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Discussion Starter #1
I made reservations to fly out to pick up my new puppy and fly back with him. Although this airlines only allows pets in the cabin area, they also do not require any health papers, but I found out after booking travel, it recommends the pet be at least 8 weeks old:doh:. My return flight cannot be refunded or changed without steep fees (more than the cost of original flight). Are there any real health concerns if he is only 7 wks old? Feel caught in a tough spot. I don't want to loose all the money invested in a flight but I don't want to harm my Triton more. Does anyone know if he can still fly safely at 7wks?
 

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7 weeks sounds really young to be taken away from its litter. That would be my concern moreso than being in the cabin with you. How long is the flight? I'd just make sure it can drink/eat if you're going to be flying long so it doesn't dehydrate or get low blood sugar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It is a 2.5 hr flt, he and his brother are weened currently, maybe it's the breed. I mailed out his new carrier for his trip and some toys from our house with our pets smells on them so that Triton, his brother and mother (Foxy) could scent them with the hopes of minimizing seperation issues, and so that he could develop an emotional association with the carrier and not be whinig the whole trip.
 

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Will he be at the start of 7 weeks, middle, or end? We got Wicket at 7 weeks and she turned out alright. You have to be really attentive and watch the puppy really carefully. How long is your flight? I would make sure he has water at all times and split his daily portion into tiny meals to keep his energy up throughout the flight. Bring some puppy pads or something with you, he would probably need to potty a few times if it's a long flight. Make sure you have his puppy blanket and a stuffed animal to keep him comfortable. If the cabin is really cold, consider getting him a hot water bottle to maintain his body temperature. He will be stressed and might not eat or drink very much.
 

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I literally posted right after you mentioned the time. He should be alright, just make sure he's comfortable and make food and water available. Get him to potty before and after the flight, but still bring something in case he needs to go in the middle. At 7 weeks, he will be at his very limits for holding it in, he might not be able to last the whole 2.5 hours.
 

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If they don't require health certificates, how would they know they age?

I would be worried about flying with other dogs that do not have health certificates, more than I would be about the difference in a week of age.
 

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I'm sure you're really excited about getting your dog, so I hate to be so down about this, but it's a little worrying.

Here's what seems concerning to me:
- Being able to hold it. The 2.5 hour flight doesn't factor in security lines, waiting around, boarding time, etc. Do either of the airports have dog areas where your puppy can stretch his legs, go potty, etc.?
- Is it safe for a puppy that age to go to a doggie area or does he have some immunity/vaccines already?
- The stress on a young puppy of a major trip when he's at the very earliest stages of socialization
- How bonded the puppy will be to you if you haven't met him yet, and how much additional stress it will be for him to be with someone who's essentially a stranger (you didn't say if you've met before, but since he's a plane trip away I'm assuming not.)
- If he's old enough for any kind of supplements or medications to reduce stress

Given those issues, I'd recommend the following:
- Talk to your airline about rescheduling the trip so your dog is 8 weeks. That way you'll meet their requirements and your dog will be a little better able to handle it. (At under 2 months old, even a week makes a big difference.) Talk to someone on the phone to see if they'll work with you on the fees. For me, my dog's health is higher priority than cost wherever possible.
- Talk to your vet about what he/she recommends. They'll be able to tell you if it's safe for a puppy that young to fly, what you can do to relieve flying issues (do dogs get ear issues on planes? I've never flown mine), and if there is anything you can give - a very mild sedative, an herbal stress reliever (either ingested or aromatherapy-style), etc. to relieve stress.
- Talk to your trainer about how to prepare your dog for 3+ hours of traveling and what you can do that will help with future potty training. Potty pads make sense for this trip, but I'd be concerned about how teaching a puppy to go in his carrier will impact crate training him if that's what you plan to do.

Hope that's helpful.
 
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