Transporting a puppy.

Not sure what section this should come under, but I am contemplating a new pup. Is flying safe? I also see there are ground transportation specialist for cats and dogs. I have no knowledge of either, so any advice is appreciated? I could drive myself but it is a 12 hour drive each way, would mean an overnight stop. Not impossible but would leave me introducing the new pup when I am tired after a 12 hour drive home, so looking at other options. Thanks.

I will not fly a pup, some breeders will, but if you want a Tanza pup, you need to come yourself to collect the pup. And if flying, then you would take the pup in cabin in a sherpa bag. I would never agree to pups in the baggage hold. That said, there are exceptions on some international flights. I would not trust "ground transportation" either. You really do not know if they are familiar with animals, puppies, etc... If me, I would fly to pick up the pup and then return with the pup in cabin as the first choice or drive to pick up the pup.

I'm not against flying, but if someone wanted my puppy and was only 12 hours away, and not willing to come get it, I'd consider a new home. It's not that big to drive to the pup, get a good night sleep, then drive home with it bonding. Or get a friend to go with you. If driving is particularly hard for you, then flying with pup in coach would be 2nd option.

I drove nearly 15 hours to take a baby pig, a rottie puppy and my 4 yr old child from GA to NJ to my sister.

@tanza I hear both good and bad about the cargo holds, my own opinion is that it would be too risky and I don’t like the idea of it. Having said that, I know nothing about it. I did see that there are specialist services that transport pets via car.

@debradownsouth Flying down and back with the pup is an option, and it’s still possible to drive but I suspect it would only work over three days. One down, and overnight, one back and an overnight near home. I have a six year old boy and do not want to introduce the pup after I have been away for two days, late on in the evening when tired. He has never known me be away at night and would be stressed out too. He sulks when I go out for even a little while. I figured if I can get some specialist ground transport, then that would cut it down and could meet somewhere.

@dagodingo - Cargo holds are pretty scary for a baby puppy.... taken from the litter, put in a box, loaded with luggage.... no people to give baby puppy comfort... Please make sure that you check out the transports... one I saw lets the dog ride unconfined... and how do they handle baby pups that are most likely not leash trained? Honestly I would not want a stranger taking my pup/dog out of a crate for whatever reason. Again, just my opinion

@tanza That’s what I figured. No doubt some would do better than others but I don’t want to take the chance. I know two of my dogs would have absolutely hated it, but then they have a life of luxury and are attached to me at all times lol. Ruled out flying in cargo holds at this point. I have seen a few transports who will transport single dogs in a crate. They are expensive but would be worth it if they are good.

Fly down and rent a car one way back

My friend who breeds Great Pyrenees had someone send a Learjet with an attendant to pick up a puppy. I guess it depends on how deep your pockets are (the rented jet must have cost far more than the pup), but if it was me I would bite the bullet and take the drive, however you need to arrange it. I have heard too many horror stories of dogs getting loose while being transferred, and while I know you only hear about the bad ones, and there are so many that are uneventful, I would have trouble trusting. That said, one of my dogs came by air from Washington State, but he was almost 2 years old at the time, and it would have been a very long trek by road to pick him up.

His crate was plastered with warning signs saying it must not be opened in transit!

My first choice would be to drive if your situation allows for that. Twelve hours seems like a long time but it's doable. In the worst case, as you mention, you can spend the night. The puppy will be so discombobulated he/she likely won't be all that much trouble. It will likely be a bonding experience.

You could also fly if by that you mean fly out and then back with your bundle. You should be able to take them in the cabin with you. That is also doable but it means having a stranger (you) take the puppy out at security. That might prove problematic or it might be fine. Flying one way and driving back would also work. You could fly in, meet your darling, and then the next day pick him/her up and drive home.

I haven't used specialized ground transport but if the reviews are good and you can trust them I can see that working.

How old is the puppy?

@donc It’s all hypothetical at the moment, but I have at least a few weeks to figure things out. I figure best to consider all the options and if the pup is available, then I will be prepared. The pup will be minimum eight weeks old. The more I am looking at it, the more driving seems the only realistic option. There are no direct flights, so even flying down and back is fraught with possible problems. A ground transport would help a lot, but only if I can be sure they are good.

If driving, will you have company? Yes, a crate is safest, but a pup newly separated from its litter will likely put up a fuss by times in a crate. When we brought our pups home, I drove and my husband was the one who cuddled the pup, and periodically got peed on. But the pup was warm and quiet, except for brief periods of wakefulness, wanting to play or pee.

We flew our pup from N.Z. to Hawaii with no problem. Check with the carrier for instructions ( in writting) on what you are to do.

Staffford-Ames Morse
morse.stafford@gmail.com

@eeeefarm Unfortunately I would be on my own. My last girl was a pup and she whined and cried all the way home, but that was only about an hours journey. My boy was eight or nine months old, he was upset at leaving the breeder as he was a return pup, so got bounced between people before we got him. But we stopped frequently, my daughter sat in the back with him and we had the crate facing her. A Learjet would be awesome lol, but not looking at that kind of money. Heck, if I had that kind of money I would own a large farm with about ten Basenjis lol. From what I can gather a pet taxi or specialized transport halfway would be a reasonable cost and would make things a lot easier. It’s around $450 to fly, and around $600 for a pet taxi from what I gather.

@tanza I have flown with a Kitten that I rescued from the street when I lived in Boston. My late Dad flew us both 1st Class and there was a seat for me and a seat for the Kitten's Crate. My Dad for some strange reason named that Kitten 'Billy" even though she was a female. She adored my Dad and always made a huge fuss over him.

The ONLY way I would fly a Puppy, Kitten or whatever animal you have would be in 1st Class with 2 Seats. Non Stop flights too.

If you cannot be present when your pup is transported I would drive and take your current dog with you. That way he will not feel left out and just be curious about the Pup.

A

I always insisted people come and fetch their puppy but if that meant flying (from USA for example) that was OK. Because most airlines insisted on putting pups in the cargo hold over water, we always arranged flights to the nearest US airport so the owner could get the pup out and it could ride in the cabin for the next leg of the journey. I would never fly a pup on its own if a change-over was necessary.

There are ways to ensure comfort for the pup even if it is flying 'Pet in Cabin' and accompanied - residue-free diet for 48 hours before the flight so it has no need to defecate. One-way human diapers on the floor of the crate so it stays dry. Ice cubes in the water bowl so there is nothing to spill out but which thaws to give the pup a drink.

I have no knowledge of internal US flights if the pup is unaccompanied. 12 hours is a long time to expect a pup to enjoy a car journey, you'd have to prepare for numerous stops - But it would help, if the breeder took time (I always did) to accustom puppies to car trips in a crate.

Good luck !

last edited by Zande

I'd be more concerned about the 8 weeks than a 12 hour drive. I understand why a breeder might want to have you pick up a pup at 8 weeks, but as an owner you'll pay for that because you'll have a lot more socialization to handle.

As Zande says, 12 hours is too long for a puppy so you'd have to stop. I don't see that as a big deal because 12 hours is too long to drive without stopping. In fact I don't know any vehicle that would let you drive for that long without at least one -- more likely two -- stops for gas.

No matter the method you may get a lot of howling/crying/wimpering.

The safety record of many airlines is atrocious. IIRC United is at the bottom of the pile but some others are also not very good. Likely not an issue for you since without a direct flight air is not a reasonable alternative.

Completely OT, I've noticed that people in cities with a lot of congestion -- think LA -- give travel duration in time rather than miles. LOL

@donc Would be over eight weeks, at eight weeks the people with deposits choose, so probably at least nine weeks maybe ten. The twelve hour drive is including stops, it is 700 miles so at least two decent stops for fuel/ bathroom/ eat, at least four on the way back with a pup. I initially figured there might be a direct flight, which would cut the travel time down a lot. However the shortest flights have one change over. Too much can go wrong and people on here don’t recommend cargo shipping. Short cuts make long mistakes, so other than getting someone recommended by the breeder to shuttle the pup halfway, it looks like driving would be the only real option. If it happens, I expect it will be a rough drive with a screaming unhappy pup, but that twelve hours will be more than made up for in the years to come for both me and the pup.

@dagodingo - Note that if flying, most airlines have age limits and when I fly American (in cabin) age must be 10wks.

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