Dogs in the Air! Air Travel with Your Pooch - Part Two




Our small dogs are too large to go under our seats so they travelled in the baggage hold. We bought a fairly large dog carrier that holds both of them comfortably because they are close mates and we figured that they would find the ordeal easier if they were together. If the trip is long then make certain that they have a water bottle

When we returned from Singapore to Canada – a very long flight – we had a stopover of a few hours in China and had been told that we could visit the dogs. But when we tried to do it the Chinese authorities blocked us and said that it was forbidden to take the dogs out of their crate. You don't argue for very long with the Chinese government. When we finally reached Vancouver their crate was awash and the dogs miserable. Lastly, the fee for transporting your dog(s) in a crate is fairly expensive; up to $500. or more per crate.

Although we brought the dogs back from Singapore on the same flight we took, we found that the best way of travelling the dogs to our destinations was by using a good pet travel service. Especially since, in both instances, we knew that it would take us several weeks to get settled and that it was best to leave the dogs with cooperative friends until we were ready to receive them. Do your research – pet travel services vary in quality. And it can be very expensive and run up into the thousands depending on where they are going. But the service will inform you as to what documents you will need, including required vets reports and tests for the country of your destination, arrange for the crate if necessary, pick-up for your pet, airline fees, etc. If it's going to be a long flight choose a carrier that will arrange a two-stage flight with a good, comfortable stopover between legs. For both the Singapore and UAE flights the Services that we used routed the dogs through Amsterdam which – civilized as the Dutch are – has a pet hotel at the Schipol Airport that provides comfortable quarters and good care for travelling animals.

You should also know that once the dogs are in their crate with necessary documents attached (and copies previously faxed or scanned to you) and are in flight that most Pet Services consider their work done. Some will arrange pickup when your pets reach their destination, but many will not. Ours recommended another service to pick the dogs up in Dubai, get them through the necessary veterinarian
and customs procedures and deliver them to our new place in Ras Al Khaimah an hour up the road from Dubai, but that would have cost an additional two-thousand dollars, So we did the pick-up and various UAE entry steps ourselves, even though the dogs didn't arrive until mid-night and the various procedures and travel times took about six hours.

Be very careful about government regulations regarding the importation of animals into your destination country. Some countries will not accept certain breeds, particularly if they are associated with fighting or extreme protection. The UAE, for example, has a ban on several bulldog breeds as well as Roti's and Dobermans. There may be even more not permitted in. Just check rather than have your dog confiscated and possibly euthanized. Also, the medical and health requirements for entry vary from country to country. Some require little more than a digital chip implant and up-to-date rabies and bordatella shots. Others can be quite onerous and getting them all done can be quite expensive. Getting a pet into Singapore, for example, can be as difficult as getting one into Great Britain or Australia. Singapore has a mandatory three-month quarantine unless your pet has had certain blood test attested by particular government laboratories. We had those tests done for our dogs and it cut the quarantine period down to seven days.

Expensive, time-consuming, complex; however, if you need to have your beloved dog(s) with you, as we did it's all worth it. Except when they pee on the beautiful new hand-woven oriental carpet that you have just bought from that Indian or Middle-Eastern shop in the Souk at what you are told is a special price “just for you.” Then you have your doubts.

Cara Weston

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