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So it looks like I'll be traveling back to the West Coast at the end of the month for about a week, but I don't want to leave Hailey behind. Does anyone have any experience with taking their dogs on a plane with them? I've never taken a pet anywhere with me on a plane before...

Did you take your dog as carry-on (are they even small enough)? Or did you check them into that pressurized whatever under the plane? Did you get some sort of sedative or something to keep them calm/asleep the entire flight?
 

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I went to NY (from eastern Washington state) and picked JoJo up when she was 8 weeks old (4 years ago). There are special carry on crates/carriers that fit under seats - if the dog is small enough, at 8 weeks, JoJo was certainly small enough. I was very fortunate, no one even knew I had a pup on board - as soon as I put her under the seat, she fell asleep. It is NOT recommended to tranquilize pets before flying, and it can be traumatic for them. The reason is that altitude can affect how the tranquillizers work - and many pups don't wake up. JoJo did very well - but I've had several dogs shipped to me (adults), and have had to send a few dogs to new homes. I won't do it again. I also refuse to ship puppies, and will only sell my pups locally. You're not allowed to take the pup out of the crate/carrier (they're soft sided - and have to be airline approved)on the plane. I did let her out at the airport during layover, but had to keep her on a leash. I think I paid about $60 for the carrier, and an additional $80 (probably more now) for her ticket. She had to have her first shots and get a vet check and certificate before being accepted onboard. You'll need proof of vaccinations, etc. Whether you ship her as cargo or take her onboard with you, it's <span style="text-decoration: underline">not</span> easy. If you're just going for a short time, you might be better off boarding her at a kennel or with a friend. That is just MY experience - I'm sure others have different ideas. At the airline counter, an employee told me you'll have to keep her quiet - that was the wrong attitude to take with me. She was a gem, but there were some kids I wish I could have thrown off the plane, one little girl had a temper tantrum every 10 minutes from Chicago to Spokane
!!
 

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The pup including the carrier shouldn't exceed 20 lb. I doubt that they'll argue if it's 22-23 lb. I have a Sherpa Carrier, the largest size, which fits pets up to 22 lb (Chloe is less than 16, so I'm good). I still didn't a chance to fly with her, but I'm guessing sometime during this year we may go west for a vacation... hopefully. Anyway, I use it for her when we take the subway.
I'm pretty sure that it's not recommended to sedate the pet for the flight. It may be traumatic for them, but when they are on sleeping meds you can't keet an eye on them as they are in the belly of the plane.... what if something happens. They are usually just fine flying in the belly in their crate, leave one of your t-shirts or a toy Hailey likes, but no sedation.

I think that she is small enough to go in the cabin with you though..
 

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One thing I didn't think to tell you - it's my understanding that many airlines have stopped allowing pets on board - you'll need to check with your airline to see what their pet policy is. I flew United with JoJo - but that was 4 years ago - and don't know if their policy has changed. SOME airlines have never allowed pets - so you'll need to check pet policies. My personal favorite when I've had to ship pets is Northwest - but it's been several years since I've done that so don't know if they've changed.
 
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