A Family Trip Should Never End in Tragedy for Pets

March 14, 2018


The recent incident on a United Airlines flight, related to the death of a canine companion, was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened. Our hearts go out to the family who sadly lost their 10-month-old puppy.

Pets are family members. It is devastating to lose one, particularly in circumstances which could have been prevented.

Following best safety practices for flying with a pet can help make the situation safer for everyone. Kristen Frank, DVM, DACVIM, Medical Director, ASPCA Animal Hospital shares important safety information below to help pet owners, pets, and anyone looking to spread the word on safe air travel practices. In the cabin of an airplane, pets should be contained in a well-ventilated pet carrier, and never placed in an overhead bin. Pets should have access to circulating air and to water. 

Always consult with your pet’s veterinarian when considering travel. An animal’s health, temperament, species, age, breed and other variables can all be factors in what is safe for an individual pet. Any medication, including anti-nausea medications or sedatives, should be given only on a case-by-case basis with veterinary approval, and sedatives should never be given to animals traveling in cargo.

Owners should also check their airline’s pet policy before traveling. Often times, health certificates, paperwork, or additional documentation is required in order to travel. Check with individual airlines to discuss fees or restrictions such as those on carriers, breeds or species. 

Your pet should be relaxed and comfortable while in transit on any form of transportation, and their safety should be a priority.