I have a 10 year old German Shepherd in Fort Lauderdale, USA who is way too nervous to fly. I want get her to Britain or literally anywhere in Europe. I need to ship her over with her owners. I really need help as the Queen Mary 2 is fully booked until December 2020. can anyone please help me?
We flew with our dog (70 lbs labrador, ~32 kg) from the US to Europe and it worked much better that we had expected.
Things that helped
- Dogs need to fly in a crate. Google "Sky Kennel" for some examples (no endorsement implied or intended)
- Make sure you get the crate at least a few weeks before the trip and have the dog use and sleep in it. That gives the dog some time to get used to it and make it thoroughly smell like "home". Most dogs actually love crates, they like the confinement and it feels safe.
- Get a non-stop flight and make sure the dog can accompany you as extra baggage. There is a weight cutoff, where the dog needs to be shipped as cargo which is less desirable. Check with the airline
- Make sure you have all the paperwork, immunization certificates, etc.
- Familiarize yourself with check in and check out procedure. Where you do drop off the dog, where do you pick it up and where do you go pee after pick up.
- Tape a water bottle, some goodies and some friendly instructions (dog name, attitude to people, special things to know) to the crate. That makes it easy for the handlers to give water and a treat to the dog along the way
Overall it went great. Not only did the dog displayed no signs of distress or being stressed out, the crate became one of her favorite spots to sleep even back at home.
IMO that's much less stressful for a dog than a cruise ship, where the dog may be confined and isolated for many days. See https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2053
EDIT There are three ways to air ship a pet
- carry on (with you in the cabin). Only for small pets.
- excess baggage flying with you in the same flight, but in the baggage hold of the plane
- cargo: shipped as air freight, not directly associated with passenger ticket.
At our time of booking the options were determined by the combined weight of crate and dog. The cutoff between baggage and cargo was around 80 lbs (~36 kg.) Every airline may have their own set of rules.