Picking the Dog up at the Airport


Take a towel or rag, bowel, jug of water and small garbage bag. The bowl is for water for the dog to be able to get a drink.  Water has two purposes, to rinse the puppy incase there is a mess in the crate and he got in it on him plus to give him a drink.  Please take enough water with you.  Then a trash bag to throw away the newspapers that may have the mess on it plus you may want to throw away the smelly rag since you do not want to smell all of that while you are driving home.  We always put newspapers or something absorbent in the bottom of the shipping crate.

If you are picking up an adult dog, then it would be best to take along some hot dogs or some other "goodies" the adult dog will respond to. You want to make friends as quickly as possible. Remember you are a stranger to the dog.  He does not know he is now owned by you so do NOT expect the dog to respond to you right away. You must earn his love and respect.

Do NOT feed a regular meal right away even though the dog or puppy may act very hungary because the movement from the trip could cause bloat or torque. These can be fatal situations.

Don't forget to take a pair of scissors with you to the airport when you are receiving a dog.  You will need the scissors to cut the plastic zip ties off the crate so the crate door will open. Once you have the door open then you will need to have a leash and choker handy so you can immediately have a way of controlling the dog until he knows you.  So, don't forget the leash and choker and not to let the dog out of the crate until AFTER you have the choker placed around the neck of the dog.  The dog will thank you for getting him out of the crate so quickly, instead of waiting until you get it home.  But be ready because he may try to bolt and run away in happiness of his freedom from the crate and the noise of the airplane's engines.


Before leaving for the airport, call the airlines to make sure the dog made the transfer from the one airplane flight to the next. It is best to call the airlines about half an hour after the flight was suppose to leave on the leg of the flight coming to you. Make sure you have the air way bill number with you when you call. If your dog is arriving via special handling such as Delta Dash or US AIR PDQ or Continental Counter to Counter, double check where you are suppose to pick up the dog since some airlines have you go to the main terminal or baggage claim while other airlines have you go to the cargo building which is usually located out of the terminal building and quite a distance from the airport itself, much too far to walk.  It is best to call ahead of time the airline the dog is arriving with in order to double check where to go so you do not waste time at the airport even if the dog is shipped regular cargo.

If you are not going to be the one picking the dog up, then I need to know the name of the person who will be going to the airport because the airlines need to have that person's name because sometimes they will not release the dog unless it is in their computer that an alternate person will be picking up the dog.  You do not want the airlines to just turn the dog over to just anyone that shows up. If you provide me with the possible other person's name who might be picking up the dog, then we can avoid complications that could arise. Make sure whoever goes to the airport to receive the dog has proper identification with them.


The dog must be able to stand up and turn around completely and comfortably.
There must be two plastic C cups attached to the front crate door for the placement of food and water if needed while in flight.
There must be an absorbent bottom in the crate, such as newspaper or cardboard.
All sides of the crate must contain live animal or live dog labels.
The top of the crate must contain a small package of dog food if being shipped as regular cargo.
The airline info sheet must be filled out and attached to the top of the crate.
The interstate movement/health certificate along with rabies certificate must be presented at the airline ticket counter along with a copy for the airline's files.
If a letter of acclimation is required, it must be on a separate letterhead on veterinarian stationary with an inked signature of the veterinarian who inspected the dog.  If it is written on the health certificate, that will NOT be sufficient.
The acclimation letter must state the temperature regulation.
Make an extra copy of the interstate movement certificate for the airlines to keep and if you want one for your files then remember to make that extra copy.

Remember to take identification to the airport in order to pick up the dog.  If you are sending an alternate person not listed on the airway bill then call the airline if they will accept a fax from you granting authorization of pick to a third party.

As a matter of policy, we drill the crates to put the plastic zip ties through the holes created in the crate so the dog cannot get the door open and then be loose.  We usually do not do this when shipping puppies. So remember to take a pair of scissors with you to the airport.

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