How young is too young to fly?

This Forum contains guidelines and helpful tips contributed by Pilots N Paws members to help with the rescue transport process.

How young is too young to fly?

Postby marisa on Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:36 pm

What are the risks involved with transporting babies?

Is there an age limit for safety reasons?
Last edited by marisa on Fri May 01, 2009 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby admin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:29 pm

Hi,

Regarding age limits, it is always best to check with your veterinarian. I have personally been told that it is best not to fly puppies under the age of 3 weeks. Maybe some of the vets who are on our forum board will chime in and give their opinion.

Good question, thanks for asking!

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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby delmarpuppyrescue on Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:36 pm

We have flown 2-3 week old pups before. They were coming a distance that would have been too hard on them if they had to come by car. The shelter was in dire need - over capacity and the mom and pups were to be PTS that afternoon if we didn't get them out. I don't really like flying dogs that young, but it was that or death and our vet didn't see a problem with it under the circumstances so we did it. I honestly have to say that they came through much better off than the pups that age that we've done ground transport with. They were on a plane for 4.5 hours as opposed to being in a car for 10-12 hours. They arrived cleaner and in better shape because of the shorter time frame. Everyone including Momma adjusted beautifully and are now living the good life in their forever homes.
Hope this helps...
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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby MidABHR on Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:32 pm

I also checked with one of our veterinarians recently because a pregnant basset mix we were to fly on a Sunday delivered on the Friday before the flight. The vet stated as long as the dogs were flying in a pressurized cabin, which they would have been given it was a private plane, they would be fine to fly at about 2 weeks. The key was not to stress out the mother and make sure that the puppies temperatures were maintained since they are not able to regulate their body temerature until about 4 weeks.

We made the decision to keep the dogs in a kennel until they are 4 weeks old for optimal health.

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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby admin on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:01 pm

Suzanne,

I agree with you, that waiting until they are 4 weeks old is the optimum. I also uderstand that sometimes this just isn't possible if you need to move young puppies now in order for them to escape being euthanized.

One correction, most small aircraft do not have pressurized cabins. Some do, but the majority do not. However, with pups aboard, pilots may be able to maintain an altitude that will be condusive to good oxygen flow for the pups. Keeping them warm is definitely a priority and following your own vets advice is the safest way to go. Flying young pups is certainly less stressful then a long car transport, we just want to make certain everyone checks with their vet and gets the ok.

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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby Jon on Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:17 pm

With any animals, especially those who may be more affected by sudden altitude changes or high altitudes, the pilot is likely to be aware of the physiological needs and all that is required is to limit altitudes and use slow climbs and descents.

As Debi mentioned a pressurized cabin is ideal, but if the aircraft is not pressurized the pilot can still be very careful and I doubt if there will be any issues. I tell air traffic control of the need for slow descents and I have never been refused.
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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby lvpets2002 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:48 pm

My question is has or does anyone fly with young or older phisical handicapp babies??
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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby Jon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:36 pm

I assume you mean animals as opposed to humans.

I have flow animals on both ends of the scale. Seniors, very young pups, and handicapped animals. If I have any reason to suspect potential problems I limit my rates of climb and descent and hold my cabin altitude to as low as possible so the animals are not affected.

I have not seen or heard of any ill effects. I suspect if the animals are OK for ground transport they are OK for flight as long as the pilot controls altitudes or altitude changes.
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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby lvpets2002 on Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:46 pm

Yes that was my main concern is making sure to the pilot controls altitude & or changes.. With CH babies that is a bigg must..
Jon wrote:I assume you mean animals as opposed to humans.

I have flow animals on both ends of the scale. Seniors, very young pups, and handicapped animals. If I have any reason to suspect potential problems I limit my rates of climb and descent and hold my cabin altitude to as low as possible so the animals are not affected.

I have not seen or heard of any ill effects. I suspect if the animals are OK for ground transport they are OK for flight as long as the pilot controls altitudes or altitude changes.
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Re: How young is too young to fly?

Postby Hawkhorn on Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:00 pm

Small aircraft pilots should not get too concerned over the pressurization issue. You guys flying the pressurized ships, please confirm this. Pressurization usually only brings the atmosphere back to the equivalent of 5000-7000 MSL. Most small aircraft flyers stay in those levels anyway. Keep the climb and descent rate reasonable and the cabin temperature comfortable and all should be well. Let your vet's opinion rule the day.
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