I am moving my dog, a Pinshcer, 8 years old, to Canada in August/ September 2009, from Malaysia. I believe that he has to travel in the cargo hold of the plane, and I have two questions:
- Can I accompany him on this trip even if it means that I have to be located in the hold, does not matter if I am inconvenienced as long as he feels safe.
- If I am unable to accompany him, can he be sedated for the trip (might take more than 24 hours) so that he can avoid the stress of being alone and the fear of flying.
There are currently not any commercial airlines that will allow you to fly with your pet in the cargo hold during dog air travel. Regarding the stress of being alone and fear of flying, your pet really will not know he is flying, as you might. The stress he might feel from being separated from you is nothing compared to the potential damage to his health you might do by sedating him. Airlines will not allow pets to fly if they see they are sedated, as pets are known to react negatively to sedation at altitude—similar to having a cocktail on a plane for humans, the sedation can cause different reactions when your pets is in the air.
The best thing you can do for your dog to reduce the amount of stress prior to the flight is to get him used to his travel crate. We have a great series of educational pet travel videos, which discuss how to pick out the right size and style of pet crates for pet transport.