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I Need Your Help... Should I Fly My Puppy in Cargo?

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, a TeamSugar user needs our help! I know Helly1211 isn't the only one with concerns about flying a precious pet in the cargo area of the airplane so I'm putting her question out for the group. She writes:

We'd like to take our puppy home with us for the holidays – she'll be five months old at the time of the flight and, since she's 14 pounds already, I know she will exceed the 15 pound weight limit to carry a pet on board . . . meaning she'll have to fly with the cargo.

I've called the airline and they've explained to me that Northwest has pet agents who are with the animal until the flight takes off, secure them in their kennels, make sure they have water/food, and be certain that pets are the last to board and the first off the flight. Also, their cargo cabins are pressurized, have ventilation, and are temperature controlled. We're taking a direct four-hour flight so there are no layovers, though there could be delays. Our puppy is crate-trained and is not scared of many things (fine in car rides, OK around loud noises, etc.).

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I do not want to traumatize or put her in danger so I'm not sure if we should fly with her or not. Part of me thinks there's a good chance she will sleep through the whole flight and be just fine, the other part of me is worried she won't do well and will be trapped in her kennel for hours wondering where her owners are! I'd love to hear from anyone who has flown with their pets in cargo. Thanks!

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