Lizzy Frame' Story
One of a dog-travelling lovers: Lizzy Frame shared her helpful experience about raveling With Dogs From UK to US:
She embarked on a journey with their 6-month-old puppy who had recently relocated to the US. They stayed at the pet-friendly Moxy hotel the night before their flight, which offered convenient amenities such as a grass area in the carpark and a nearby park/nature reserve. The hotel was only a 10-minute drive from the terminal.
Their flight was with Air Canada, traveling from Heathrow to Montreal and then onward to New York. They opted to have their miniature dachshund, Romey, accompany them in the cabin.
The necessary documents included a health check letter, a microchip, and a rabies vaccination, even though rabies vaccination was not explicitly required. They mentioned that Heathrow had a straightforward process for pets in the cabin. Once checked in, the pet was allowed to remain in its carrier, and there was no extensive document checking. During security checks, the pet stayed in the carrier, and the owner was led to a room where the pet and carrier were screened. After security, they took the pet out for a walk, but it seemed that few people noticed the dog during this process. It's worth noting that Heathrow did not have designated pet relief areas as dogs typically don't pass through the airport.
To keep Romey content during the journey, they refrained from feeding or providing water after a morning drink. Instead, they used very small treats and ice cubes. Entertainment included mind games and a yak bone. Romey was well-behaved on the flight, with just a brief initial whine. The owner also distributed small gift bags to nearby passengers and staff, which improved the onboard atmosphere.
Upon arrival in Montreal, they encountered a lack of outdoor opportunities for their pet due to the US customs process, which they had to pass through. Romey relieved himself on the concourse, and they proceeded through customs with only a cursory check of the rabies certificate. While waiting for the next flight, they found a quiet airport area for playtime.
During the subsequent flight, Romey slept the entire journey. Upon landing, they quickly headed to the baggage claim and then to a pet relief area. The traveler recommended that airports like Heathrow and Montreal, after clearing US customs, should invest in pet relief rooms.
Their advice for preparing a dog for such a flight included familiarizing the dog with a travel bag as a safe space, playing airplane landing and white noise sounds, and engaging in mental games. They also advised packing mental games, small treats, a yak bone or similar chew, puppy pads, food for the pet upon landing, a travel bowl, and poop bags.
The total cost for the journey, including the pet in the cabin fee and vet checks, was £65 for the pet in the cabin and £195 for vet checks and the rabies vaccine. They expressed gratitude to Jackie, who had undertaken a similar trip and provided valuable advice.
Rachael Wright' story
Another dog-parent Rachael Wright also shared:
Cooper, from the United States to the United Kingdom. This narrative is shared in the hope that it may offer assistance to others facing a similar journey.
In May, the narrator moved from Boise, Idaho, to Edinburgh, UK, leaving Cooper with their parents during the initial settling period. Eventually, Cooper made the transatlantic journey to join them.
After thorough research, considering Cooper's size (too large for in-cabin travel with most airlines) and the starting point in Boise, it was concluded that cargo shipping was the most suitable option. The journey comprised three segments: BOI-SEA as excess baggage on Alaska Airlines, SEA-LHR as cargo, and London-Edinburgh via train (accompanied by the narrator).
The services of Across the Pond pet shipping, headquartered in Seattle, were engaged. Both the narrator and their father were listed as owners on all paperwork, classifying the shipment as non-commercial to streamline the process and reduce costs.
Cooper traveled as excess baggage on the narrator's father's ticket from Boise to Seattle with Alaska Airlines, which proceeded smoothly. Across the Pond provided guidance on booking and what to expect.
The night before the flight, Cooper and the narrator's father stayed near the Seattle airport. The following day, Cooper embarked on the real adventure. Across the Pond had coordinated with the vet in advance for all necessary paperwork and took care of everything from pickup in Seattle to handover at London Heathrow (LHR). Along the way, the narrator received pictures and updates. Given Cooper's later flight time, the driver ensured he enjoyed walks and playtime before his midday check-in at the airport.
Cooper was collected from the cargo area near LHR and subsequently accompanied the narrator on a train journey to Edinburgh. This indirect route was chosen to minimize layovers, flights, overall travel time, and time away from his human companions. Although he was understandably tired, Cooper's voluntary entry into his crate and his continued willingness to use it post-journey were positive indicators.
While not an inexpensive endeavor, the process proceeded smoothly, and the narrator expressed a willingness to work with Across the Pond again if necessary. However, they contemplated a DIY approach when returning to the United States in a few years, now equipped with a better understanding of what to expect.
Crucially, Cooper's familiarity with crate usage since puppyhood, regular car rides in the crate before travel, and the acquisition of a suitable flight crate in advance significantly contributed to his adaptability. The recommended crate purchase resource was Pet Express, which provided all the necessary components for international travel at a competitive price.