There is No Guarantee that Air Travel is Safe for Your Pet
Sure, it can be safe to travel by air with your pet, but there are no guarantees, and your experience may vary widely others.
The best bet, if your trip requires air travel leaving your pet at home in the care of a qualified person or pet sitter.
Not an option and you must fly with your pet, then it is important to know how it works.
The pet cargo area on most aircraft is temperature, and pressure-controlled, the conditions can shift in filght.
A study by the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science showed that cargo hold temperatures shift by 50 degrees or more during most flights. On 50% of the flights studied, the cargo area reached 85 degrees, which is a whole lot warmer than the temperature in the passenger cabin.
And 15% of the time, the cargo hold dropped to 45 degrees.
But, what may be more dangerous than the cargo hold itself is what happens to your dog or cat before and after boarding the plane.
This can be a risky time for your pet during air travel.
Dr. Laurie S. Coger, told USA Today: “Most injuries, escapes or deaths occur on the ground … Heat stroke, injuries due to crates being dropped or broken, or other mishaps are most likely during loading and unloading …
The reason many airlines restrict travel during hot or cold times is the lack of climate control while waiting to board the plane.
… Tarmacs can get blazingly hot or dangerously cold, putting a pet sitting in an airline crate at great risk. Some airlines have climate-controlled pet areas where pets are held until they board.
Always ask what an airline’s procedures are for pets that are waiting to board, and for when they are unloaded.”
So, if your are planning to put your pet on a plane, be sure your dog or cat is acclimated to his carrier/crate well ahead of time, and think 2X before administering a sedative, which may cause potentially dangerous changes in heart rate, function and balance.
To help reduce anxiety naturally, consider giving flower essences orally before, during (if you are carrying your animal with you in the passenger cabin) and after travel. Mist the air around the carrier with pet-friendly essential oils a few days before travel.
No matter what type of travel you are planning, prepare, it is Key. Identify ER clinics along the way, and be sure your hotel or campground allows pets and that you have planned for pit stops along the way if you are traveling in your car or RV.
You should pack a bag for your dog too, including items such as:
The items to include in your pet’s “bag”, as follows:
- A basic 1st-Aid kit
- An extra collar and ID tag
- A copy of your pet’s medical file in print form or on a thumb drive
- Their bed, or towels or blankets for bedding and a couple of favorite toys
- Bowls, food and treats, along with extra bottled water
It is also a good practice to plan some extra time into your travel itinerary, because traveling with pets may call for unexpected, and extended, stops.
The extra efforts, precautions and preparation will pay off, and you and your pet will share adventures and happy memories to last a lifetime
It is Officially Summer, enjoy your vacation travels to the fullest.