by A. Grano on July 27th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Summer travel season is in full swing, which means that many pet owners are making travel or boarding arrangements for their furry family members, as well. However, you may want to think twice before deciding to fly with your pet in the cargo area of the plane, as it may not be safe to do so – it might not even be allowed, so be sure to check with your airline when booking your flight.
However, some new regulations are actually in the best interest of your pet, as concerns over safety have come to light after a recent upsurge in pet travel-related deaths. The rise in temperature this time of year, which corresponds to a hotter cargo area, puts certain breeds at an increased risk, particularly short-nosed aka “brachycephalic” breeds.
Brachycephalic breeds are known to be more heat intolerant to begin with, and their shorter snouts cause more restricted breathing, which means it is also harder to cool down. As dogs naturally try to cool themselves through panting, they may also have rapid breathing due to fear from the travel experience itself, which can further stress the animal and compound the overheating effect.
Over the last five years there have been 122 dog deaths, with English bulldogs, Pugs, French Bulldogs, and American Staffordshire terriers comprising about half that number. Himalayan and Persian cat owners should also heed caution, as these breeds have shorter airways and are at a greater risk when traveling.
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