Chances are you were horrified by the reports of seven puppies that died after an American Airlines flight. We’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: flying animals in the cargo hold can be dangerous, so here’s what you need to know.
The death of those puppies was the direct result of poor planning. Most airlines, including American, will not fly animals if the weather forecast is above 85 degrees.
In this case, the temperature was 87 and climbing. If the temperature is rising, or the flight is delayed, it’s up to you to be the advocate and get your pet off the plane.
The Department of Transportation recently compiled the animal incident reports over the last five years, and found more than half the dogs that died on domestic flights were short-nosed, like pugs and bulldogs.
Another tip: putting a bowl of water in your pet’s crate is pointless on a bumpy flight. Instead, fill the bowl with ice cubes to keep it hydrated.
And remember, if your pet does go missing or dies, it’s more than likely that the airline will compensate you as if it were a piece of luggage, not a part of the family.
My advice? Leave Fido at home. If you’re moving, either drive, or use the services of a specialized pet travel agent to take care of all the necessary details.
Get more tips on protecting your pets in our Pet Travel section.