You are going to travel by air with your West Highland White Terrier very soon. You are stressed and have many questions… Which airline will accept my West Highland White Terrier? What documents and procedures are required? Under what conditions will my West Highland White Terrier travel by air? What equipment is needed to transport my West Highland White Terrier by air?
You are right to anticipate because flying with your West Highland White Terrier implies a preparation sufficiently in advance to avoid any problems at the airport and that everything goes well.
This article is here to tell you how to prepare and organize your trip and give you some tips about flying with your West Highland White Terrier.
Which airline will accept a West Highland White Terrier?
Before booking your flight ticket, it is important to check whether the airline accepts dogs. In fact, some companies such as Easyjet, Ryan Air do not accept dogs. Others limit the number of animals allowed on a flight. Other companies will have age and destination country requirements (See our study: The best airline to travel with an West Highland White Terrier). Dog’s breed is also taken into account. For example, small nosed breeds are not allowed by many airlines and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation recommends not to fly.
Therefore, it is recommended to check directly with the Company to see if they accept your West Highland White Terrier and under what conditions.
If your flight is very long, try to limit your trip to a single stopover so that your West Highland White Terrier is less disturbed.
And if you travel with several airlines, make sure they all apply the same conditions of carriage for your West Highland White Terrier.
Once you have booked your ticket, as a precaution, remember to call the airline at least 72 hours before your flight to confirm the presence of your West Highland White Terrier.
How much does a flight ticket cost with a West Highland White Terrier?
The cost will depend on the Company, the weight and the size of your West Highland White Terrier. Generally, for a cabin flight, airlines apply an additional cost corresponding to the price of a second piece of luggage: between 20 and 60 $ for a one-way ticket. And for cargo hold flight, depending on the airlines, fares can vary between €50 and €100 for a one-way ticket.
What documents and procedures are required for a flight with a West Highland White Terrier?
Whichever airline you choose or the country of destination, your West Highland White Terrier must be chipped and present your health certificate with his updated vaccinations. A European passport will be required if you are European and travelling with your West Highland White Terrier in Europe. Therefore, it will be necessary to make an appointment with your veterinarian, who will be able to check your vaccinations and provide you with the European passport (if needed).
It will then be necessary to make a final appointment with the vet 5 to 10 days before departure (see according to the airline) to request the health certificate. This document is obligatory because it certifies that your West Highland White Terrier is healthy and fit to travel.
You should also note that for some destinations, you will need to take additional steps or provide additional documents. Ask the consulate of the country of destination about the documents necessary for your West Highland White Terrier to enter the country (vaccines, specific certificate, possible quarantines or restrictions).
How will your West Highland White Terrier travel by air?
Transporting dogs in the cabin
There are companies that don’t accept dogs in the cabin. However, most airlines do accept small dogs in the cabin. However, the maximum weight allowed in the cabin varies from company to company.
Also check if your West Highland White Terrier puppy can travel in the cabin, as some companies require a minimum age and maximum weight.
In general in Europe, if your dog weighs less than 4 kg (8 kg for Air France), he will be allowed to travel in a cabin with you. In United States, majority of airlines require that your dog and carrier together not weigh more than around 20 pounds.
Your dog will have to be put into a carrier (see below for the equipment we recommend). This bag must be sufficiently ventilated to allow your pet to get up and turn around. You must be able to slide into the space under the seat in front of you. Dimensions approved by the majority of American airlines: 19 x 13 x 9 inches.
Transporting your West Highland White Terrier in the cargo hold
Beyond the maximum weight authorized by the Companies, dogs must travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft. For your West Highland White Terrier to travel in the hold, you will need a IATA certified travel crate (see conditions on https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/live-animals/pets/Pages/index.aspx).
The crate of your West Highland White Terrier must also be labelled with your contact details, destination and the identification number (chip number) of your West Highland White Terrier. The crate should be large enough so that your West Highland White Terrier can stand, sit and lie down comfortably and turn around easily (See our recommendations for the best crate below).
Very important: Plan to install a good blanket so your West Highland White Terrier is warm and a large, stable bowl filled with water so he can drink during transport hours.
On one stopover, according to the airlines, you should collect your West Highland White Terrier and check it in on the second flight. Therefore, you will need at least 4 hours between the two flights to make your West Highland White Terrier time to walk and do your business outside the airport, but also to get you drunk. Some airlines may offer to take over this logistics.
To prevent your West Highland White Terrier from becoming too stressed, you may want to consider a sedative. But be careful that you’re not asleep because some companies refuse to ship a sleeping dog. Ask your vet for advice beforehand.
Typically, the travel crate is delivered to the large baggage drop-off point or given by an airport agent in a trolley.
It is not unusual for dogs to vomit during the flight and to have soiled their transport boxes. So make sure you have something to clean up when he arrives.
After the big hug, give your West Highland White Terrier something to drink and go through customs formalities, respecting those that will be specific to dogs.
Equipment required for a flight of a West Highland White Terrier
IATA-approved travel crate for cargo hold
Among all the cargo crates approved by IATA, this is the one we have selected for its many qualities and its very low price : SportPet Designs Plastic Kennels Rolling Plastic Wire Door Travel Dog Crate.
This model is perfect in terms of safety for your West Highland White Terrier: no angles, corners or pieces of metal that protrude and can damage it. The structure is stable and robust. Its design is perfect for your West Highland White Terrier to travel comfortably in the cargo hold.
High quality, good size, robust, practical… I have note many eloquent comments like this woman who describes this cage as being practical and robust. She says that the door opens easily, that it is spacious and perfect for her dog! IATA” certified, many users recommend it for its very secure and solid closing system.
Approved carrier for cabin – Best travel bag for your West Highland White Terrier puppy
Here is one of the best transport bags to travel with a doggy in the cabin : PETTOM Pet Rolling Carrier Backpack Dog
Quite spacious, this approved carrier for cabin travel, is ideal for your puppy to feel good and comfortable. This bad fit perfectly in the space under the seat and is airy enough for a long trip. Airline compliant dimensions: Up to 17 Pounds : 16.9″L x 11.8″W x 16.9″H, accepted by Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta, Virgin, Alaska, Frontier, Allegiant, United…
This bag is very practical because with its straps, it has the function of a backpack and with its wheels, it can easily be used as a trolley or with its handle, it can be carried like a simple bag.
So you have several options for carrying your pet easily.
Many opinions indicate that this carrier is of high quality. I noticed in the notes that the base is rigid but the bag is also comfortable. Others claim that this bag is well ventilated and the latch inside is useful to hook to the dog’s collar to keep him from abruptly jumping out or otherwise escaping when you open the backpack.