Flying Your New Agility Dog Home

Flying Your DogYou have come to that point where you are ready for a new dog whether it be that you are getting your first dog, lost one, want to try a different breed in dog agility or you need a companion for your current dog.  Whatever the reason you have done your homework, researched breeds and the pros and cons of adoption vs. breeders and are ready to bring your new dog home.

If you shopped locally then you will be able to go and pick up your new dog with little complication and will have the joy of bringing it home.  But sometimes our research finds us acquiring a dog from out of state and maybe even out of the country which may stop you from picking the dog up yourself and thus requires you to put the pup on a plane.

Now there is some debate on whether or not a dog let alone a puppy should be sent alone on a plane.  The arguments against are valid indeed and include poor care in flight, high stress during crucial fear period of development as well as getting a dog “sight unseen” and hoping it is a good match.

On the flip side is that if you do your homework and research airlines and their dog handling procedures as well as work with a breeder that has experience flying dogs to their new homes, your dog will most likely find it’s way to you in good health and spirits.  In fact, you should shy away from a breeder that is uninformed with air transportation or has minimal experience as it could be a strong indicator that the breeder may not have the dog’s best interests in mind.

Airlines do not put the dogs with the luggage in the unheated, unpressurized compartment.  The dogs ride in a climate controlled pressurized compartment with labels indicated the last times the dog has eaten or drank and are attended to throughout the flight, especially the puppies.  No airline wants to be responsible for killing someone’s dog.  But again, it’s not the Ritz and is not the same as being with you in the cabin.

Most are fine with shipping an adult dog via the air, however, if they are well adjusted and familiar with being crated and hauled to events.  This is a must for those that find themselves in contention for national and world dog agility competitions.  In fact, any competition requires your dog to be safely transported to the facilities as well as safely and securely confined at the competition which many times is via a crate. These older dogs may be nervous of the strange new environment, but will be well acclimated to crate life making the trip easier on them.

So, if you are planning on shipping your new dog to you through the air, be sure to do your homework in order to ensure a safe and uneventful flight to you.  And if you can afford the time and airfare, by all means go bring puppy home yourself in the cabin of the plane where you will know for certain your pup is being attended to.  And if you have any helpful hints or cautions, please share them so others can experience the best when receiving their new bundle of joy.