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Experience flying larger dog to Portugal?


Posts: 69
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Topic starter
(@charw23)
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Joined: 1 year ago

Hello All, 

Planning our move to Portugal in June/July, and wondering if anyone has experience flying their larger dog (4 yr old Yellow Lab) to Lisbon from the USA? I know there are some professional Pet Relocators, and some opt for the DIY approach. Some services have been halted due to COVID, some have weight restrictions... ours will have to go in cargo hold. He's never flown before, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't even know he's a dog. 🙂

Hoping to hear from someone who has recently gone through the same process shipping their furry family member. Any advice and lessons learned are greatly appreciated. 

Thank you!

Char

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Posts: 194
 Bert
Premium Member
(@bert)
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Joined: 1 year ago

I don't know all the specifics but I think you will need a passport for your dog. Check with your vet

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Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 69

@bert

Thanks Bert...we are aware if the pet passport and requirements to ship...just curious if other folks have traveled with their larger than average pet recently. 😉

Heard great things about you....hope to meet you one day. 

Thanks Bert.

Char

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Posts: 104
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(@michael_tn)
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Joined: 9 months ago

Yes, a pet passport is needed, see, for example:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/eu/pettravel-portugal

 

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3 Replies
Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 69

@michael_tn

Thanks Michael, appreciate your info!!

Char

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Premium Member
(@davidiryna)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 59

@charw23 We are going through the process of flying 2 of our shorties (10 and 11 pounds)      🙂 they also have no idea they are dogs.

We have agreed to cargo transportation because we knew, we would not be able to handle them and 6 suitcases and who knows what else.

Using company petsfly.com. Highly recommended. They can take care of the passport or just fly a dog and get passport from you.

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Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 69

@davidiryna

Thanks David. This is great information. Have your two shorties ever flown before? I think I will be the one who needs a tranquilizer, worrying about our dog. Are you flying soon? May I ask what part of the planet you're in... curious about flight changes and overall flight time?

Will check out petsfly.com next. Thanks again. 

Muito obrigada. 

Char

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Posts: 59
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(@davidiryna)
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Joined: 10 months ago

Hi Char,

no, our guys have never flown before.

Vet gave us some calming pills and asked to try at home just to see how they react, we couldn't do it. Any calming (herbal or medicinal) pills may interfere with breathing and cause fatality. We decided they will have to tough it up :)) Just have to live with guilt feeling for a while. They will be picked up the day we travel and delivered to Lisbon airport 2 days after we arrive (clearing with Customs included).

We are flying in a month from AZ, US. Had Lufthansa reservation, they cancelled, rebooked with TAP, they shifted us from one route to another 🙂

Where are you flying from?

Iryna

 

 

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5 Replies
Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 69

@davidiryna

Hi Iryna, 

I think that's a wise decision on the pills. The altitude and such can play with their system and doesn't seem worth the risk. 

The plan sounds good for pick-up and delivery. I reached out to Petsfly.com and am awaiting a reply in the next day or so. Thanks to David for that recommendation. 

We aren't sure our route just yet. We have options to fly from Seatac (Seattle Int'l) or drive south to Portland and fly out of PDX. Planned (originally) to fly to Frisco, then go TAP straight shot to Lisbon. We aren't sure with the recent changes on TAP airlines (deduction in pilots/staff), how that might impact our plans. 

Will be anxious to hear from you on your travels and how your experience was with your little shorties flying. 🙂

All the best

char

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 Bert
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(@bert)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 194

@charw23 Just an FYI. My flight from SFO to Lisbon end of April was cancelled last week due to you know what. I was refunded and wanted to re-book as I try to calculate the potential for pandemic idiocy to continue in the US and pick a date but looking online the direct flight does not start up from SFO until 6/2. Prices are very good. That is my favorite flight to Portugal. Great pilots. Good service. You leave at 4 pm and arrive in time for cafe and salgados

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Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

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@bert

Wow....very helpful in that end. Sorry about the cancelation and rescheduling. . Yes, timing on all things with COVID impact certainly make it a bit of a logistical nightmare. Are you flying TAP?

 Although our departure timing is mid-June to early July, this is all great info. Thanks so much for sharing! Hoping prices stay down and seats relatively empty.  😉

char

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 Bert
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(@bert)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 194

@charw23 Yes I fly TAP. Check out their miles program. They also have a miles credit card that I will check into (I believe through Millennium bank and maybe have to have a PT address, not sure) that is in euros so will be helpful while living and traveling in the EU. They fly a lot of places. I myself am hoping to rebook in June but since I am not moving until next year will all be covid dependent.

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Premium Member
(@davidiryna)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 59

@charw23 Thank you!

We will share our experience after we land in PT

 

Iryna

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Posts: 14
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(@tinad)
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Joined: 10 months ago

Hello,

We are planning moving our large 55lb poodle. It looks like there are no options other than in the cargo hold. We REALLY don't want to do this. We are coming from San Diego, a very long flight. I found somewhere that airlines won't transport animals more than 7 hours, is that incorrect? We've considered doing an 'adios America' road trip to Newark or NYC then catching a flight to Portugal. We fear our pup won't fall for the crate twice. 

Thank you for any insights.

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8 Replies
Premium Member
(@goldendoodle)
Joined: 1 month ago

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Posts: 16

@tinad were trying to arrange transport of our 2 dogs. A golden retriever and mini doodle. Does anyone know of a safe compassionate company? Worry more about my dogs than anything else in our move!

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Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 69

@goldendoodle 

Hi John. I'm not sure where you are from, but we had our 4 yr old Yellow Lab flown from Seattle to Lisbon with *Across the Pond*.

They flew him from SeaTac to Frankfurt,  he stayed the night at the Frankfurt Pet Lounge, then he flew from Frankfurt to Lisbon. 

They have all the details and local contacts,  etc. Happy to share the contact info if you like...just let me know. Our dog made it safely and is super happy to be with his peeps. 

All the best,

Char

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(@goldendoodle)
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@charw23 That is reassuring. We are in Dallas. I assume we'll pick up dogs in Lisbon?  Were the dogs transported in the cargo hold?

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(@charw23)
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Posts: 69

@goldendoodle 

Hey John,

Yes,  our lab was held in Cargo. He actually flew Lufthansa in a CARGO ONLY plane...direct to Frankfurt. Spent the night and depart in the a.m. in a person/pet plane. Due to his size, and the plane holding people...they limit those to between 3-5 pets in cargo. Pets are loaded last and are first off. Then they go through a pet customs broker. Takes about 2-3 hours.

Always recommend you get on ground about 2-3 days BEFORE you pets arrive...just in case of hiccups. 

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more, if you like. 

All the best,

Char

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Premium Member
(@goldendoodle)
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Posts: 16

@charw23 thanks for getting back. I’ve been worried more about my dogs than anything else!

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Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 1 year ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 69

@goldendoodle 

Good morning from Portugal. 

If you like, send me an email at:  cwarriner23@gmail.com, and I can reply in more detail. I am happy to share the process we used, the oortuguese broker that worked with our WA shipper, the cost, the cabbie in Lisbon that worked many logistics (including taking us to the proper pick up location for our dog), etc. Even getting the pet passport after you arrive. 

I know people could do it on their own.....but this was money well spent. I didn't care about our shipped goods...just my dog!

Of course...no obligation to reach out. But if you want our experience, I can share it. 

Have a great day

Char

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Premium Member
(@erykkarlgmail-com)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 1

@goldendoodle BE CAREFUL with your fur babies.  We just arrived Oct 1st, 2021.  We flew from California (LAX), stopped briefly in Frankfurt, Germany to change planes, then to Faro, Portugal.  We flew Lufthansa.  We transported 2 dogs, an 85 pound Airedale Terrier (Brooklyn), and a Chihuahua mix (Phoebe), both 9 1/2 years old.  Both were first time flyers and travelled in kennels under the plane, with the baggage.  Travel time was 15 hours + about 2 1/2 hours at the airport pre-flight. Both arrived stressed, dehydrated (our vet warned they probably would not drink, though they had water bottle affixed to their kennels).  Our Chihuahua mix was fine, upon inspection from the airport vet.  Our Airedale wouldn't exit the kennel, so she had to be pulled out.  She was unable to walk, no strength in her rear legs. Her right hip was rotated outward, we feared it was broken.  We held up her rear torso so the airport vet could examine her legs, he stretched and massaged them, thinking she had just spent to much time laying in the same position. He determined there didn't appear to be any broken bones.  Now a little history for Brooklyn (Airedale), she was an older dog and already having soreness in her hips, especially after a night's sleep, but she could walk before the flight.  The vet helped us get her outside after processing paperwork.  We had to use her blanket as a sling to support her rear torso, as she was immobile. After carrying her into our rental car, then our apartment, it was early evening, there was no change in her lack of mobility.  She drank bowl after bowl of water, while lying on the floor.  The next day we transported her to a local vet in Olhao, who did an exam and took x-rays.  There did not appear to be any broken bones in her legs, but they saw what looked like spinal cord damage in her back, which the vet believed was pinching a nerve, cutting off feeling to her rear legs, basically she was now lame.  We have no way to know if her kennel was dropped during transport, or exactly what happened. Medication and surgery were options, neither with any guarantee she would ever walk again.  She spent the previous night panting, expressing pain the only way she knew how.  This was the sweetest big teddy bear of a dog, who loved everyone she ever met, including animals.  We couldn't bare to see her continue in pain like this with no quality of life.  We made the heartbreaking decision no pet owner ever wants to make, and said our final goodbyes laying  on the floor of the vet's office with her as she took her final breaths. Not the introduction to Portugal our family had dreamed of, though no fault of the country itself.

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Community Member
(@aspidistra)
Joined: 3 months ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 186

@erykkarlgmail-com very sad and sadly not the only story I have heard about pets suffering really badly from long haul transportation.
I don’t say that to worry anyone, just to make people considering it think really, really carefully about whether it is the right thing to do to transport animals long distance. It can cause all sorts of problems for pets.

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