This past week, United Airlines has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, after passengers reported several cases of of pet mismanagement . In one of the most highly publicized incidents, the airline’s negligence lead to the death of a family’s beloved pet – a 10-year-old French Bulldog named Kokito. The incident triggered angry reactions throughout the country, and two Senators have even introduced a bill seeking to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
As a loving pet owner, the episode has probably left you heartbroken and also concerned about your own pet’s safety while traveling. But planning your trip carefully and watching out for your pet while in transit can ensure smooth travel. Here are a few tips to help you out:
Pick The Easy Days
Crowded airports can be overwhelming for humans. So imagine what your pet goes through. Often when booking a flight, we choose days that are convenient to us rather than to our pets. During weekends and the holiday season, airports can get particularly cramped and chaotic, with check-ins and airport procedures taking hours. This can begin to increase a pet’s stress levels even before boarding a flight. To avoid this, pick flights during slow days like Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. Consider traveling well before the holiday rush takes over. To avoid last minute rush and hassle associated with gathering your pet’s medical information in the event of a travel emergency, keep all of your pet’s health records securely stored in one central place by downloading the Activ4Pets app: www.activ4pets.com/mobile-app/
Make The Crate Comfortable
it a comfortable place for your pet to stay in. If your pet is going to spend the entire journey in the cargo hold and away from you, consider lining the carrier with an old t-shirt. This will provide your pet with comfort and warmth through the journey. Also, equip the crate with DryFur even if your pet is potty trained. Flying can stress your pet, and the DryFur will help you avoid a mess. If you are traveling with your pet in the cabin, then carry him to the toilet if you think he needs to pee. You can clean him up with wee pads or wet wipes when he has done his business.
Clip The Claws
There have been recorded instances when cats and dogs have clawed and injured themselves while in transit. These injuries ranged from minimal to grievous. If you are handling your pet in the cabin, unclipped claws can also a pose a threat to you as the pet parent. Prior to traveling, clip your pets claws or visit your veterinarian to have this done. You can book an appointment with an expert veterinarian in your area through the Activ4Pets app.
Keep Your Pet Hydrated
Unfortunately, traveling commonly causes dehydration in pets. Many pet parents withhold providing water to their dog or cat, hoping to prevent their animal from urinating and creating a mess. There are several ways you can avoid this problem. You can provide your pet with an ice cube, from time to time, pushing it through the crate’s door. You can also provide water through a slow dripper. When the pet is in the cargo hold, you can place a bowl of frozen water in their crate. The water will thaw gradually, preventing a mess and providing hydration for your pet.
Let Sedatives Be A Last Resort
Think carefully before you give your pet a sedative. For pets that are uneasy during a flight, a mild sedative can help calm them down. However, sedatives can also cause unsteadiness or respiratory problems. Consult your veterinarian before administering a sedative and do a trial run at home before using it while traveling. You can sign up for a consultation with your pet’s veterinarian through the Activ4Pets App.
A relaxed and confident pet owner can have a calming effect on a nervous pet, so make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and permits in place to avoid last-minute panic at the airport.