The dangers of travelling with pets
Posted on 31 July, 2017
Two recent stories in the news highlighted the dangers of travelling with pets, particularly on airlines. One story was about a giant rabbit that died after a transatlantic flight from Heathrow to Chicago in the USA, and the other concerned the mauling of a passenger by an emotional support dog.
There appears to be a rising trend in people taking their pets on holiday with them, especially since the pet passport rules were relaxed in 2011.
The number of pet passports issued has increased with more Brits taking their pets to France, Italy and Spain, rather than taking a UK holiday or putting their dog in kennels or cats in a cattery.
Insurer Direct Line[i] last year reported that over a third (38 per cent) of British vets have reported an increase in demand for pet passports over the last 12 months, handing out an average 26 dog passports and an average six cat passports each in the last year.
However, is travelling with pets wise?
In our experience, most pets would prefer to stay in their home environment when their owners go away. Travelling can be stressful for both the pet and owner, and with all the regulations concerning vaccinations and checks when you leave and return to the UK, it is often better to leave pets at home, especially if you are only going away for a couple of weeks.
There is also the worry your pet may pick up a disease when you are away as they are exposed to different strains of insects, flies, worms and ticks. Another consideration is that the rules about where you can take your dog, such as beaches, restaurants, bars etc. may not be as flexible in other countries as at home.
The heat in warmer climates can also be a concern. Dogs can find it hard to deal with very high temperatures, which may mean them having to spend a lot of time indoors, and only being able to walk them once it cools down.
And for those considering taking their pet by plane, it’s important to be aware that most airlines will only carry animals in the cargo section. This can be hugely distressing for your pet.
The cargo section can be very noisy and the air pressure and temperatures vary throughout the flight. It can be a frightening environment and one that you don’t want to subject your pet too unless you really need to.
Vets rarely want to give a sedative to animals when flying as it can cause nausea and they don’t know how the pet will react once airborne, so this isn’t a recommended option either.
A good solution however, for those that want don’t want to put their dog or cat in a kennel or cattery, or be restricted to UK holidays where they can take their pet, is to find a homesitter through house-sitting company Homesitters Limited.
A homesitter will come and stay in your home to look after your pets and stick to their usual routine. They also ensure your home is safe and secure and always looks occupied.
Often the homesitters form a close bond with the pets who then looks forward to seeing them when you go away, making the process of leaving them much less stressful for everyone!
If you have holiday plans this year and don’t yet have someone to look after your pet, give us a call today on 01296 630 730 or click here to book a live-in homesitter.
[i] Over a third (38 per cent) of British vets have reported an increase in demand for pet passports over the last 12 months, handing out an average 26 dog passports and an average 6 cat passports in the last 12 months2.