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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fear of Flying!

Here's a news flash for those of you who fly with your pets. A recent review of US Dept. of Transportation data revealed that 122 dogs died on commercial flights in the US between 2005 and 2009. About half of these dogs were short-nosed breeds such as Pugs and English Bulldogs. The majority of all dog deaths in-flight occurred when the dogs were in cargo holds. Another study, published a few years ago, demonstrated an increase in pet deaths on airplanes if the pets were given a tranquilizer for the flight. The reason for this is unknown, but could be due to differences in the effects of tranquilizers at high altitudes, or possibly a decreased ability of tranquilized pets to thermoregulate.

The bottom line is that while it is generally safe for pets to fly, there is a risk! Ways to make flying safer include having your pet fly in the passenger cabin, do not tranquilize pets for flights, and avoid flying short-faced breeds if possible. FYI, I have heard of an airline(?) called Animal Airways that offers in-flight veterinary services on its pet flights. Might be worth investigating!


  1. When we recently flew, we saw a woman taking off a small dog in a pet carrier. I was wondering if the airlines charge a full seat charge for a pet?

  2. As far as I know, they do charge full price for the seat. It may depend on the airline, though.