Although there are many people against shipping pets across the world, sometimes it is the only way to relocate an animal. Besides, today's conditions are very much improved and, as the connectivity of different parts of the world increases (especially via social media), pet shipping is more widespread and well-received.
Contrary to popular belief, pets aren’t crammed with luggage in a deep dark hole in the bottom of the plane. They are actually loaded into a temperature and pressurized compartment separate from luggage. They are also the last to be loaded onto the plane and the first to come off.
If an animal is properly prepared for the trip, there is no need to be against pet shipping. Before transporting an animal, research transport options carefully. Usually, animals are shipped by car/van or by air, in a plane.
Animal shipping - crate
One of the most common concerns pertaining to pet travel comes with transporting a pet via cargo. Important thing is to introduce an animal to the cargo and work on making an animal comfortable inside the crate. Make sure your crate is large enough that an animal can sit, stand, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Also, check the laws before shipping an animal, especially the laws of your animal's destination. Some countries strictly regulate the importation of dogs. If you are shipping your animal by air, label an animal’s shipping crate with words “LIVE ANIMAL”.
Also, write the animal's name, along with the contact name, address, and telephone number of its destination on the crate, and indicate whether or not you are accompanying the animal on the flight. If an animal is on any medication, also include this information when labeling the crate. You can put all this information on a collar, too. Make sure an animal has water in its crate. Food is not recommended because an animal with a full stomach is more likely to experience air sickness, so be sure an animal gets to eat well before the flight.
Animal shipping - veterinarian check up
Consult with your veterinarian before putting your animal on a plane. Consider its age, health and temperament. It is not recommended to transport very old animals and those under 10 weeks of age. If you think your pet will be overly nervous while being transported, consider giving it a sedative (but never a tranquilizer). Make sure that an animal is well hydrated before you load it and transport it and try to plan the transport in the fall or the spring because traveling in the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter is riskier.
If an animal is traveling to another country, make sure it meets the necessary health requirements of that country. There might be additional paperwork needed, so ask around before loading an animal. Many providers will require a health certification to verify that your pet is current on its shots and has been cleared for travel.
Animal shipping - tips
TIP: Because of the fact that familiar scent comforts an animal, consider putting an article of used clothing (such as a t-shirt) inside the crate to help curb anxiety and stress.
TIP: It is not recommended to give an animal food during the flight to prevent air sickness, but you may attach a packet of its food outside the crate so that airline personnel may be able to give the animal a little snack in case of delays or other emergencies.
TIP: Replace any plastic fasteners with metal crate hardware. Although the plastic is sufficient, metal hardware will keep the crate locked and tight together. Some airlines even require the metal hardware.
GOOD TO KNOW: Certain breeds of dogs are at particularly high risk for breathing incidents during transportation. Take special care when transporting these breeds of dogs: Pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Shih tzus, Bulldogs, and some Mastiffs.
World Dog Finder team