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lucybelle

What to put in and on dog crate for travel?

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I'm thinking of taping down a pee pad to the bottom of the crate (so it doesn't slide around). And then put in a small pillow and a blanket that she likes. But is that maybe too many things?

 

Also, what sort of information did you tape to the outside? Right now I have my contact info, both CR and USA, a paper that says "caution live animal" in English and Spanish, flight numbers, feeding and water instructions, and a certificate saying we gave her water two hours before travel. I think I also need to attach some food and her leash.

 

Anything else? Thoughts about what to put inside the crate? THANKS!

 

(I'm freaking out a little [lot] about flying on Tuesday...)

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Maybe put her name in some obvious location on the outside of the crate, too, in spanish and in english: Mi nombre es . . . [etc.]

 

If she is not too scared of strangers then If they speak to her using her name it might be calming for her.

 

Just a thought.

 

Paul M.

==

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Do leave a zip lock baggie with food as well as a water bottle with her when you drop her off. We never see the food/water again & I'm certain they don't feed her or give her water since we're on a direct flight, but they do require it with the drop off of the animal.

 

Keep her leash with you - don't send it in the kennel unless you have a second leash to throw in your backpack.

 

Jessica

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When I had to ship my old buddy Mason to my daughter in Kansas before moving to CR (I knew he wouldn't have been able to handle the move here), I also took a Sharpie and wrote on the outside something like: My name is MASON. Please be kind to me ... I'm old and really scared, and miss my family. Thank you! I drew a cartoon of his face and a big paw print ... I thought it might make him stand out and make people at least notice that there was a real animal in there, not just a cargo box. Who knows the effect it had, but I was really nervous about sending him.

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Hi Lucybelle, We have shipped and flown with many dogs over the years with great success. We have never had a problem. Once when we were delayed for many hours in London (after we had already checked the dogs in) due to mechanical issues with the plane I was escorted downstairs into the secure baggage area. I had been very worried about where they were being held and if they needed to get out of their crates as we had a 9 hour flight still to go. I was very relieved to see them in a comfortable airconditioned Manager's office not stressed in the least. I got to take them out and stay with them for quite a while. We ended up in Iceland when we did finally get under way (destination was BC Candada) but that is a different story. The dogs actually had a much better time of it than we did.

 

The one thing that we always do when we are flying dogs is to put a bag holding a water bottle and the dog food with instructions taped to the top of the create. It is a little ackward to do but taped down well next to the handle keeps it in place. We use tape and zip ties. The reason this is done - keeps handlers from stacking something on top of the crate. We also sit near the window looking out to the plane to make sure our dogs actually get loaded before we board. They always have.

Once on the plane and well underway we speak to an attendant and say that we have been advised to check with the pilot to make sure they know that dogs are in cargo. They are wonderful about this - they walk forward and return to assure us they do know and have checked temperature etc. in the hold. We have never had anything but positive experiences over 20+ years of flying or shipping our dogs and/or our horses for that matter (another story). We have never used a pet service. It sounds like you have everything well thought out. What a lucky dog! Happy trails.

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I have a sort of "lender" leash that I thought I should send with her. It's a cheap nylon one so I don't care if it's lost or whatever.

 

I'll make sure to put a small bottle of water with the food, thanks! But, what did you guys do for bowls? I was planning on taking a small plastic container and zip-tying it to the door of the kennel. But I know she'll chew them apart, so that worries me (her eating plastic unattended). Are there metal bowls you can buy that can attach to the door?

 

For her water- I'm planning on filling a bowl and freezing it. That way it melts little by little. And then at the layover in Miami I thought I could pour some more water in. And maaayyyybe feed her. (depending on whether she's barfed or not)

 

Thanks for the tip about taping around the edges! I'll make sure to do that.

 

I bought a "better" seat so that I get seated first on the plane (and am one of the first ones off!). I hope to take that time to talk to the flight attendant and tell her to check to make sure the dog is on board, and that the pilot knows.

 

Sheesh. I thought I was feeling less stressed out about this, but I'm stressing out today! Ahhh!

 

Finally- the total time she'll have to be in the crate will be about 12-13 hours (from drop off to pick up). The longest I've had her in her crate was about an hour. Should I stick her in the crate for two or three hours today? Or is there simply no way to prepare the dog for so long in the kennel?

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Were it mine to do, I'd be taking every opportunity to have the dog get into and out of the crate and to spend increasingly long periods in it. If possible, have her sleep there overnight. She needs to learn that her confinement isn't permanent and that getting in and out is a normal part of her life rather than something to be feared or resisted.

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I agree, I'd get her in/out of the crate as much as you can. Our dog loves her crate - she sleeps in it & it is her escape when the kids are being crazy & she doesn't want to be bothered.

 

Jessica

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We always attach a small stainless steel dish with the hooks on it to the inside of the door. Pet stores sell these for birds and they are not expensive. The leash attached to the crate is a good idea. We always had one in the bag with the water/food.

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Hey everyone! Perlita's travel to the USA went very smoothly. I thought I'd report back with how it went.

 

I put about 10 signs on the outside of the crate, most of them said "hello my name is Perlita" and "CAUTION! Live animal!" in both English and Spanish. I also taped water, food and a leash to the top, which was not needed.

 

We took Perlita to get a shot of Cerenia, anti-nausea then drove off to the airport. When we arrived we parked and walked her up where we were then told she had to be put in the crate to be taken inside the airport. We put her in the crate then grabbed a cart to roll her in, when we were then told we couldn't use the crate. I was ridiculously stressed and I sort of flipped out saying "que? Esta loco??" to the guy who got all defensive. Let's just say we exchanged some words. Anyways then we try to get inside the airport (still standing on the curb at this point) when another guys asks for our passports. Are you kidding me? So we put down the dog, the luggage and fish out passports. Ugh.

 

We flew American and they let us go to the front of the line with the doggy. She weighed her, asked for the exportation papers and I had to fill out a few forms. The lady also checked the temperatures, we just made it! 83 in SJO and 85 in MIA! The lady checking us in was nice and was calling Perlita by name by the end. She called some guy who came up to take her back.

 

I picked up Perlita in the oversized bag place in Miami. I rented a cart ($5!!!) to push her through customs. All I had to do was show her rabies vaccine. When going to re-check her an AA lady stopped me and showed me a place to leave the cart and crate and told me to take the dog out and walk her around. She even gave me directions to the "dog park" which was a small area where you could take your dogs to "relieve" themselves. I walked Perlita around for an hour, when I went to put her back in another guy came out and told me it was still too early. And that checking her in an hour before the flight would be plenty of time, and if security was too full he would walk me to the front of the line. So I took her out and walked her some more! MIA was certainly a contrast to freaking SJO! They were so nice I'm going to write a letter to the airline.

 

When I finally re-checked her the TSA guy had to inspect the crate first, and then I put her inside. He brought extra zip-ties to re-seal the door (although I had a few extra as well).

 

She made it safe and sound to North Carolina!!

 

10271558_10152078614887616_3123311555327

 

Oh and as you can see I bought a few bowls to attach to the door. The purple one was a large plastic bird dish, the white one screwed on. They both were perfect. The white one we filled with water the night before and froze. It worked great. Not too many spills.

 

We lined the bottom with a few of the pee pads. Taped down all the sides and underneath. Then I put in her blanket and a pillow on top.

 

Hooray!

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What a great follow-up report on your travel experience with Perlita on the planes and in the airports that you have provided us. Thank you, Lucy.

 

In the photo above Perlita seems quite calm and appears to be pretty much the international traveler.

I'm so glad to read that you had relatively little trouble dealing with airport personnel.

 

You surely must be glad the whole ordeal is over and y'all again have all six feet on terra firma.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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I'm glad you had a great experience...we have found American to be great every time we've flown the animals through MIA!!! We've truly found all of the staff at Miami to be very compassionate when flying with our fur babies!

 

Jessica

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