. I was planning on driving my pup 23 hours (doing 8hrs/day) to Colorado instead of the 3 hr flight, but as it's getting closer I'm getting more anxious about whether that's a good idea.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3485
    @Popcorn523

    re-read the whole thread and let us know if you are still unsure and then post your comments so you can brainstorm with us :)
  • Popcorn523Popcorn523
    Posts: 20
    I'm mostly just worried about the size of the crate. It looks like a lot of airlines have a restriction of 10-11" high with required ability to stand up all the way. Granted, I'm not sure how tall our pup will be then yet, and she will be 8 weeks old. It just seems awfully small, especially since I'm coming back six weeks later and worried she may not fit on the return trip at 14 weeks old. I've never had a shiba pup before, so I'm not sure how quickly she'll grow out of the kennel.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3485
    @Popcorn523

    Your best bet is to contact the airline you will be flying with directly. If anything the soft carriers are best. If you are trying to avoid buying two carriers, get the maximum size allowed. At 14 weeks, you shiba should still be able to fit under the seat.
  • oneluckymugoneluckymug
    Posts: 67

    I'm mostly just worried about the size of the crate. It looks like a lot of airlines have a restriction of 10-11" high with required ability to stand up all the way. Granted, I'm not sure how tall our pup will be then yet, and she will be 8 weeks old. It just seems awfully small, especially since I'm coming back six weeks later and worried she may not fit on the return trip at 14 weeks old. I've never had a shiba pup before, so I'm not sure how quickly she'll grow out of the kennel.



    I much prefer driving to flying as I like the freedom of it and I would probably drive out there in 1 day and come back in 2....but most people wouldn't do that. However the crate size won't be an issue. He is small enough and the trip is short enough it will be fine. The logistics and prep needed for the trip will be more problematic and need some prep work, but shouldn't be too bad. If that kennel size is right it will be too small for longer crating soon after.
  • When Romeo was only a few months old (two weeks after we got him) we drove with him all the way down to florida, (14 hours) we did it in one day, and he was perfectly fine. Puppies sleep A LOT. You'll just have to take him out for a little walk and pee break every 3 hours. He was really, great and really cooperative, he didnt seem to mind at all. We could still play in the back of the car, too!
    Owner at Foxtrot Creative Studio. Dog mom to Romeo.
  • BarrowBarrow
    Posts: 69
    Buy the Petco soft sided expanding carrier and book a middle seat (for most jets-not regional airlines) and your Shiba will have plenty of room to sleep. I have flown cross country many times with Deshka and it works really well. Even though she is certified to ride along in the seat she prefers the carrier under the seat; and she is full grown (24#).
  • Just don't let the dog poop on the plane, as apparently that is going to ground it for any emergency landing...

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dog-poops-passenger-jet-aisle-philadelphia-bound-flight-forced-emergency-landing-article-1.1811828

    This sounds like diarrhea probably from the stress of flying for the dogs, and I understand it can smell pretty nasty.......but spending what was probably 10 grand+ and lots of time for an emergency landing for it seems excessive. Maybe with 2 dogs and kids I am just immune to strange smells now.
    Post edited by oneluckymug at 2014-06-01 19:42:46
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Was a service dog, not crated. A crated dog most likely won't poop in crate, much less in the aisle.

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    That's crazy that they landed just to clean it up!

    I agree, a crated dog would not do that. Especially not a Shiba!
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • Kobe1468 said:

    Was a service dog, not crated. A crated dog most likely won't poop in crate, much less in the aisle.



    Was a joke
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Sorry I didn't laugh!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kobe1468 said:

    Sorry I didn't laugh!



    Wasn't that kind of joke :)

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