We flew from Newfoundland
to Toronto (non-stop) of a 3.5 hour flight, then the next day Toronto to Vancouver (non-stop) 5.5 hour flight. On the day of each flight we fed CoCo her breakfast and gave the regular amount of prednisone. Just before boarding we gave extra pred. We had worked with her for about 2 months making sure she was very comfortable with her crate and even moving it
around. Lots of comfy soft bedding in the crate with favourite toys. We used a couple of doses of Dr. Goodpet calm stress prior to boarding and put a few drops of the essential oil lavender which is calming on her collar. Do not put essential oils directly on the skin or any place the dog can lick.
As an extra precaution we had alerted emergency vet clinics near both airports they if we had a problem we needed help immediately. Fortunately we did not have to avail of their services. When we arrived in Vancouver, CoCo was a little shakey so I gave 1mg of pred and then about 30 minutes later gave another 0.5mg and the shaking stopped.
Please do not tranquillizer. Many airlines will ask if the dog has been tranquillized and will not accept the dog for shipping. The tranquillizer will artificially lower the heart rate and can cause cardiac arrest if the dog is stressed. If you must use a tranquillizer, take it yourself because if you are like I was, I was a wreck on both flights. I did take lots of calm stress though!
Freeze your water containers so that it slowly melts and does not get slopped out and the dog has no water available. Flying is extremely dehydrating. When you board your flight advise the head cabin attendant that you are flying with live animals and have them alert the pilot. Do not sit in your seat until the pilot has confirmed that your dogs and your breed is on the flight. They do mix up crates and board the wrong ones on a flight.
Mark clearly on the crate the dogs name, your name, the flight number, airline and destination in bold red letters. Assume every person is a complete dummy and be very detailed with your instructions, taking nothingfor granted.
Last but certainly not least, make sure your dog is properly stabilized ontheir meds before shipping.
When you arrive safely at your destination write a nice thank you note to the airline for safely handling your companions.
(courtesy Deborah S )