Vehicle Shipping Recommended as Alternative by Animal Professionals
It’s a fair question: Should you try to bring your pets with you on an airline flight or have them transported by vehicle? While it may be quicker to stick them under your seat or in the plane’s cargo hold, both veterinarians and the ASPCA recommend finding alternatives. Here’s why:
Your pets won’t have the same comforts as you. If they weigh 20 lbs. or less, pets can ride underneath your seat in an airline-approved carrier, but are not allowed to leave the carrier for any reason, including giving medication, feeding or accidents. Couple that restriction with the anxiety and confusion cats and dogs suffer while flying and you and your fellow passengers could be in for a long flight. Also, airlines consider your pet carrier your carry-on bag, so expect to check any luggage you’ll have.
It gets worse for pets if they can’t travel in the passenger area. The ASPCA has warned owners to find other means of transportation other than flying for all pets, but particularly larger animals. If your pets must travel in the plane’s cargo section, there are several limitations of which you should be aware. Most airlines won’t take cargo pets if conditions are too hot or too cold because of the health risk. Additionally, short-nosed dogs (like Bulldogs and Pugs) need special attention as they tend to have trouble breathing in certain conditions.
Also, airlines can limit the number of pets on a flight, so be mindful of this if you’re traveling to and from large pet exhibitions or competitions. If you are connecting flights, there is a chance of your pets getting lost in the shuffle and delaying your trip.
If they’re flying, every pet is required to have certain documentation that’s not necessarily needed for someone transporting your pets in a vehicle. Federal law requires a veterinarian’s health certificate, issued within 10 days before the flight, as well as proof of a current rabies vaccine. Puppies and kittens must also be at least eight weeks old to fly, and the American Veterinarian Association has advised pet owners to not administer sedatives during a flight due to the risk of nausea.
Instead of flying, consider hiring an online driver to transport your pets. They will get personal attention along the way: Dogs are walked, litter boxes are kept fresh and feeding and medication schedules are followed. Some drivers have even been known to allow smaller dogs to ride out of their carrier, and you can request pictures and updates from the driver during the course of the delivery to put your mind at ease.
Flying will also become easier for you because the regulations, paperwork and preparations you won’t be necessary. Plus, you can choose a CitizenShipper driver you’re comfortable with, who has experience transporting pets and has earned positive feedback from previous satisfied customers.
Need to ship a pet but don’t want to put them through the ordeal of flying? CitizenShipper can help you out.