Experiences with bringing a dog on a long holiday in cargo?

(28 Posts)
Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 17:26:05

Every year we go to visit my mum who is Italian and stay in her house in a coastal, non-tourist spot. There are lots of dogs there and they can swim in the sea. My lab would love it but worried about the journey as she’d have to be put in the cargo for a 3 hour flight. Opinions?

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BiteyShark Fri 28-Dec-18 17:28:26

How long are you going for?

My dog would be very stressed travelling in the hold away from us. Therefore I wouldn't do it for a three week holiday but if I was going to be there for months I would.

Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 17:29:30

Incidentally it’s 3 weeks

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BiteyShark Fri 28-Dec-18 17:31:59

How is your dog generally with travelling, separation and being around strangers?

Mine would be terrified in that situation so I wouldn't put him through it but that's based on knowing how he would react.

Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 17:34:30

She is generally good at travelling in the likes of cars, trains and tubes but of course another family member or I are always next to her in travel. She’s also good at being alone and friendly with strangers which is why I’m considering it but the whole idea of her being packed in by rough handlers and the foreign noises while being alone does make me worry that it will stress her out too much as it’s not really anything like she’s experienced before

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BiteyShark Fri 28-Dec-18 17:42:41

Hmm it's a tough one as three weeks is a long time but not that long that you couldn't find a dog sitter either.

Another thing to consider is the age of your dog and whether they are still at a impressionable age. The reason I say this is my dog developed behavioural issues after being away from me at the vets when he had to be admitted for several days. Obviously this is a totally different situation but it would concern me to give him a bad experience for a holiday whereas I would totally risk it if I was moving to live there for a long period.

Your dog might be perfectly ok with it of course but if they aren't you also have the issue that they need to travel back again in three weeks.

Hopefully someone who has actually done it for a holiday might appear with some experience of the pros and cons.

Whoseranium Fri 28-Dec-18 18:14:56

I've flown dogs as cargo before (admittedly a much longer flight, 7 hours-ish) and it's definitely not something I'd do for the sake of a three week holiday.

In my case I was moving abroad for a a year plus and I took both my dogs then brought them back when I returned after twelve months. Although overall they did cope well it was definitely a stressful event for them and they needed some time to recover afterwards.

The Pet Passport scheme could also be changing depending on how Brexit goes which could potentially make travelling to the EU with dogs much more awkward. The Vets4Pets site has some handy little guides to the current Pet Passport system and also potential changes post-Brexit.


MotorcycleMayhem Fri 28-Dec-18 18:20:24

You've asked this before, and the agreement was pretty much unanimous that a 3 week holiday was too short to put your dog through the stress of being in hold transport twice in such a short space of time.

There are other options including you travelling via land with him or finding a kennel / home stay for him in the UK while you are abroad. Not all kennels are the same prison - style I think you rightly wish to avoid.

Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:23:38

?? I haven’t asked this before- I’ve asked on pets and doghouse but both threads started today

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Heratnumber7 Fri 28-Dec-18 18:24:16

Wouldn't it be easier to take your dogs to the seaside in this country? And cheaper.

Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:25:20

heratnumber7 yes- we can do that but I only see my mum twice a year and this summer holiday is one of the occasions so I wouldn’t like to stop going

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Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:25:59

We will be doing day trips to Brighton and other coastal towns but I don’t think I can give up visiting my mum and other family

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IAmAlwaysLikeThis Fri 28-Dec-18 18:26:49

I wouldn’t do it for three weeks, it’s stressful for the dog, to do it twice in such a short period of time would not be a good idea.

BiteyShark Fri 28-Dec-18 18:28:46

but I don’t think I can give up visiting my mum and other family

Then I would find a good pet sitter so your dog either goes to their home or they stay in yours whilst you holiday.

Be warned though that I used to do 2 week holidays but since having BiteyDog I hate leaving him that long so I now only go on holiday for 1 week at a time grin

Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:31:00

Do you think it would be cheeky to ask the breeder if they’d be willing to pet sit the dog? Obviously would be paying them.

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BiteyShark Fri 28-Dec-18 18:32:48

Absolutely fine to ask as some dogs do go back to the breeder for boarding.

If they say no look about and do some trials with people so you are both happy before you go away. Mine loves the person he boards with, it's me that finds it hard blush

MotorcycleMayhem Fri 28-Dec-18 18:33:00

Why the breeder? Why not a proper dog sitting set up?

This is identical to you btw....https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3458293-To-bring-the-dog-away-in-cargo which is why people believe that you have already been given advice.

MotorcycleMayhem Fri 28-Dec-18 18:33:11


Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:35:31

Yes that is exactly the same- really does appear as if it is a name change but don’t understand the reason why someone would do that as advice has already been given. Wish I’d seen that thread actually

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Cassiacassie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:37:35

motorcyclemayhem just because I don’t know how to trust someone with her for such a long period of time and the breeders were lovely and seem to care for the puppies (have been on a dog walk with them and puppy’s mum since getting her)

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Nesssie Fri 28-Dec-18 18:57:35

Boarding establishments need to be licensed so technically your breeder would not be allowed unless licensed.

TropicPlunder Fri 28-Dec-18 20:47:54

I flew my dog as cargo, on an overnight flight of 7 hours, plus layover, plus short connection. We were returning expats, and I could balance the stress that this night no doubt caused her, with the lifetime of security she would have with us (And almost certainly wouldn't if we left her behind). I would transport her as cargo again, but I'm not sure I'd do it for a 3 week trip. Although the flight to Italy is much shorter than what we did, they need to be in the crate for some time before and after flight, and be separated from you for some hours after the flight for clearance etc.
I'm going to keep up my dog's passport, as we might drive with her to visit our European relatives one day.
Any chance you would drive with your dog to Italy? We've driven to Italy from UK once (without dog) and it was a great trip, with some nice stopovers, could just add a couple of days each side.

Heratnumber7 Sat 29-Dec-18 10:50:56

Your OP read as if you wanted to take your dogs do that they could swim in the sea. I was just pointing out that the UK is surrounded by sea, so that the dogs could have the same opportunity here as there.

PinkOboe Sat 29-Dec-18 11:12:10

My dog had to do a flight in the hold. Don’t underestimate the time it takes for them to clear the animal reception centre at the other end (and check whether the airport you’re flying to actually has one). Allow a good 3 ish hours either end for them to be cleared.

He slept solidly for 24 hours afterward which I took to be a response to a hugely stressful experience

I also know of two dogs do were caught up in the recent Gatwick hoo haa. They ended up confined to their crates for 48 hours and had to be couriered from one end of the country to the other as they couldn’t be disembarked at Manchester airport where their plane had been diverted to (as no reception centre there). Of course an unusual circumstance but sit travel is fraught with delays and hold ups. To risk similar for a holiday seems a bit extreme.

I’d just drive

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Sat 29-Dec-18 14:15:25

I second what Pink Oboe said.
I brought my Greek dog over to the UK - she had to be put in her travel cage with no food at 12 midday Greek time and was wheeled off into the cargo area without me. The flight did not leave until 19.00 hrs but this was the airline's timeline. We got to Heathrow at about 8.30 pm London time (10.30 pm Greek/dog time). I had to wait ages at the animal reception area and she was first dog out (2 others had come in by other flights around the same time). I was told part of the wait was, besides checking her paperwork and microchip, to wash out her cage as "all dogs make a mess of their boxes" (i.e. wee/poo/vomit). I finally got her at 11.30 pm London time - she'd been away from me in terrifying circumstances for 13 and a half hours, not even knowing if she'd ever see me again (she'd been boarding with various people every time I was away working in UK for some years so was used to me saying goodbye and next seeing her several months later). Never again would I put any dog through that unless it was absolutely vital (as it was in this case as she was making her home in UK).

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