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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Relocating to Qatar in a few months (all going well) and hoping to take the family dog, a 1 year old Shih Tzu. She's too long (55cm) to fit in a carrier for in cabin so she'll need to go underneath. Turkish Airlines seem to be my only option so my questions are;

Has anybody any similar experience they can share?
Does anyone/can anyone recommend a different method of travel?

thanks in advance

Craig.
 

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Would she fit the size for cabin carry on airlines that serve Dubai? If so, maybe overland from there via Saudi (no idea on pet import laws) or a sea ferry/water taxi (again, no idea of pet import or transport rules)
 

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I took my oversized miniature poodle from the Eastern US to Norway. Like your pup, he was just barely too big to travel under-seat with any airline (though height was our problem). At the time there were no direct flights to Oslo, so we had to do a layover in Iceland. If possible, I'd urge you to find a direct flight, even if you have to drive to a different airport.

Make sure your crate is airline-approved in general, has metal bolts holding it together instead of plastic, and meets all your specific airline's requirements. I also purchased small plastic bowls that clipped inside the front door and a funnel that I could fasten with zip-ties so that airline staff could give him water without opening the (zip-tied) crate. Also taped to his crate were copies of his travel documents (I kept the originals with me) including my information, and a baggie with a single serving of kibble just in case we were delayed. He had an absorbent pad in the bottom because it was something like 16 hours from start to finish, even with a relatively short layover and I expected he'd pee in there at some point and that was the best I could do to keep him dry. Most of this came in a travel kit I bought alongside his crate which made it easy (and also included 'Live Animal' stickers I plastered all over the thing). Not sure if there's a company in the UK offering these kinds of airline crate travel kits, but ime they're worth it for peace of mind it there are.

Work with a vet to make sure you're meeting all the medical requirements for importing a domestic dog - in my case the big parts were getting him an internationally approved microchip, a rabies vaccine AFTER that microchips (so that the paperwork matched the microchip number the customs office would use), and a very specific dewormer done by a vet within 48 hours before arrival at Norway customs. These documents had to be sent off to be signed by a US veterinary official to be valid. Do not put this off in case you need to jump through similar hoops. To be extra sure, I strongly urge you to contact the Qatar customs office and make sure you're doing everything in the way they want - I had to make an appointment with Norwegian customs so that the customs veterinarian would know to be there to inspect my dog.

The day of the flight, Sam was taken to the customs office where I put him in the crate and zip-tied him up, then he was off. Of course I had to pay extra baggage for him. You will likely not see your dog until your destination, even if you have a layover, but most airline staff is wonderful and if you flag a steward down and ask them to confirm your pup made it on board they will check for you. I did this on both legs of my trip before either plane was done boarding and it gave me great comfort. I'm an anxious traveler at the best of times. Oh, and make sure you don't do what I did and go through your own security check with a poo bag holder hooked to your belt loop because it looks weird on security scanners, lol (though your security check might be less intense not being in the US and all).

Sam was stressed of course, but actually didn't even soil the crate and did amazingly well all things considered. I never want to put him through that again, to the point where if something happens here that means I lose my visa and my wife can't take care of him for whatever reason, he'll be sent to my in-laws to live with them. I don't know that I'd have done it at all if Norway required him to go through weeks or months of quarantine at a kennel facility, as some countries do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would she fit the size for cabin carry on airlines that serve Dubai? If so, maybe overland from there via Saudi (no idea on pet import laws) or a sea ferry/water taxi (again, no idea of pet import or transport rules)
Hi Shell,thanks for getting back to me. No, she's too big for the cabin now. Don't think I could go via Saudi, from what I've heard it's very limited travel between the two countries but I'll look into it. Thanks again.
I took my oversized miniature poodle from the Eastern US to Norway. Like your pup, he was just barely too big to travel under-seat with any airline (though height was our problem). At the time there were no direct flights to Oslo, so we had to do a layover in Iceland. If possible, I'd urge you to find a direct flight, even if you have to drive to a different airport.

Make sure your crate is airline-approved in general, has metal bolts holding it together instead of plastic, and meets all your specific airline's requirements. I also purchased small plastic bowls that clipped inside the front door and a funnel that I could fasten with zip-ties so that airline staff could give him water without opening the (zip-tied) crate. Also taped to his crate were copies of his travel documents (I kept the originals with me) including my information, and a baggie with a single serving of kibble just in case we were delayed. He had an absorbent pad in the bottom because it was something like 16 hours from start to finish, even with a relatively short layover and I expected he'd pee in there at some point and that was the best I could do to keep him dry. Most of this came in a travel kit I bought alongside his crate which made it easy (and also included 'Live Animal' stickers I plastered all over the thing). Not sure if there's a company in the UK offering these kinds of airline crate travel kits, but ime they're worth it for peace of mind it there are.

Work with a vet to make sure you're meeting all the medical requirements for importing a domestic dog - in my case the big parts were getting him an internationally approved microchip, a rabies vaccine AFTER that microchips (so that the paperwork matched the microchip number the customs office would use), and a very specific dewormer done by a vet within 48 hours before arrival at Norway customs. These documents had to be sent off to be signed by a US veterinary official to be valid. Do not put this off in case you need to jump through similar hoops. To be extra sure, I strongly urge you to contact the Qatar customs office and make sure you're doing everything in the way they want - I had to make an appointment with Norwegian customs so that the customs veterinarian would know to be there to inspect my dog.

The day of the flight, Sam was taken to the customs office where I put him in the crate and zip-tied him up, then he was off. Of course I had to pay extra baggage for him. You will likely not see your dog until your destination, even if you have a layover, but most airline staff is wonderful and if you flag a steward down and ask them to confirm your pup made it on board they will check for you. I did this on both legs of my trip before either plane was done boarding and it gave me great comfort. I'm an anxious traveler at the best of times. Oh, and make sure you don't do what I did and go through your own security check with a poo bag holder hooked to your belt loop because it looks weird on security scanners, lol (though your security check might be less intense not being in the US and all).

Sam was stressed of course, but actually didn't even soil the crate and did amazingly well all things considered. I never want to put him through that again, to the point where if something happens here that means I lose my visa and my wife can't take care of him for whatever reason, he'll be sent to my in-laws to live with them. I don't know that I'd have done it at all if Norway required him to go through weeks or months of quarantine at a kennel facility, as some countries do.
Hi, thanks for the reply. Can't go direct as none of the airlines that fly to Qatar direct (BA,Qatar Airlines, Ethiad, Iberia) take Shih tzu's at all, not even underneath. Turkish is the only option I've found so far.
She's all 'vetted up', got her Titr before Xmas and the results have came back fine so she's all good to go now.
I'm probably going to have to risk it and pray she's ok, I'll keep looking for an alternative though.

thanks again
Craig
 

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There was a fellow with user name Knute on the forum when I first joined, not here now. He was an American working in China, and when he was transferred home, he used some outfit that did all the paperwork for him and helped him negotiate all the various rules and regs of the airlines and the countries. I don't know if there's a way to find those posts by his user name, but if so, you might at least find them interesting. He had a Schnauzer, I think miniature, but still too large to ride in the cabin, and if I'm remembering right, he talked about seeing his dog's crate loaded onto the plane he was on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I have a new question now. Seemingly she has to start her vaccination treatments again as I (didn't realise) her boosters were overdue and as she is going abroad she has to start again. My vet has told me to check when she can travel after the jag with a vet or official in Qatar as all countries differ. I have contacted someone in Qatar and have been told no delay as long as Titr was more than 90 days prior, which it is. Does this sound right?

thanks again

Craig
 
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