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Taking a dog overseas

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In about a year from now, my partner and I will relocate to Europe for about 1,5 year. I am originally from the Netherlands, and for my career - we are going to live / work in Europe for a while. Obviously, we are bringing Nelson with us - now the thing is, I am (already) stressed out about having to put him in the plane. There are more bad then good stories on the internet (thought that kinda is the way the internet works I guess). We will be taking a direct flight in March with KLM to Amsterdam, a 9 hour flight. From what I've read so far, they are the best with dogs.


Nelson has a bed, not a crate. We tried crate training him for the first 6 months we had him, but he would never ever go in there, we read all the books etc - thats not what this post is about. We will buy the crate in a few months, so he can get used to it. He doesn't have any separation anxiety, but he hates loud noises, if anything in the car moves around while he is in there it spooks the *** out of him!


Does anyone here have experience with flying dogs? I am especially interested in hearing experience from people who have flown their dog overseas. How long was the flight you took your dog on? And what was his/her behaviour like? What airline did you use? And what crate?


Sorry for all the questions, I am trying to educate myself properly and make sure that this is not only going to be fun for me but also for him!

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Flew an a80 pound dog and two cats from South America to Canada. Long trip +layovers. Went great. Flew dog across the country with selection anxiety+reactive issues, went really well no worse for wear and he was happy to play when I met him out of crate. He was even calmer the flight back.


Buy the crate now. Start by feeding all meals in there. Crate open (but eating in there) to door closed.

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I'm apparently incapable of owning a dog that hasn't been on an airplane. I've flown dogs across the US, and one internationally, although not overseas. They all did just fine, even my noise-sensitive, weirdo young dog. All my dogs are 100% comfortable in a crate, though.


My experience flying a dog across the US/Canada border was great. It got me through customs ahead of 300 other people! Just be darn sure to have all your paperwork ready, handy, and UNEXPIRED! My young dog spent just barely long enough in Canada that I had to take him to a vet there to get a new health certificate. I carried extra copies of all the paperwork, etc with me, just in case.

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When our BC was four months old, my dad ended up in the hospital and I flew out to help take care of him. He had to be in the hospital longer than expected, and I ended up having my daughter ship our 4 month old BC from Upstate NY to San Francisco. She was a very confident dog and loved everyone, so I was pretty sure she would do fine, but I was still worried, of course. Especially since she had to make a connection. Between my daughter having to get her to the airport two hours early in NY, and me having to wait for her to arrive in cargo in SF, her journey was probably 12 hours. She popped out of the crate completely unfazed, looking like, "okay, what are we doing next?" She was also really comfortable in her crate before the trip.


I also have a friend from Sweden who has flown her dog from NY to Sweden several times, and has always been fine.


Good luck!


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