Taking our pets with us wherever we go without hassle or worry is something that each and every one of us desires. Unfortunately our pets can make that difficult for us through things like anxiety, temperament, noisiness, and their sometimes general lack of adaptability. Our pets aside, society and different environments can make it difficult for us to bring our pets wherever we go, as evidenced by two recent United Airlines events concerning pets.
ABC News reported that on March 16th, United Airlines was forced to divert a flight due to a pet being placed on the wrong plane. Luckily, the pet is safe and reunited with its owner, but lots of scrambling and compensation for the inconvenienced riders of that flight took place. This occurred just three days after United Airlines was responsible for the death of a French Bulldog puppy that the flight attendant insisted ride in the overhead bin. This was also reported by ABC News as well as many other news outlets. French Bulldogs are Brachycephalic pets, meaning they have flat faces and shorter nasal passages, making breathing more difficult for them than your average full-snouted dog. They also can overheat more quickly than other types of dogs and are prone to heatstroke. Confining a French Bulldog to an overhead bin would create more of a stressful environment with less available oxygen. Ultimately the dog paid the price for the flight attendant’s ignorance.
Flying with your pets does not have to be a stressful experience if done correctly. Talking with your veterinarian about the best ways to keep your pet anxiety free on a flight is a smart choice, as well as avoiding United Airlines if at all possible. Despite United’s ignorance, taking responsibility for the welfare of your pet is imperative. If you feel a staff member or flight attendant is asking something unreasonable of you or your pet, don’t hesitate to say no, and explain why. Keep your pet hydrated while traveling, and don’t forget to talk to them and tell them how much you love them and how much fun they’re going to have during travel!