Animals travelling in the cargo area of airplanes are safe. The vast majority of health incidences that occur during or after flights are due to pre-existing medical conditions unknown to the pet owners that emerge during the change in surroundings and/or environment during relocation. Much like the hundreds of humans who die during flights, it is usually due to a pre-existing condition.
Blame should not be voiced until all facts are fully analyzed. Professional pet shippers work with animals every day. They are providing the highest standard of care for all animals, by giving constant attention to their safety and well-being, and they place their welfare above all other business concerns.
The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA), the non-profit trade organization dedicated to the care and welfare of pets and animals during transport, supports air travel for pets through commercial airlines cargo systems as being the safest, fastest and most humane means of moving animals throughout the United States and around the world. IPATA works with local governments, policymakers, and the airlines directly to make sure pet travel is as safe as possible and to ensure that the number of fatalities continue to decrease.
Though statistics and data are difficult to find, Air Cargo World magazine found that less than 0.01 percent of pets that fly have an incident (this figure is based on U.S. airlines interviewed and U.S. Department of Transportation documents).
Even then, most incidents are due to a mistake by the pet’s owner, says Marcel Brozius, director Europe of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). “Usually when something goes wrong and an animal passes away, it has to do with the animal not being healthy going onto the flight,” says Brozius. “Sometimes, owners give tranquilizers, which can be fatal because they interact with their system. It lowers their blood pressure.” Other times, the animal is too old to travel, he says. Those airlines that accept pets have the best interest of the pets at heart.
Airline employees are trained in the care and handling of pets. Most are pet owners themselves and put forth the extra effort to handle the pets properly. Professional pet and animal shippers and airlines attend seminars, keep up to date with the latest regulations and handle thousands of animals per year most successfully.
American Veterinary Medical Association
According to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), air transport of sedated pets may be fatal. Although animals may be excitable while being handled during the trip to the airport and prior to loading, most of them revert to a quiescent resting state in the dark, closed cargo hold, and the sedatives may have an excessive effect.
Furthermore, according to Dr. Patricia Olson, a director of the American Humane Association (AHA) an animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation. "When the kennel is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury." Increased altitude can also create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats that are sedated or tranquilized. Brachycephalic (pug or snub nosed) dogs and cats are especially affected. Source: Insight.
Air Transport Association
According to the Air Transport Association, rather than tranquilizing your pet, let her/him get used to the flight kennel. Veterinarians recommend leaving it open in the house with an old sock or other familiar object inside so that your pet will spend time in the kennel. It is important for your dog or cat to be as relaxed as possible during the flight.
Why does an airline refuse to fly pets when it is too hot or cold?
For the well being of the pets, many airlines may not accept them as accompanied baggage with ticketed passengers during the severe cold or hot summer months. During these periods, airlines may accept animals booked as cargo, where there is greater control of the number of animals per plane, the temperatures and time of flights. This is the safest way for animals to fly during severe weather months. Most airlines only accept pets from FAA registered Intermediate Air Carriers (IAC) or licensed pet dealers.
Microchip on your pet:
If you are traveling with your pet it is mandatory in many countries to have her/him microchipped. It allows veterinary officials to match your pet to the documents you have presented. Also many countries require a microchip for dogs and cats to enter.
Export Documentation for your Pet:
Most countries have specific pet importation requirements. Some destinations require an Import Licence or Import Permit, blood tests, specific vaccination dates, timed veterinary inspection, transit permits, consulate approval of the documents prior to departure, etc. Also, a veterinary visit is required by the airline for the Fit-to-Fly certificate. As specialists in this matter, we can guide you to obtain the necessary papers.
Can I leave a toy in the kennel with my dog?
In order to avoid injury of any kind to your pet and allow her/him to enjoy a safe flight all collars, leads, clothing and toys must be removed before they are settled into the kennel.
Can my cat travel in the cabin with me?
Small dogs and cats may be allowed to travel in the cabin depending on airline policy. Cats and dogs, though, travel better in the cargo area because it is quieter and they can rest better in a dark environment.
How can I get my pet ready for the flight?
In order to prepare your pet you should reduce the quantity of food a day before but continue giving plenty of water. You should take your dog for a walk before check-in. A light meal 6 hours before departure will help your pet to relax and it is a legal requirement worldwide.
Can I track my pet’s trip?
You can track your pet’s flight status on the airline’s website. But the best way is to get information from our personnel. We will inform you when we have delivered your pet to the airline, confirmation of departure and of arrival.