Going out on a vacation with your dog? You should consider other options on traveling with your dog. This is because if you think flying is stressful, just imagine how your dog might feel when packed in a cargo hold of a commercial plane. Air travel is not just stressful to your dog, but dangerous as well. The loud noise, and fluctuating temperatures in the cabin hold is a very dangerous place for your pet. They can get injured or be lost completely.
In 2011, 35 pets died while traveling on a commercial flight with U.S Airline companies. And in 2012, 29 pets died, 26 injured and one was. These numbers are small as the total of two million animals travel on commercial flights each year, but it only takes one tragic accident to turn the family upside down.
Moreover, the task of finding a flight with an airline that accepts animal on board is challenging. Small animals may be allowed to ride on the cabin as long as the container can fit under the seat. So, if you have a dog that is medium or large sized, they'll be put on the cargo hold. And we all know how dangerous it is for your pet do be in the cargo hold.
A flight with an airline that accepts animal on board is challenging. Small animals may be allowed to ride on the cabin as long as the container can fit under the seat. So, if you have a dog that is medium or large sized, they'll be put on the cargo hold. And we all know how dangerous it is for your pet do be in the cargo hold.
Your dog is at risk from the time you check it in with the baggage handlers to the time that it reaches to your final destination. One instance is when your dog is sent to a wrong place due to a routing error. Being separated from your pet may be problematic. Additionally, weather conditions pose a significant threat to pets traveling on cargo. Your pet may be left in extreme heat or cold while handlers transport them into airplanes from the tarmac. Even after loading, your pet may suffer from extreme heat or cold before the climate control kicks in.
The flight alone is not the dangerous part of the trip, it's where they are in the plane that is very dangerous. First, an unexpected change of temperature and pressure control may subject your pet to deadly condition. It's a small chance, but the transport container may be damaged leading to the accidental breaking and opening of the container; thus a possibility to escape from its kennel.
How to Minimize The Risk of Flying with Your DogThere are other means to travel with your pet like via car or on a ship, but if you have no other choice than to fly by plane it is possible to minimize the risks mentioned above - you simply need to do your homework before flying.
- Know that snub-nosed dogs are not allowed to fly. Pugs, boxers, and bulldogs are brachycephalic whose physiology impairs their respiration particularly in hot conditions. These animals have breathing problems when placed under stressful conditions and there is a high risk of in-flight suffocation as a result.
- Visit your vet first to make sure that your pet is allowed to fly. Airlines require medical records of your pet too so its best to keep these medical records updated before you decide to fly with your dog.
- Don't fly on direct summer months.
- If possible, arrange only for direct flights. Transfers can increase the chance of delays which can cause a lot of stress to your pets. Also there's a higher chance that you'll encounter mishaps like your pet being sent to the wrong destination.
- Check in your pet into the baggage hold. Remind the airline staff and baggage handlers that there is a live animal on board to ensure gentle handling.
- Buy a pet space in the passenger cabin. This depends on your pet's size. If you have a Golden Retriever for example, they aren't allowed in the cabin.
Is it really worth the risk of taking your pet on a flight? If not then consider other traveling options. Better yet, just leave them at home where they will be safe.