So you’re thinking about shipping your dog to Hawaii …
This is a post continuing my earlier conversation about the Quarantine process (it sucks, btw).
Here are a few quick and easy (or not) steps to help you prepare you pup for takeoff:
- Choose an airline you at least semi-trust – we went with Hawaiian for quite a few reasons:
- My mom works for Hawaiian and I felt more comfortable knowing she could work the flight (she really wouldn’t have been able to do anything had something gone wrong since she doesn’t have access to the cargo area below the plane while we’re in the air).
- Anyway, another reason was because Hawaiian has a direct flight from Portland to Honolulu and I wanted Chipper to be in the air for the shortest time possible and I wanted to avoid him having to be transferred.
- Find out said airlines’ cargo pet rules – All airlines differ, even if it’s just by a little. If you end up choosing Hawaiian, disregard their pet policy that’s online. It hasn’t been updated in a while and some of its information is inaccurate, so it’s best to call Hawaiian Airlines Cargo at 877-422-2746 with any questions.
- Some other things to keep in mind:
- Shipping your dog in cargo is super expensive. Chipper was about $625 to ship (one way, price varies by size of travel crate and airline), in addition to my $500 plane ticket, my wallet is still crying about it.
- You’ll need a travel crate that is compliant with all of your chosen airlines’ guidelines. Chipper needed to be able to sit, lay down and turn around in his crate. He was allowed a t-shirt, blanket, something that smelled like us, or newspapers for his comfort.
- You’ll need a bowl that can be screwed on to the inside of your pet’s crate from the outside. This is the one we got. We ended up freezing water in Chipper’s bowl for him so that it would last longer and not spill everywhere.
- Stickers. Lots of “Live Animal” with arrows. Cover the crate with them!
- Book your pet’s ticket at least a month in advance because most planes only allow 2-3 pets in cargo.
- If you have a smaller pet, don’t put them in cargo. Travel with them! I would have done this in a heartbeat if I could have.
- Bring all of your documents with you on the big day. The last thing you want is for your pet to not be able to fly because you forgot a few papers.
- Don’t expect the best customer service … The day I dropped off Chipper at cargo in Portland, was one of the most anxiety-filled days of my life. The least the woman could have done was smile and tell me everything was going to be OK – even if it was 6 a.m. This was my baby she was handling! But nope, she was pretty awful.
- I don’t about you, but Chipper is not “just a dog.” He’s our furbaby and I would not be able to live with myself if something happened to him, especially since I’m the reason we all moved to Hawaii.
These are the times when the Internet can be an awful thing … I read and researched so many horror stories about dogs flying in cargo – they stop breathing, the pressure is so much they explode, they get sick and no one is there to help them, temperature control breaks and they freeze to death, etc.
Just thinking about how loud it was for Chipper in cargo still pains me as I dub myself “worst mother of the year.”
But luckily, he made it. The worst that happened was he was covered in pee when we got him. Totally OK because he was going to get a bath anyway. Plus, he still loves me! His temperament remained the same and I’m happy to report that he’s still his happy, chipper self 🙂
Am I the only one who feels this way about their dog? I can’t be. Have you ever had to travel with your furbaby in cargo? Please share your experiences by commenting below!