The Choice to Travel with a Pet
Traveling with a furry friend by plane may sound stressful for you and your pet, or even impossible. Not to worry, though, as many flights do allow pets and provide accommodations for them. The first step to take is to weigh the pros and cons of taking your pet with you. If it is a permanent move for which you are taking a flight, the choice most likely comes down to whether or not you will ever see your pet again. If it is going to be a long vacation or business trip away from your pet but a long-term pet sitter or caretaker can be arranged, flying with your pet may not be the best choice for you. If you do decide to take your pet along, research the airline or airlines you are considering. Complaints from other people about taking their pets with them are red flags. Knowing that an airline will treat your pet with the utmost kindness and care will put you at ease about taking Fido along for the flight.
Discuss the Decision with a Medical Professional
Talk to your veterinarian first. This is important because your dog or cat may have a condition that would prevent them from flying. Seeking expert advice may prevent any major problems with a pet’s flight. The pet should be evaluated thoroughly to make sure flying is a safe choice. Some pets may have an illness or other issue that may flair up during an airplane ride. Or, the confined setting and lack of attention while on a plane may exacerbate a pet’s pre-existing condition. Checking with your pet’s doctor about these potential issues and risks before taking them on an airplane is a very good idea.
What to Expect for Your Pet
The overall experience of a pet on an airplane is not usually a good one, but discomfort can be minimized if you take the steps described above into consideration before boarding. Often, pets that weigh more than twenty pounds have to be transported as cargo on an airplane. The cargo area is held at a proper temperature and it is pressurized for the animals in crates. There are risks to a pet’s health and even the possibility of death, but usually a pet will be a bit uncomfortable but okay during brief travel. Try to make the pet’s crate holder as comfortable as possible with some padding and a favorite toy to keep him occupied during the flight. Also make sure that your pet is properly hydrated before flying in a plane. Expect and prepare for your pet to be uncomfortable and maybe even distressed after the flight. Hopefully, this will pass after he gets to stretch his legs and breathe some fresh air once the plane lands. Overall, your pet can be transported safely. Always do your research before putting a pet through such a journey. A healthy, young dog can usually make it through a flight unscathed.