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If anyone has gone through this process before, could you please give some details about it? paperwork, cost, safety, experiences, how the dog handled it etc? Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

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An adult GS will have to be check as baggage. Costs vary by airline, sometimes by the pound, sometimes just by crate size. While some accidents happen, I think airlines have improved their handling of pets in the last decade.

Well before you go, go to the Germany embassy website and find out what forms and medical requirements you need to bring your dog into their country. You will need a permanent form of identification, ie microchip or tattoo.

If your dog flies on the same flight as you it's as checked baggage, if it flies on a separate flight, it's considered cargo. Prices and procedures are different, but as "baggage" is the better option, I think.

The dogs travel in a climate controlled area and the reservation needs to be made when you make your reservation. If the temperatures at either boarding or landing are extreme, you dog may not be allowed to fly.

http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/pets.html

http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/04__Legal/02__Directory__Services/06__Customs/Pets/__Pets.html
 

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Thank you Carole for sending me on the right direction. I really should know how to figure this out for myself, but was sitting in front of the computer yesterday with my mind all over the place and overwhelmed and could not figure out where to start. This will help a lot.

At this point I am not even sure I will go, but my father is battling cancer yet again, and it may a be a while before he can travel again. I am trying to figure out how I can get myself over there for a while with all the responsibilities that keep me here.
 

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Not a problem. I've been looking into this for a couple of years now. Both for taking my dog to The Netherlands for a breed gathering, and for bringing a puppy back from Europe. I think I've spent hours researching, so I'm happy to share.

You can check other airlines by going the their main website and typing "dogs" into their search box. When you think you know exactly which flight, phone a live reservationist and ask your questions for up to date information. Then you can make your reservation online (cheaper), and then you'll have to call back again to make the dog's reservation. And the reservation ensures that the airline knows a dog is coming and the heating will be turned on in advance.

I read one story that a flight was delayed because the crew didn't find out about the dog until the last minute and they had to heat up the cargo area for it.

Don't forget, direct flights whenever possible. Dogs have been known to get lost when connections are missed due to late flights. I plan to drive 4 hours to a major airport so I have a direct flight to Germany. (One poor dog missed a flight connection to Hawaii and ended up spending 30 hours in her crate. She was a mess when the owners finally found her. Of course, the flight crew told them (lied) that the dog was already onboard, then when they landed in Hawaii, nobody knew where the dogs was.) I don't know what coast you are on, but flights from the midwest are 8 to 9 hours which is fine for an adult dog.
 
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