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Old 25.04.2021, 19:29
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Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

Hi again everybody.

I'll be departing the UK permanently in 2 weeks (woohooo!!). My labrador Zola is coming with me, although at 24kg she needs to go in the hold.

Our flights are:
* Edinburgh to Amsterdam (90 mins)
* layover (3 hours)
* Amsterdam to Basel (50 mins).

Zola is 9 months old, and although she's a playful and happy puppy most of the time, she gets frightened easily by loud noises - when planes fly overhead or she hears a car backfire, she runs inside and hides in her crate. Hence, I'm quite anxious about inflicting the terror of two plane rides on her. I honestly thought about driving across to spare her the ordeal, but with Covid it's not possible.

I've got the IATA crate and she's had lots of exposure to it, I've got KLM's word that they'll take the very best care for her, I've got her blankets ready so there's comforting smells, she's up to date with her vaccines and paperwork, and the vet has given me a herbal anti-anxiety remedy (he said they don't recommend anything stronger these days), and I've planned our first 2-3 days in Basel around getting her settled and relaxed into her new environment.

Is there anything that I haven't considered that might make this easier on her? I'm grateful for any advice or guidance.

Thanks in advance from a very nervous pet mama.
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Old 25.04.2021, 19:47
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

Why is it not possible to drive? If you can fly here you can drive here.
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Old 25.04.2021, 20:06
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

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Why is it not possible to drive? If you can fly here you can drive here.
In normal times, I would drive across with Zola and my partner. He would then stay in Basel with her, whilst I drove back to the UK to return my car here (it's leased so it has to come back).

But under current restrictions, he can't come with me - he's a British citizen and has no valid reason to come to Switzerland (other than 'emotional support for the dog' which likely wouldn't hold water with customs )
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Old 25.04.2021, 20:33
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

Drive or get a direct flight.
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Old 25.04.2021, 21:01
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

The IATA dog crates (plastic) are very slippery for the dog which increases the stress level.

If you can, get a fluffy style bathmat (Ikea has some cheap and cheerful options) that fits in the crate and covers the whole area.

Link: https://www.ikea.com/ch/fr/p/toftbo-...ange-90422251/

Drill 2 holes in each of the four corners of the crate. Thread a zip tie up through the hole and through the bathmat (use a nail or other to make the 2 holes in each corner of the mat) then down through the second hole in the bathmat and back down though the crate and zip the tie tightly. Repeat 4 times.

This way the dog will have good traction when the crate is moving and in the hold of the plane. His/her blanket will be more for comfort than traction.
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Last edited by Verbier; 25.04.2021 at 22:02. Reason: better wording in the instructions.
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Old 25.04.2021, 21:10
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

KLM carries literally 10s of thousands of dogs every year. Their transit centre at Schipol airport is one if the best anywhere.

Your baby really couldn’t be in better hands.
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Old 25.04.2021, 21:42
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

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Drive or get a direct flight.
This isn't an option - Scotland does not have any direct flights to Basel

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The IATA dog crates (plastic) are very slippery for the dog which increases the stress level.

If you can, get a fluffy style bathmat (Ikea has some cheap and cheerful options) that fits in the crate and covers the whole area.

Link: https://www.ikea.com/ch/fr/p/toftbo-...ange-90422251/

Drill 2 holes in each of the four corners of the crate. Thread a zip tie up through the hole and through the bathmat (use a nail or other to make the needed holes in the mat) then back down though the crate and zip the tie tightly. Repeat 4 times.

This way the dog will have good traction when the crate is moving and in the hold of the plane. His/her blanket will be more for comfort than traction.
Awesome idea, thank you!!

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KLM carries literally 10s of thousands of dogs every year. Their transit centre at Schipol airport is one if the best anywhere.

Your baby really couldn’t be in better hands.
Thanks Bowlie, great to hear
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Old 25.04.2021, 22:58
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

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This isn't an option - Scotland does not have any direct flights to Basel
Check Edelweiss. They used to to Zurich. It was a codeshare with Swiss. You can rent a car at the airport to Basel or just take the train.

Also look into a one way rental and selfdriving. A non direct flighg would not be something I would do in Europe.
Also look into flights to Frankfurt. There is a direct train to Basel or a one way rental. Also look into flights to Paris
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Old 25.04.2021, 23:09
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

Hi OP,

I fly each year with my now 10 1/2-year-old labrador. I will only take her back to the US when I stay at least 6 weeks (My children probably miss her more than me ) I am very picky regarding airlines as many do not have temperature-controlled "hold" spaces for pets.

That said, KLM is excellent as is Lufthansa. I think Swiss is also good but KLM and Lufthansa have animal hotels at their airports - which is handy should there be a flight delay.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 26.04.2021, 04:42
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

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The IATA dog crates (plastic) are very slippery for the dog which increases the stress level.
Some crate manufacturers sell a foam pad which fits in the bottom of the crate making it more comfortable. You can easily buy a piece of foam and cut it to fit tightly in the bottom of the crate. I would cover it with a pillowcase and then place your dog's blankets on top of this. Underneath the foam mattress you could put a bathmat or carpet with an antislip backing.

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Check Edelweiss. They used to [fly] to Zurich. It was a codeshare with Swiss. You can rent a car at the airport to Basel or just take the train.
Whether or not you can change your flights, do consider how you will get from the airport to where you will be staying. With a dog crate and luggage I would not leave this to figure out when you arrive. If you are on your own public transport might be a challenge.
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Old 26.04.2021, 10:56
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

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Whether or not you can change your flights, do consider how you will get from the airport to where you will be staying. With a dog crate and luggage I would not leave this to figure out when you arrive. If you are on your own public transport might be a challenge.
Also great advice, thank you Mrs Doolittle
I have contacted a chauffeur service to advise them that I'll need a minivan (at the very least!) due to the volume of my belongings.

Moving countries was so much easier when I was younger and only had a single suitcase holding everything I owned!
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Old 26.04.2021, 13:27
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

It's been far too many years for my experience with specific airlines to be relevant, but a few pointers for kitting out your pup's crate:

Another padding suggestion: Washable (cloth) incontinence pads. (The human variety are less expensive.) I have these from Aldi, and they fit exactly in our crates. I put them on top of the crate cushion. Not only do they provide additional soft padding, but also in case of an accident the material will absorb urine, your dog will be in less discomfort.

(Obviously all suggestions for cushions are based on knowing that your dog does not chew, even when stressed. If your dog is a chewer, you need to re-think cushioning.)

While it's a short flight, your dog will still need hydration. The typical bowl that clips to the crate tends to spill if full, so a better route is to take a drip bottle, the kind with the controlled drip stopper thingy like a hamster bottle, and mount it to the crate above the crate bowl. Fill the bottle with water and then freeze it. As the water melts it will drip into the bowl, giving the dog enough to keep him hydrated without making too much of a mess.

---

From experience, I'll add my voice to the 'direct flight' chorus if it is at all possible to change your booking.

---

All the best with your journey, and with settling in once you are here.
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Old 26.04.2021, 16:40
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Re: Advice pls - flying with dog in the hold

Or fly into Frankfurt. When we moved to Zurich from San Francisco, we took a direct flt and rented a van for our Lab/crate/luggage. Basel is even closer to Frankfurt than Zurich and there should be numerous flt options.

Good luck!

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This isn't an option - Scotland does not have any direct flights to Basel
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