Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Large Dog
Pet Breed: Staffordshire Terrier
To: Honolulu, HI
What airlines would you recommend to transport a large dog with separation anxiety issues? Also, what options do I have to calm down a nervous dog that I won't be able to fly with?
Great questions. Not every pet is naturally travel-ready, but there are things you can do to help prepare him or her for a flight.
First, you'll want to secure the right-sized airline-approved travel crate (you may need to order a custom crate) and start helping your dog get used to it. If pets can see the crate as a safe and comfortable place, then their overall stress level will be much lower on the day of travel. This could take several weeks to accomplish, but it will be well worth the effort. You can find out more about crates and crate-training here.
Note that we do not recommend sedation -- in fact most airlines will not fly a pet who has been sedated. Suppressing a pet's natural ability to regulate their temperature and move freely within their crate could be dangerous, so as an alternative for anxious dogs we recommend the above-mentioned crate training along with plenty of pre-flight exercise. A tired pet makes for a better traveler.
As far as airlines, we recommend a pet-friendly carrier such as United, who we often use for our pet clients. When traveling with a large dog, it's important to check with the airline when you make your reservation to make sure your dog can get on a plane able to accommodate the crate.
Finally, since you're moving to Hawaii you'll want to research their import rules. The Hawaii pet import process is a little more complicated than it is for other states, so you'll need to do some advance prep work.
Please let us know if you have questions about any of this. We'd be happy to assist with your move if you're interested -- just fill out our free quote form if you'd like to know more.
Thanks for the question, and good luck with everything!