Airline Passenger Puts Child in Cargo Bay

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Airline passengers traveling with pets often do not know the rules for bringing their pets on board. Many small dog owners think of their pets as children. To avoid the trauma of putting a dog in cargo passengers should follow these rules.

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To an increasing number of people the small dog is more than a pet, it's a child. Many small dog owners think of their pets as babies to love, spoil and protect. They would no more put their dog in cargo than they would a child.

So Thanksgiving travelers should know that small dogs are welcome in airline cabins. The airlines are happy to avoid cargo-stow for both parent and child. But the passenger cannot just bring the dog to the airport. Certain rules must be followed or the dog will not be allowed in the cabin.

"The small dog is the new grandchild," said Robin Weaver, small dog expert and owner of The small dog invokes both protective parenting and generous grand parenting in its owners. These parents treat their dogs like humans, she said, "And we don't put humans in the cargo bay."

Weaver warns the small dog parent to follow some simple guidelines to avoid trauma at the airport.

Rule number one is to alert the airline you'll be bringing your small dog onto the flight. If too many people are already bringing their animals on board the captain has the right to refuse passage to the small dog owner. Alternatively the human may fly in the cabin, but the dog will have to go into cargo. Weaver recommends alerting the airline about the passenger-dog as soon as the buyer purchases the ticket.

The second rule is that the pet must fit comfortably inside an airline-approved carrier. "The airlines have established pet carrier size guidelines," Weaver explained. If the carrier is too big for the cabin or too small for the dog the airline can refuse to allow the passenger on board. "Look for 'airline-approved' carriers," Weaver said.

Third, the small-dog-airline-traveler should get a veterinarian to sign a health certificate dated no more than 30 days from the travel date. The traveler should be prepared to show the certificate along with the airline ticket.

Finally, the small-dog owner should be prepared to pay a small fee to bring the small dog on board. The amount is significantly less money than buying the dog a seat, and less trauma than putting him in the cargo bay.

Weaver says that travelers should also bring items for dog sleeping, snacking and bathroom accommodations.

Weaver recommends thick, lush fleece pads for bedding. "The fleece pads are great home-away-from-home beds. They're packable and a great source of comfort for your dog to have something of their own in a not so familiar place," she said.

For doggie-on-the-go meals Weaver recommends "our Giggles Dog Treats. They come packed in a handy vinyl pouch, perfect for travel. You can toss them in your bag and keep them handy for anytime snacking. The tiny happy face cookies are peanut butter flavored and made of human grade ingredients," she said.

Since little dogs can't have "walkies" at 30,000 feet Weaver recommends carrying along Pre-Moistened Paw Wipes and Ruffies On-The-Go Poop Bags.

For additional information on small dog travel advice and the items mentioned in this article, contact

Robin Weaver

(310) 399-7190

Fax (310) 388-0193

866 Commonwealth Ave.

Venice, CA 90291

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