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Flying with Your Dog on a Plane

plane dog

Kobi (8wks) in his travel bag on his first flight.

I have a real plane dog. The day I adopted Kobi, I took him on his first flight (see right). Since then, I’ve taken Kobi on several flights both domestically and internationally. As such, I can definitely help you with tips for flying with a dog.

Kobi is under the typical 20lbs limit for in-cabin flight travel, so he’s always been in the airplane with me. (I can’t comment on plane travel for dogs that are larger and need to be in the hull, i.e. as cargo.)

Before Your Flight with Your Dog

You will need to check with the airline you plan to fly with and see what their pet regulations are. There is no standard set of rules and they can change. Sometimes rules are different depending on where you are flying to (e.g. Hawaii).

First of all, make sure the airline will take your breed. Some airlines will not accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs, e.g. Pugs. Shih Tzus.

You need to purchase a ticket for your dog, as well as, yourself. I find this highly annoying because your dog will end up sitting in your seat area. You have to put him in front of your feet, on the floor, under the seat in front of you. Don’t forget that despite the fact that you purchased a ticket for your dog, this does not give you an extra bag. If you’re flying coach, you are still only limited to one bag and one personal item. The dog bag will count as the “one bag”, so I just bring a purse as my personal item.

It’s important to make sure your dog has a ticket because there generally is a limit on the number of pets in the cabin. Note service animals are typically not counted in the maximum number allowed in the cabin.

Getting the Right Dog Travel Bag

Your dog will need an airline approved dog bag. I’ve never experienced an airline exactly measure the bag my dog was in, however, your dog needs to be able move around in it – typically stand up enough so he can switch his body position front to back and visa versa. I have heard stories of airlines doing this test. The dog bag also needs to be able to fit under the seat in front of you.

I recommend getting a dog bag which allows your dog to see out as much as possible (this also helps with ventilation). It should also have flaps to close the “windows” of the bag, because sometimes your dog will just want to sleep and not be distracted.

Make sure to get your dog used to his travel bag. He should not be testing it out on his first flight. We made sure to feed Kobi in his travel bag before he used it on a plane. As such, he has positive experiences associated with his travel bag.

Last but not least, often you will need a health certificate from your vet, which might need to be dated within 10 days of the first flight your dog will be on.

Next step: What to Bring for the Day of Travel

Why Not Be a Dog Sledding Musher?

dog_sleddingAre you bored with your job and want some adventure? Why not become a musher for dog sledding? We just saw that Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel is looking for mushers and will train! Wow – now that would be some excitement.

Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel is a premier dogsled touring operator in New England located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Their is a kennel comprised of over 100 sled dogs, ranging from racing Alaskan Huskies, to more traditional breeds like Siberians and Malamutes. Regardless of breed, their dogs all share common traits of friendliness towards people, the love of running, and an athletic & competitive nature. Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel focuses on rescuing Alaskan huskies in need of a home, giving them a “job for life”.

Not ready to leave the corporate life, but want a taste of adventure? They offer dog sledding rides ranging from 2 – 50 miles, including dog sledding overnight trips. They welcome guests of all ages and abilities to meet their rescue and second chance sled dogs, pet them, help to harness/hitch the teams and even help drive!

Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel is located in the heart of the White Mountains, 2 hours from Burlington, VT, and 45 minutes from North Conway, NH. They are near the Mountain View Grand Resort, Applebrook Bed & Breakfast, the Town and Country Motor Inn, and the Gorham Motor Inn.

Country Dog Boarding – Vacation for Your Dog!

fiesta at the farm - sq

Fiesta at the farm

We’ve always wanted to know about country dog boarding. We hear that it’s basically vacation for your dog. So if you have to go away for work or play and can’t bring your dog, why not give your dog a vacation too!

Dogsized recently interviewed Fiesta about her stay at a country dog boarding facility near NYC:

Hi Fiesta!
We heard you recently stayed on a farm near NYC, while your parents were vacationing. Can you tell us a little bit about the farm and country dog boarding?

Yes! It’s a 4 acre farm that was formerly an equestrian’s playground. It’s run by Tribeca Pet Services. The owners, Matt and Diane, are super nice and seem to have built their lives around dogs. Diane is NY State Licensed Vet tech and Matt is a Certified Dog Trainer. In addition to their farm, they run a dog walking and dog training service in Tribeca.

How did you get to (and from) the farm?
We travel with the owner, Matt. He picks me up from my apartment and we get into his 15 passenger vehicle that has been customized for me and the other dogs that are heading off to the farm. It’s got AC and I travel in a crate. They are certified by the USDA for pet transport, which means they had to register and study about animal welfare during transport, plus their vehicle gets surprise inspections annually by the USDA.

What were the sleeping arrangements like at the farm?
Since my first stay at the farm, I’ve stayed in Matt and Diane’s main home and I’ve stayed in their state of the art barn with the other dogs. The barn has AC and heating, and has flat screen TV’s and couches in each stall so I’m totally at home.
The stalls are huge (made for horses) so I normally sleep with one or two other dogs of the same size and personality as me. There is also a human that sleeps in the barn with me overnight. This is great because I like knowing there is always a human around. I also get relief bathroom breaks as much as needed overnight.

What kind of dogs were at the farm?
There are all types of dogs from Lower Manhattan that come to the farm. There are quite a few from my building and friends that I know from local the dog parks. Check out this video to see some of the dogs at the farm:

Any ideas on how many dog visitors/customers stay at the ranch at one time?
I think there are always 15 visitors or less at the farm. It’s a private place, not a store front or traditional kennel.

How’d you like the food?
Well, Matt and Diane have all the dogs bring our own food because we are all on such different diets. When I’ve had an upset tummy Diane has made white rice for me and will even heat my food up in the microwave. They’re so nice!

What was your favorite thing about the farm?
Definitely being able to play outdoors a lot, run in the grass and be free. They have a swimming pool for me and my friends, although I don’t swim much.

Would you recommend it to our Dogsized fans?
Absolutely! I totally loved it! You can see me running around here with Kameha:

Need Tips on What To Ask and Do Before Sending Your Dog to a Boarding Facility? Check out our post Dog Boarding – taking care of your dog while you are away!

Dog Friendly Airport – Phoenix Sky Harbor

dog friendly airport

Kobi at the Pet Patch

If you’re flying cross country with your best friend and need a layover or just want to travel somewhere warm, we can definitely recommend the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in Arizona. During the holidays, we had a layover in Phoenix on our way from NYC to California and were delighted to experience such a dog friendly airport.

pet friendly airport

Enjoying the sun

The Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has a pet park at each of their three terminals. What’s really nice is the pet parks are actually close to the terminal so you do have time to visit them if you have a layover. It gives your dog a chance to stretch their legs, drink water and take potty breaks (mitts for cleaning up provided).

pet friendly airport

The Bone Yard

We had a chance to visit two of them. First we went to the Pet Patch, a little relief area with a fake fire hydrant just next to Terminal 2. It was so nice to be out of the cold weather, we took a nice walk around the terminal and Kobi was able bask in the sun a bit. Since we had a long layover, we decided to go check out the Bone Yard.

The Bone Yard is the largest pet park and located on the west side of Terminal 4 just outside of baggage claim. We were surprised how large it was and it also had quite a few dogs visiting. Phoenix Sky Harbor’s motto is “America’s Friendliest Airport” and we can agree that it was a great experience!