The Friendly Skies Aren't Always So Friendly For Pets
Chicago Tribune reporter Jon
Breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs – those with the pushed in noses (called Brachycephalic)
represent almost half of the 122
canines that have died while being transported by their owners as air
cargo during the last five years, according to data the Federal agency
compiled. That’s a significantly higher mortality rate than for other
Brachycephalic breeds are characterized by “brachycephalic respiratory syndrome,” which affects the different areas of the respiratory tract. These dogs have narrowed nostrils and windpipes, as well as an elongated soft palate. In other words, a compromised respiratory system. That’s what makes them so fragile as fliers in the cargo hold, as well as greater difficulty breathing in hot weather compared to most dogs.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) advises flying any pet in cargo, not only for a possibility of a medical issue but also because the pet isn’t with you – and it’s possible that he or she can be misplaced, not to mention the added stress of being alone.
Most pets do arrive at their destination safely, but the operative word there is most.
Many airlines will allow small pets in the cabin if they are small enough to be inside a carrier and slid under the seat in front of you (for an extra fee, of courses). Or you can check out Pet Airways, where all pets of any size fly in the cabin.