For the millions of people across the country who own one or more pets, summertime can be a bit of a problem. People have to go on vacations. What are they to do with their pets? Bringing pets along can be expensive; and putting pets up at up pet hotels can be even more expensive. People considering bringing their pets along on their vacations are spooked by news of how risky pet travel can be?a half-dozen puppies being transported on an American Airlines flight recently died of heat stroke and dehydration. There have been other reports as well of this kind. And anyway, each plane ride for a pet can end up costing $150. At the very minimum.
Not that leaving your pets home seems like much of an option; boarding services and pet sitters start at $50 a day. And these options don’t happen to be completely safe either. For instance, two years ago, a New York City pet boarding service was sued for killing a dog they were in charge of. Apparently they placed the dog in a cargo van with no air conditioning. So if you do wish to take your pets with you on your trip, here’s what you need to know about your options in pet travel.
At least 20% of America doesn’t trust its pets to pet care services. They take their pets with them when they travel. Cruises, trains and buses ban pets on board outright. So your only options happen to be getting wherever you want to go by car or by airplane.
Travel of any kind stresses pets out a great deal. Most airlines, before they will accept a pet, insist on a health certificate and documentary evidence of vaccinations having been done; and they need one that’s very recent too. But even if they didn’t want those, it would be a good idea to visit a vet before any kind of trip. You need to personally know that your pet is up to all the stress involved.
Air cargo isn’t the best pet travel option. In fact, the cargo hold is where most accidents occur. The Department of Transportation gives you a great monthly chart of how many pets each airline in the country manages to kill. Look for the airlines that manage to achieve zero deaths, and take it from there. Airplane cargo holds do come with some amount of their conditioning. But it’s usually not much. Airlines will usually not accept pets when it’s very hot or very cold. Whatever the airlines?policies may be, make sure that you don’t personally take your pet out when the temperatures are extreme.
For people who really want to be careful, they could try Pet Airways, the only service of its kind in the country. They serve about a dozen cities across the country and they carry your pets right in the main passenger cabin. Pets are their only passengers.