Transporting small dog by ship

I’m starting to think about moving to a foreign country to retire. Ecuador and Portugal are at the top of my list. I know that sea transport is possible for my small dog from America to Europe, but I’m unable to find anything on this topic to get down to Ecuador. I fear my doggie wouldn’t survive being transported by airplane. Anyone know of sea transport options from USA? Tia!

Dear Mtbcogirl,

Welcome to the Ecuador forums of expat.com...

Transporting your pet by ship typically means more time in the cargo hold for him or her. 
You apparently need to do more research before assuming that the transport-by-ship idea
is preferable.

"Flying your pet is as safe as flying yourself." according to the web page www.airpetsamerica.com/flying-dog-safe .... 
"Many people are misinformed about and lack all the facts about flying a dog."

---

FYI, United Airlines has suspended its PetSafe pet transport program, according to
the airline's update from July.  One reason the airline gave for this is travel restrictions during covid.
Google... united airlines petsafe

cccmedia

A while back, The Washington Post ran a comprehensive article titled
"Alternatives to Flying With Your Pet..." (dated April 27, 2018).

At that time, according to the report, only one cruise line, Cunard,
offered dog transport .. and at the steep price of $800 or more per "kennel."

And that's not saying Cunard was transporting dogs aboard its ships ..
to Ecuador.

www.washingtonpost.com

cccmedia

My sister who lives in BC Canada regularly brings her 2 dogs to  Mexico by air.  No problems.  Much I suspect depends on size but I have seen lots of dogs, even large ones, at airports.

Actually, on the ship to Europe dogs aren’t in a cargo hold. They’re in an area where they can play with other dogs with caretakers present and I could see her throughout the journey. I’m trying to avoid putting her in a cargo hold. I may just have to charter a private yacht or something if I end up in Ecuador. Thanks for the info though.

You might be able to fly in cabin with a small dog and save a bundle.  We have a medium sized dog that flew in air container.  He got to Ecuador the day after we arrived but cost us over $3K.  Mucho dinero I know.

Mtbcogirl :

Actually, on the ship to Europe dogs aren’t in a cargo hold. They’re in an area where they can play with other dogs with caretakers present and I could see her throughout the journey. I’m trying to avoid putting her in a cargo hold.

Really?  You could see your dog throughout the journey?  Aren't they kenneled overnight on a long voyage by ship?

Dottore Luke:

Good idea. I think she’s borderline...about 22 pounds but she could easily lose a few pounds if that meant she could be in the cabin with me. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

Just give the dog a shot to calm them, then put them in the hold. They are a dog, they will be fine.  Unless you are in Australia the flight time isn't so bad

user159 :

Just give the dog a shot to calm them, then put them in the hold. They are a dog, they will be fine.

This advice is debatable.

The OP said she doesn't want her dog in the hold.

Predicting an animal "will be fine" on a long flight is a stretch.  Air pressure and temperature already affect dogs in flight;  sedating may lead to problems at a time when there is no vet supervision.  A dog may lose its balance if sedated.  (Source for this paragraph: doghealth.com)

The airlines ban certain dogs.  For instance, I found dog breed no-fly lists at bustle.com, which surveyed many airlines.  Here is a partial list of dogs banned from flying on Delta, as of August of 2019....

    -- Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Some Spaniels, Lhasa Apso, 
       Pit Bull, Pug, Shih Tzu.

Other dogs should not fly for various reasons:  age, weakness, illness, short snouts
not suitable for breathing on a plane flight, problems being around other dogs.

The OP has not revealed the breed of her dog .. or why she feared her pet
"wouldn't survive" being transported by air.  She might want to consider disclosing such if she posts again.

cccmedia

Thanks CCCMedia.  She's a rescue dog and is very very nervous and scared in unfamiliar circumstances.  I've also read horror stories about dogs not surviving airplane transport.  She will be older when/if I do move to Ecuador.  Just trying to investigate all options at the moment...another option would be to wait until she passes.  :-( 

Thanks again for your input and info!

CCCmedia... forgot...she's a dachshund mix...about 22 pounds.

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