As the holidays approach and 2014 comes to an end, many new home owners, retirees and expatriates are busy planning big moves across the country or around the world. Airline travel can reach peak levels between Thanksgiving & the end of the year. As a recent article from USA Today titled “Flying with Pets: How to Ensure Safe Passage” points out, ensuring that our four-legged family members also safely reach their destinations can be a primary concern. Often, business professionals relocating halfway across the world have little to no understanding of steps they can take to minimize risk for international pet travel.
Choose a Trusted Vet.
To begin with, all pets travelling (whether domestically or internationally) must acquire a veterinary health certificate. This document asserts that a particular pet is “fit to fly.” Many pet owners are understandably concerned about whether their aging pet should travel by air, however, a veterinarian makes that assessment with the issuance of the health cert. Barring severe medical conditions and brachycephaly, most dogs can travel comfortably by air in pressure and temperature controlled areas. When certain pets cannot, Premier Pet Relocation can schedule a custom ground transport instead.
Crate-Train at Least a Month in Advance of Departure
There has been criticism aimed at Delta Airlines for a recent pet loss that involved a loose dog (you can read about it here). The dog had broken its IATA-compliant, two-piece, plastic travel crate midflight, bolting from the plane when cargo officials opened the door. In November, we explained that Delta Airlines was blamed unfairly, as the owner of the escaped dog would have benefited from observing his dog's prior behavior during the crate training process. If his dog had not been properly acclimated, then it presented a danger during travel if that anxiety translated into aggression or destruction of the crate, thereby warranting legitamate use of a CR-82.
Again, Delta allows a pitbull-type breed's passage without forcing an owner to incur the expensive charge for a “Dangerous Dog Crate,” that is, provided the owner brings in a pitbull-type breed that is properly acclimated to its crate.
Had the dog flown with United, the owner would have been forced to purchase the expensive wooden or metal upgrade due to breed type and appearance alone, regardless of whether or not that specific dog was behaved. For the vast majority of dog owners (of any breed), crate anxiety & destruction is not an issue, rendering the CR-82 unnecessary. Delta has so far made it the responsibility of the owner to monitor anxious crate behavior in order to assess whether the special CR-82 crate would be necessary. In other words, if you own a large breed that has been adequately crate-trained, then your dog can fly in the typical, IATA-approved travel crate with Delta, but not United.
A story like this makes the case for crate-training well in advance. If you are unsure about regular crate training procedure, then be sure to contact us via Email or FaceBook.
We are by no means suggesting that CR-82 crates have no place. For some dogs, owner feedback and careful monitoring of the crate-training process will reveal a tenacious desire to destroy the crate. Many of these dogs that actually need the "Dangerous Dog Crates" are not dangerous to people, but dangerous to airplanes or vehicles when they tenaciously escape their crate midtravel. We consider tragedies such as the one involving the recent Delta loss to be few and far between, since Delta had not lost a single pet during transit from 2005 to 2013 (see graph in link).
Be Proactive &/or Hire a Pet Relocation Specialist
Being proactive can sometimes mean going above and beyond what is required as a bare minimum. For instance, using zip ties to close all four points of the crate door prior to travel is not required for domestic trips. However, we always employ zip ties across the crate door along with two sources of water (one bowl and one attached drip bottle).
International travel requires metal crate hardware, which is standard for our relocations because we use Marchioro brand crates with both plastic clips and metal hardware (redundant fasteners). Pets that board with us prior to their departure begin crate-training immediately, accompanied by pheromone therapy (D.A.P.) which further enhances their comfort level in the crate.
By hiring a specialist at Premier Pet Relocation to plan your dog or cat’s move, you can minimize any and all risks associated with pet travel. We have the contacts necessary to bring pets from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world. Our experience ensures that we will incorporate various tips & tricks that we have picked up along the way, providing safe and direct relocation for your four-legged fur baby. We are not just any old Pet Relocation company; we are the Premier Pet Relocation company.
Your Pet’s Safety Is Our #1 Priority