Leaving on a Jet Plane
The days of asking the flight attendant if you can let your dog sit in the seat next to you or in your lap are over. Although small dachshunds may be allowed onboard in a proper carrier, you can't try to sneak two miniature puppies in one soft-sided carrier.
If your standard gained a pound and weighs more than the posted weight limit with her carrier, she will be denied passage with you. Does your dachsie's carrier measure a half inch wider than the allowable in-cabin requirements? Better buy a new carrier, or she'll be riding in cargo. If you're flying, there's no breaking of rules, no bending of rules, and no exceptions.
Do not put your dog and carrier through the x-ray machine for carry-on bags! Take your dog out of the carrier, snap on a leash, and carry her through the metal detector with you. Once the carrier has been cleared by security, you can put your dog back inside.
Know the Requirements
When booking your ticket, ask questions and have the answers verified and documented, if possible. It's very frustrating to have the ticket salesperson tell you one thing over the phone only to show up on the day of your flight and have another person tell you something different. Know the rules, and make sure you've got them correct.
All domestic flights will require that your dog has a current health certificate that states he is in good health, free of communicable disease, and current on all vaccinations. This certificate must be filled out and signed by your veterinarian no more than 10 days before your departing flight. If you delay your travel, you will need to have your veterinarian fill out a new health certificate.
Here are some in-cabin restrictions you'll want to ask the airline about prior to booking:
What is the weight limit for dog and carrier to fly in-cabin? (Note that airlines weigh dog and carrier together.)
What are the exact measurements for a carrier to be allowed under the seat, in-cabin?
What is the cost of the dog's passage? (This can range from $80 to $100 or more one way on domestic flights.)
If you are bumped from a flight and the replacement plane is a commuter that can't accommodate your carrier under the seat, will they book you on another flight at no extra cost?
Dachshunds can get just as tired when traveling as people do.
Making the Trip Easier
Most dogs seem to fly more easily than they travel in the car. Perhaps the motion is easier for them in a plane, and they certainly don't have a fear of flying. Your dog won't know the difference between being 30,000 feet in the air or 2 feet off the ground.
There are some things you can do to make your trip more comfortable for your dachshund. Don't ask your veterinarian for doggie sedatives. (A good vet won't give them to you anyway.) Tranquilizers and sedatives are reported to be dangerous for dogs riding on a plane, either in the cabin or in cargo, because of the pressurization.
Feed your dog roughly one-fourth of her regular meal and some water about two to four hours before you leave for the airport. If your dog has specific health issues that might be affected by limiting her food and water intake, consult with your veterinarian for the best way to handle the situation.
Also, bring along enough dog food and bottled water for a few days. You never know when you might get stuck somewhere, and this is not the time to be changing your dachshund's diet suddenly. Don't forget to bring a couple of collapsible, foldable bowls, too.
When traveling, keep your dog's medicines in your carry-on. This way, if your checked baggage is lost, your dog will not be without it. Keep a list of your dog's medications on hand in case they need to be refilled while you're traveling, as well as your veterinarian's phone number.
Potty breaks for your dachshund between flights are going to be difficult. Walking your dog at an airport usually requires you to leave the terminal and re-enter through security. Unless you have an exceptionally long layover, you simply won't have time. To help your dachsie, put several layers of pee pads in the crate, pulling them out as they are soiled or wet.
The airlines try very hard to make travel in cargo safe for animals. However, avoid flying your dog in cargo if at all possible. The cargo area is both pressurized and climate controlled, but it's still a very noisy area that some dogs find quite frightening. If you must travel with your dog in cargo, do whatever you can to book a direct, nonstop flight. This way, there is less risk that your dog will be exposed to extreme temperatures while waiting to be transferred from one plane to the other. Also, make sure you've met all the airline's requirements as far as the dog's kennel, labeling, and other instructions.
Currently, unless your dachshund is a service dog, he will not be allowed on any trains, buses, boats, or other public transportation in the United States. In Europe and other countries, it is not at all unusual to see a dog board a train with his owner. If you are traveling abroad with your dachshund, make sure you know where he will be allowed to travel and where he won't.
For the safety of the dog traveling in the cargo hold, the crate must meet certain USDA standards. Since baggage could very well topple over onto the dog's crate with a sudden shift in the plane, the crate must be a hard-shell plastic carrier that is USDA approved for air travel.
The USDA's requirements include three sides with ventilation (including door) for domestic flights; four sides of ventilation for international flights; a one-inch spacer bar around the kennel; a door that locks and is secure but doesn't require special tools to open, and a waterproof bottom. Check with the airlines for a complete list of requirements. If you are uncertain about what is required, have the airline show you an example. You can also purchase carriers from the airlines themselves.