Pet travel

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Pet travel is the process of traveling with or transporting pets. Pet carriers like cat carriers and dog crates confine and protect pets during travel.

Animal stress[edit]

Pets may experience stress and anxiety from unfamiliar situations and locations. Cats are especially stressed by change.[1] Instead of travelling with their owner on vacation, pets can be boarded at kennels or kept at home with a friend or pet sitter.[1] However, that also includes unfamiliar situations and locations. This is not an option when moving permanently.

Travel methods[edit]

Air travel[edit]

Pets may travel in the aircraft cabin, checked baggage or cargo. However, airlines set their own policies regarding the travel of pets.[2][3][4][5] Pet Airways specialized in transporting pets, but failed as a business. In recent years private jet pet travel gained some momentum especially due to the discounted flight sales. In such travels pets are allowed in cabin with their owners which reduces stress and trauma.[6]

The Humane Society of the United States recommends avoiding air travel if possible.[7] Extreme temperatures and thin air have extra risk for brachycephalic animals such as bulldogs, Pekingese dogs, pugs and Persian cats.[7][8] The United States Department of Transportation Air Travel Reports recorded 302 deaths, injuries and disappearances over 6 years with 35 deaths in 2011.[9][10] Two dogs died in as many months on United Airlines flights in 2012.[9][11]

If pets escape, they can face danger, even if they escape on the ground. A cat named Jack escaped from his carrier in American Airlines baggage handling at John F Kennedy airport, went missing for 61 days, and was eventually euthanized.[12][13][14] Another cat escaped and was run over by a vehicle on the tarmac at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India when traveling with Jet Airways.[15][16]


In 2018, United Airlines admitted to forcing a passenger pet to be stowed away in an overhead bin, resulting in the animal's death.[17] Only two days later, another dog aboard a United flight was mistakenly sent to Japan instead of its intended Kansas City destination.[18]

A similar incident occurred in March 2018 when Delta Airlines sent a puppy to Salt Lake City instead of its intended Boise destination.[19]

Car travel[edit]

Pets riding in cars are safest contained in carriers tied with a seat belt.[20] They are advised to be in the back seat or have the airbags turned off.[20] Dog harnesses can restrain but the Center for Pet Safety found "a 100-percent failure rate to protect either the consumer or the dog".[20][21] Unrestrained pets can interfere with driving and can be seriously injured in an accident,[20] but no states require pets to be secured in cars.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Travelling: Should Your Pet Stay or Go? : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  2. ^ "Pets in the Passenger Cabin". 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  3. ^ "Traveling with Pets | American Airlines Pet Travel Policies". 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  4. ^ "United Airlines - In-cabin pets". Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  5. ^ "Pet Travel Options". 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "Pets and Air Travel : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  8. ^ The Humane Society of the United States. "Traveling Tips for Pets on Planes, Trains, or Ships : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2013-07-18.
  9. ^ a b "'Distraught' model blames airline for dog's death - TODAY Pets & Animals -". 2012-09-21. Archived from the original on 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  10. ^ Kirchner, Elyce. "Airline Animal Deaths Raise Concern". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  11. ^ "Time to Reconsider Flying With Your Pet? - ABC News". 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  12. ^ "UPDATE: Jack The Cat, JFK Lost Cat, Stranded At Airport During Irene, American Airlines Launches Search", Global Pulse, Huffington Post, August 31, 2011, retrieved November 15, 2011
  13. ^ "Lost 'Jack The Cat' Finally Found At New York's JFK Airport", Global Pulse, Huffington Post, October 26, 2011, retrieved November 15, 2011
  14. ^ "'Jack The Cat' Dies After 2 Months At Airport", Global Pulse, Huffington Post, November 7, 2011, retrieved November 15, 2011
  15. ^ Stancati, Margherita (2013-03-25). "'The Airline That Killed My Pet' - India Real Time - WSJ". Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  16. ^ TNN Mar 26, 2013, 05.14AM IST (2013-03-26). "Flyer's pet cat escapes, crushed at IGI Airport - Times Of India". Retrieved 2013-07-09.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Jessie Karangu (March 13, 2018). "A dog died after being forced by United flight attendant to stay in an overhead bin". KUTV.
  18. ^ Associated Press (March 15, 2018). "United mistakenly flies Kansas-bound dog to Japan". KUTV.
  19. ^ Laura Dannen Redman (March 20, 2018). "Delta Sends 8-Week-Old Puppy to Wrong Destination". Condé Nast Traveler.
  20. ^ a b c d "Travelling by Car with Pets : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  21. ^ "Tests On Dog Harnesses Show 100 Percent Failure Rate « CBS Miami". 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-09-05.