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Has anybody flown their dog before?

December 12th, 2004, 05:42 PM

I've found a little bichon/shih tzu that I'm interested in adopting, but there's a bit of a problem! She's in Idaho and I'm up in Calgary, Alberta. The foster mom recommended Delta Pets First, but I can't find any information about shipping to Canada on their website! Has anybody had any experience in flying a pet and, if so, who did you fly it with? Thanks!


December 13th, 2004, 09:47 PM
Look for a kennel in your area that is a member of the following IPATA:
Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International. They will be able to help you with all the necessary arrangements.

December 13th, 2004, 10:07 PM
Also I had a cousin that worked for Air Canada and swore to me that they are the best for transporting animals. All the compartments are temperature controlled and pressurized so you could check with them and find out more.

December 13th, 2004, 10:38 PM
Hey Chocolatecoffee!

Below are some links from Air Canada. They are a great way to get your new found fur baby to you. They have an excellent reputation for transporting pets. nBfcGFnZT0x&p_li=

I hope this helps you out!

December 13th, 2004, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I haven't looked for a kennel around here that's a member of IPATA, but I'll do that right away! Thank you!

I phoned Air Canada and they were really helpful (didn't keep me on hold for ten hours like some other companies...*grumble*), and they can fly the dog from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake City, but they don't have a flight coming to Calgary from down there. Delta said that they can fly her from Idaho Falls to Toronto or Montreal, but not from Idaho Falls to Calgary because the temperature in the cargo area drops to below 0 degrees so they're not allowed to carry live cargo or something, and I don't think it's fair to the dog to have to go from Idaho Falls to Toronto to Calgary. Hopefully I'll figure something out! I'll definitely check into that IPATA thing, thank you for the suggestion!


December 13th, 2004, 10:48 PM
Have you tried

January 4th, 2005, 06:12 AM
Air Canada - They have an excellent reputation for transporting pets.

I don't know where you get your information from, other than their own employees, but I can tell you that I travel extensively in North America and overseas. When situations permit, I take my dogs with me. One of my dogs has been on a plane at least 15 times.

One of the worst carriers in the world for pets is Air Canada. Period. (Sorry AC)
and the pressurized cabins are only available on "some" planes on "some" flights. If the dog is small enough pay the extra $$$ to have it travel in the cabin and NOT in the cargo hold.

My experience has been that the very, very best is KLM.

I think that the person wanting to use Delta should find out more information - they can't be any worst than AC.

FYI - air travel for pets can be an ugly experience or of course a passable one, but never a good one. Most seasoned pet travellers will tell you that while pets can get used to it, they are usually not too happy about the entire prospect, but a re no worse for the wear. Our last flight was a nightmare (AA) and I vowed to not ever put Merlin on a plane again if I didn't have to. HE stays home now - or - I'll spend the extra and purchase another full ticket and take him on the plane with me.

Other than KLM, the airline industry's cargo pet transport system just isn't up to scratch yet at all.

January 4th, 2005, 08:06 AM
I have to agree,AC to me is the worst air-line to travel with,I too have flewn with several others....if service for passengers is bad,I can imagine it's not any better for animals.Since it is a tiny dog,he could be with you as a carry-on.

January 4th, 2005, 08:38 AM
The only way they will allow him to travel this time of the year (winter!!) is with you in the cabin. So there should be no problem if you go to Idaho to pick him up. I would think you would want to anyway. (Mind you, I almost adopted a cat without meeting her in person but she came highly recommeded by someone I trusted :) )

I recently flew with my kitten to Florida on AC and experienced no problems at all. I would never ship a cat or dog this time of the year though. It is too cold and even in cargo at the best of times, there are oxygen problems airlines will not inform you about.

So, if you really want the dog, I would travel to Idaho and bring him back with you. You also have to check with the airline. Ever since a nervous cat got loose and attacked the pilot - making the plane make an unscheduled stop in Nfld - planes now require only one pet per cabin. (I really am not certain if that incident alone led to this but it probably did not help).

Good luck!

January 4th, 2005, 05:33 PM
I don't know about shipping pets, but as far as people go I'm convinced there is no such thing as a good airline.

January 4th, 2005, 05:34 PM
Thanks for all of the replies!

The dog that I posted about then had another potential adoptee a lot closer to home, so she went to them. I thought that it was better for her. However, I'm in touch with the same rescue and they have another dog they're trying to adopt. I'm determined to rescue a dog, but the shelters in my area don't have any small dogs (I need a small dog because I already have a 7 lbs. furbaby who's scared of big dogs). I'm trying to transport him up here through volunteers. No airlines ship dogs up here, but like some of you said, I'm sure it would be stressful on the dog and it's just not fair to him/her. There are quite a few success stories on Acme about dogs transported through volunteers, do any of you have any experience with this? Would you recommend it or do you think it's too risky? I just want what's best for this little guy.

Unfortunately, I can't fly down to Idaho to pick this little guy up. My parents (I'm only fourteen, but my parents are very involved in this process and want a little rescue, I'm just the one trying to coordinate everything that's through the internet) aren't very willing to fly to pick it up because of the cost. They are completely willing to pay for the costs of having a dog and we're aware of the responsibility, we've had our baby for 3 years, it's just that they think that 600-700 dollars for the initial cost of a dog is too much, especially since the majority of the money won't be going to a shelter, but rather an airline. This little guy will get a forever home, even if it's not ours, his life isn't at risk. All of us would just really love for our home to be the forever home.

Anyways, thank you for all of the advice, it's greatly appreciated.


January 11th, 2005, 06:43 PM
Chocolate - I'm happy that the dog found a home.
There are so many rescues in an around Alberta. Wouldn't you be able to find a small friend locally? Surely there's a dog much closer to you with your name on it. Have you checked?


January 11th, 2005, 06:58 PM
I am happy you want to rescue a dog. Good for you!!

I do not have personal experience with volunteer transporation teams - my own term - but I do know that several rescue organizations use them quite sucessfully. Siamese Rescue for example ( has what they call the Meezer Express to transport needy Siamese kitties to their new humans. They fly cats all over the world. At the moment, there is a cat scheduled to go to Scotland and Quarentine is almost up, 2 adult cats and two babies ready to come to the Siamese Rescue center in Virgina from Pakistan, and all manner of kitties riding around North America with volunteers. Often, donations are made specifically for an airline ticket or the person adopting the cat (adoption fee is $150) or the person pays for the fee her/himself.

There is one truck driver who has transported all sorts of Siamese kitties and even a few dogs across the United States. His cat travels with him - it's a cute story and he sounds like a try kitty angel!

Unfortnately, there are few drivers for the Meezer Express in Canada. I signed myself and some friends up for the Maritimes. <g>

If you lok into breed specific rescues, they may have a similar type of system.

But I have to also agree with the suggestion you look through other Rescues closer to home and inside the country - fewer problems with Customs and the various regulations that accompany that. Did you check out Perfinder and type in your postal code and then click National. It will list all the types of dogs you are searching for that are closest to you. It may very well turn out that Idaho is your best bet but suely there must be some small dogs for adoption in Alberta or BC or Sask???

Good luck! I hope you find a little guy!

January 12th, 2005, 09:25 AM
If you check on petfinder they also have a section called transportation and the rescues help each other out get dogs and cats from one state to another to their forever homes and they have transport to canada so you might consider that if you find a small dog that is not nearby. Good luck and thanks for adopting a homeless dog you will not regret it. By the way I heard AC was good for pets but I agree they have the worst customer service on there planes I try and never use them.

January 16th, 2005, 08:45 PM
I've checked all of the rescues I could find in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, but none of them had a dog that would fit into my family or they wouldn't ship. I can't believe there's such a shortage of small dogs up here (although I'm glad there is), I found one rescue in Houston with 52 Shih tzus and Lhasa Apsos. Also, I found a shelter in New Brunswick that was willing to ship, but there was nothing in the shelter then. I put up a transportation post on Petfinder and AcmePetTransport, but we had a snowstorm when this cutie was supposed to be transported. I tried everything, but we couldn't get him up here. However, I'm happy to say that he, too, went to a wonderful home this weekend.

We've found another dog though. She's a two-year-old Maltese in Las Vegas and her owner passed away and she was left to his niece. Unfortunately, his niece has big dogs and they didn't get along, so she was trying to find her a home herself as an alternative to taking her to the shelter. We got in contact with her and were going to fly down to Las Vegas in two weeks to pick her up (I have semester break coming up and didn't want her flying alone if we could pick her up), but on Friday we found out that a friend of ours is in Vegas and he's coming back tonight. Well this little girl is coming back with him tonight and she'll be in my arms tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. I'm so excited, I'm sure I won't be able to sleep tonight :). You can see her on the Pictures forum under the thread "Need a name" (and if any of you have name suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them!).

Thanks for all of the replies, you all really helped during my search for the perfect furbaby.


January 17th, 2005, 10:52 AM
That is great for both you and your new dog. Best of luck