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Travel Ask yourself these questions before flying with your dog or cat

23:20  08 december  2019
23:20  08 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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"If your dog or cat is likely to suffer no matter the mode of travel, they are probably best left at home," says Aimee Gilbreath, executive director at Michelson Found Animals, which created a free national microchip registry. "If you suspect that your pet will be uncomfortable while flying , have a trusted

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On a recent flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Dave Terry almost tripped over a 70-pound Labrador Retriever every time he stepped into the aisle to use the bathroom. After six hours of sitting next to the otherwise well-behaved canine passenger, he wondered why on earth people fly with dogs.

a person and a dog sitting on a car seat: Our dog Penny is family — not cargo. Animals die when airlines treat them like objects.© Provided by USA TODAY Our dog Penny is family — not cargo. Animals die when airlines treat them like objects.

It turns out that question – should I fly with my pet? – sharply divides pet owners and other passengers.

A "free trip" for your pet?

Terry, who works for an aluminum railing manufacturer in Pomona, California Calif., says the dog's owner claimed the white lab was an emotional support animal. But for him, and the other passengers on the plane, it felt more like a safety hazard, he says.

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Has Your Pet Traveled Before ? Taking a dog who has never flown before on a cross-country adventure It can take cats and dogs a few weeks to get acclimated to a new environment, Kaplan said In addition to asking yourself these important questions , it’s always best to check with your

For this reason, some airlines will not allow brachycephalic dogs or cats to be checked and placed in the cargo hold. What to Do Before Flying With Your Dog or Cat . Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments.

"I love dogs and understand some people have special needs," he says. "But after watching it, I'm not sure what support it provided the owner. It looked more like a free trip for the dog."

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation tightened some of its rules about service animals. Among some of the policy changes, it gave the green light for airlines to ask passengers traveling with a service animal to provide documentation related to vaccination, training or behavior.

Flying with an emotional support animal? This DOT guidance might help you

The policy shift has made air travelers pay more attention to the issue than at any other time. They're asking tough questions about the benefits of air travel to animals. For them, the answer to: "Should I fly with my pet" is "no."

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Is air travel good for animals?

The new policies come at an interesting time. A recent survey by Trupanion, a medical insurance company for pets, found that 1 in 5 pet owners travel with their animal companions. Most of them (37%) travel by car, but a significant number (18%) fly with their pets. An unknown subset of those passengers falsely claims their pets are "service" animals, although Tupanion didn't ask about them.

Even so, there's a more fundamental question pet owners should ask, experts say.

"Travel can be stressful for pets," says Jo Gale, a manager for scientific advocacy at Mars Petcare. "So, before you plan your next trip, it's important to ask: Will both my pet and I have a good time if we travel?"

I interviewed dozens of experts about air travel with pets. And while there are several benefits to human passengers – companionship being the most obvious – they couldn't name one benefit to the animal. I couldn't find any veterinarians who recommended traveling with animals. Also, there's no credible record of a cat, dog, or miniature horse, ever asking to fly.

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Before considering flying with a large dog as cargo, be sure to ask all of the questions listed in this blog post to ensure the safest journey for your pet and to give you peace of mind. It is possible to fly with a large dog if you take the upfront measures to make it the best experience possible for your dog .

Time to stop flying with pets?

But there's another side to this story. What about the millions of allergy sufferers? For them, flying in a confined space with an animal could trigger a potentially deadly allergic reaction.

When the Department of Transportation solicited comments about animals on planes last year, the allergy sufferers made their presence known. And they raised a valid question: Whose rights are more important? The allergy sufferer's – or the pet owner's?

It's time to seriously consider making the main cabin off-limits to animals. If an animal must fly, find a place for it in the cargo hold, where it can't bite anyone or trigger an allergic reaction.

Even the experts admit the idea may have some merit. Jeff Franklin, a dog expert who owns Cobra Canine, a dog training business, says he's decided to keep his dog, Abigail, at home when he flies. Franklin says too many people have abused the airline's permissive rules about service animals and are not thinking about their pet's welfare.

"In the end, I made the decision to do what I think is best for Abigail, especially as she has aged, and not for myself which would be to have her with me all the time," he says.

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If your dog is shy, intimidated by crowds, aggressive, or highly anxious in new situations, flying – or even extended travel with your pet -- may not According to USDA regulations, your pet must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned for five days in order to travel by air. 5. Will your dog fly with you

If you put the animal's welfare first, you already know the answer to the question, "Should I fly with my pet?" Once you consider your pet's best interests, it's almost impossible to board a plane with your animal companion.

"If your dog or cat is likely to suffer no matter the mode of travel, they are probably best left at home," says Aimee Gilbreath, executive director at Michelson Found Animals, which created a free national microchip registry. "If you suspect that your pet will be uncomfortable while flying, have a trusted friend or family member look after them instead or choose a pet boarding facility that suits your pet's needs and personality."

How to know if you should fly with your pet

Here are a few questions you should ask before bringing your dog or cat on your next flight:

How much will it cost? Clayton Lopez and his wife, Janelle paid $150 for each of their cats to accompany them on a trip to Costa Rica. That didn't include the price of vaccinations. It was an eventful trip for the couple, which writes an adventure travel blog. "Both cats lost at least five pounds and overall, they gained more anxiety and were less happy," says Lopez. "We'll never travel with our cats again."

Do you know your dog? You should have some idea of how your pet will react by being enclosed in a pressurized aluminum tube. Also, consider how long the trip will take and the facilities available to you, says Amy Tokic, editor of PetGuide.com. If you're traveling for more than two weeks to somewhere that's pet-friendly, "by all means, bring your pet," she adds.

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When flying with a dog in-cabin make sure to prepare beforehand so that your flight is stress-free Never feed your dog something new before boarding your flight. An upset stomach on a plane can They might also ask you to bring a vest for your dog or a service-type leash. This is not required by

These tips for flying with pets can help keep your dog , cat , guinea pig or other pet safe during a flight. For your pet’s protection, make sure you do your homework before flying with a pet. If you know the rules and your rights, you may be able to avert a tragic mistake like the one that killed poor

Does doggie get stressed? "If your dog loves to go in the car or fly on the plane without causing them to be stressed, then bring them along," says Sara Ochoa, a small animal and exotic veterinarian and a veterinary consultant for doglab.com. But bear in mind that it's not just flying, but also hotels and a new location. If that freaks out your dog, then keep it home.

Related video: Doris Day Owned One of the Most Pet-Friendly Hotels (Provided by Inside Edition)

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