I have travelled all over the world with my dog...she was born in Australia and has been around the world three times! Poor thing!
Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about the travel, but these are things I use to do to make sure my dog was happy travelling...
I would give her homeopathic remedies for the travel. These helped with the stress of the travel. The first time she travelled without them she was stressed and spacey for about 3 days and I felt so guilty. The last time she travelled (she is retired
) it was like taking a sunday drive with the remedies! I give her Aconite 2-3 times a day for 5 days before travelling, and Succinum for 2 x day for 3 days before travelling. The aconite is supposed to help with the noise and unknown environment, and the succinum is supposed to help with being in a small space. From my experience, they really really work. I also give her rescue remedy the day she travels.
Apart from making sure the cage is really truly big enough and that they can sit, stand, move around etc, I put in a couple of towels in the bottom. They won't let you but anything too cushy and no toys or anything. Take off their collar and lease and carry them with you if you are also travelling on the same flight or attach to the outside. Bring your own funnel and water bowl and attach the funnel on the outside so they can fill the water bowl and make sure the water bowl on the inside is really secure. I also bring ice and put that in one half of the water bowl because when they take off they lose half the water...that way the ice eventually melts and they still have something to drink.
I use to have a pet transport company so know all the normal tricks too if you don't have them!!
If you are travelling on the same flight to the US they are probably coming as excess baggage? Stay with them out of the crate as long as possible. Wire tie the crate closed so if they really really need to have access for an emergency they can, and if they don't you know they aren't getting away. I wire tie the two halves together, as well as about four on the door! It also helps to put the pets name and photo on the container...people are more likely to chat to the dog and be nice to it! Also your contact details etc.
From my experience they generally are really nice to the pets. I never board the plane until I know they are on. They almost left my dog in Denver once so I refused to board until the confirmed...which delayed them but had I not she would have been left in Denver...it turned out they couldn't take animals on that flight as the pressurized section was not working...so if I had been nice and gone with the "oh, the pet will be fine trick" I would have got to Baltimore without a dog.....so, don't get on until you know they are already on and be stubborn about it. The only airline I had any trouble with was Frontier and they were the one that almost left her in Denver and then when I got to the East Coast they stupidly put her on the baggage belt thing so when it went around the corner she ended up upside down (boy did that cost them!
)...normally they come out of separate door for oversized bags etc...ask as soon as you get there...they are normally the first off!
One time in Singapore they let me climb up the baggage ramp and check on her and when I got there there were 3 people sitting around the cage talking to my dog and giving her water (or eyeing her up for dinner...I like to think they were being nice!)
The other thing is reconfirm their space booking the day before you travel. They can only take a certain number of pets so if they mess it up you could be stuck at the airport with a problem! Better to call and confirm and it takes the stress away.
PM or email me if you want any more advice! Good luck and have a good trip!