Airline Safety for Dogs
If you have a bulldog, it is now on the no-fly list for many airlines. Nationality doesn’t matter – American, French and English are banned. And it’s not because they are terror suspects; it’s a safety issue.
Over a recent five year period, 122 dogs died on airline flights. Twenty percent of those were English bulldogs and eight percent were French bulldogs.
Bulldogs (like Eloise the English bulldog, shown at the US Capitol or Bugsy, the French bulldog) are members of a group known as brachycephalic (short nosed dogs and cats). Pets with short noses do not handle heat well and are prone to heat stroke during hot weather.
Many airlines restrict the breed of dog or cat accepted as cargo or checked baggage in the summer months. Very recently, Delta Airlines put American, English and French bulldogs on a list of breeds which cannot be flown as checked baggage or cargo at anytime of the year. American Airlines has rules similar to Delta. Air Tran and Southwest do not accept pets as checked baggage or cargo at any time of the year.
What can a pet owner do to ensure a safe flight for their pet? Before you plan your trip, check the airline’s website for detailed requirements. If your pet suffers from motion sickness, see your veterinarian before the trip to get a prescription to prevent motion sickness. When planning, keep your pet in the cabin with you, if possible. This is easier said than done if you have a large dog. Consider booking your pet a ticket on Pet Airways whose motto is “The First Airline with Four Leg Room.”
If your pet does travel as checked baggage or cargo, pick flights that will take off and land during the coolest part of the day, minimizing the risk of overheating. Give your pet plenty of water and walk it just before you load it in the carrier. Avoid tranquilizing your pet before a flight, as these medications block your pet’s ability to respond to stressful situations.
This may also be found in the “Tales from the Pet Clinic” blog on WebMD.com.
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