There are approximately 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million owned cats in the United States, according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association Survey.
For many animal owners, their pets are like family members that travel with them wherever they go. But the ASPCA urges pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo. Pet owners are urged to find their furry friends temporary housing and only fly with them as a last resort.
Most airlines that offer pet travel programs allow smaller pets in-cabin, but larger animals are usually send in cargo holds. If you are planning on taking your pet on a plane Animal Doctor Jonathan Wald says you will need to take them to the veterinarian and get a health certificate.
“That’s a document that is required by the airlines before you can board a pet,” Wald says.
If your pet will go in a cargo hold, he recommends you freeze a bowl of water and put that in the kennel so the animal has a supply of liquid while in-flight. The veterinarian also warns that owners of certain breeds of dogs should be extra careful. He says breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs, which have short noses, are more “susceptible to breathing problems, especially at high altitudes and in environments that may become excessively hot or cold.”
If you would like more information on steps to take before you board a plane with your pet the ASPCA has compiled a checklist of “Air Travel Tips.”
For information on the pet travel programs different airlines offer visit the following links: