Long Pet Flights - Are they safe?
Subject: Dog Pet Traveling from Toronto to Taiwan
Question: Hi there,
I plan to travel with my 1.5 year old Bichon from Toronto to Taiwan. I've had all the paper work and Rabie Titer test done. The only thing I'm concerned is the flight is very long (about 5 hours from Toronto to Vancouver, and 13 hours from Vancouver to Taipei), how can a little fur friend take it a long flight hour in the cargo? Would it be a huge trauma for him?
Answer: Hello Christine!
The cargo area is actually the calmest place your dog could be in a plane. It's quiet and dimly lit, versus the cabin with all kinds of strange noises and smells. I know it seems like a long time, but it really is equivalent to a really good night's sleep. If you're very concerned about the 5 hours and then tacking on another 13, if you haven't already booked the flight, another option would be to schedule an overnight rest in Vancouver and complete the second leg of the trip the next day. We handle moves like this all the time, and while the parents are always a little nervous about their furry family members having to go through such a long day, in the end it always turns out they were worried for no reason, everything turned out just fine, and the animals get there safe and happy. You don't mention which airline you're using, but you will want to make sure you're using a pet-friendly airline that will keep your dog in climate control the entire time (we use KLM Airlines via Amsterdam when going to Taiwan).
It may take him a day or two once he gets to Taiwan to get settled and recover from the jet lag, but he should be back to his old self in no time. Just make sure all your paperwork is in order, don't feed him 4-6 hours before the trip (to lessen the chances of a messy accident), make sure you attach water bowls and plastic funnels to the front of his crate (so the airline staff can make sure he gets plenty of water- you can get these at any local pet store), and his crate has the proper stickers indicating who he is, where his final destination is, the Air Way Bill number, and your information (if you're going to be the one to clear customs with him when you get to Taiwan). The people at the check in desk should be able to help you out with this. Hope this helps ease your anxieties! He should be just fine. Have a good trip!