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Fly a puppy in cargo?

Species: Dog
Breed: Havanese
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr Marie.

We live in Halifax and are buying a pup from a breeder in Winnipeg. I can't find a good answer about shipping the pup. The breeder does it often, and I do trust the breeder; we have a friend here in Halifax who got 2 dogs from her, and had them flown to Halifax. My worry is that we are getting the pup in mid-November. Westjet has one direct flight, so the pup would leave Wpg at 3:00 (local time) and get in Halifax at 11 pm (local time). I think the pup needs to be dropped off a couple hours early, so best case scenario is 8-9 hours from breeder's arms to home. The flight has a stopover in Toronto, for about 40 minutes. Havanese are toys, and the pup will be 9-10 weeks old. If the weather's good, I think I can live with that, but it's November, and it's Canada. Our other option is for me to fly out and bring the pup home in a carry-on so the pup is with me, and in the cabin instead of the cargo hold. Not to be taken lightly, as it's a large additional expense, but we want the puppy to be safe and healthy. What would you advise?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Congrats on your new pup! I love Havanese...and Havanese puppies are about the cutest thing you will ever see!

In my practice I see a lot of dogs that fly all over the world. I am in Canada as well. What I can tell you is that airlines are extremely careful about how they handle animal cargo these days. If you've heard horror stories about extreme cold temperatures in the cargo hold, those are stories from the past. The airlines are extremely careful to treat animals well. If there is ever an incident where an animal's welfare is at stake then this is very bad PR for the airline.

Have you called Westjet to ask if they have issues with you transporting a puppy in cargo? If they don't have age or size restrictions then I would feel very comfortable transporting the pup this way. There really won't be much difference if you take him in the cabin with you other than the extra expense of you going out there.

I hope everything goes well!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks so much, I feel better! The breeder already talked to Westjet (as did I but I didn't know what to ask!), so it should be ok. But it's our first dog and I'm a nervous mom-to-be I guess! Westjet actually uses bigger planes, Air Canada's planes between here and there are smaller.

Thanks again for your help.

JoAnne


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.