Thursday, April 8, 2010

Flying with pets: A smelly encounter

Recently while traveling with my family to Washington D.C I encountered more pets on our flights then I had ever seen. Is it a new trend to carry “Fifi” in your purse or bring along the entire family, including the 3 dogs, cat and a ferret? Yes, a ferret!

A woman with 3 dogs, two small kids and a ferret were checking in at the airline counter in front of us. Her hands undoubtedly too full; as we stood there her Labrador walked off and my husband was nice enough to chase after him, she hadn’t even realized he wandered away. Her reason for bringing the extra load was unknown to me but I assumed she was just crazy! It appeared that they were on a vacation.

As we boarded the plane, guess who was directly in front of us? Yep, you guessed it, the crazy dog lady. Giving her the benefit, I told my husband not to worry and it was probably no big deal. After we settled into our seats her one dog she carried onboard began to yelp. I’m sure they could hear it in the back row. Thankfully just after takeoff it must have taken a nap. Just as we began to enjoy the quiet time, a disgusting smell came from the seat ahead. The dog was farting up a storm. How do I know this? My mom is a dog lover and her dog blows us “kisses from the behind” quit often. It’s a distinct smell that can clear the room. The entire flight was mixed with moments of pleasure and moments of wanting to gag!

On our return flight I spoke with one nice lady traveling with her dog and she said she had already flown for several hours with her dog that morning and still had one more cross country flight to go. Her longest flight with her dog was once 20+hrs. Many airports are not yet “pet friendly” in providing areas for pets to roam and relieve themselves. So “Fido” is stuck in a carry on for however long you choose to fly. Can you imagine holding your bladder for over 20 hours? I find this to be borderline torture!

I get that many people out there love their animals to death and take them everywhere. But to be stuck on a 5hr flight with a dog farting the entire time is a bit much for you to expect others to endure. If you’re considering taking your animal on a flight, look into the options; doggy sitter at home, ride the flight with cargo or have them stay with a relative or friend. Not only is this easier, it’s most likely cheaper. After researching pets on flights I have found that flying your pet can cost anywhere from $75 to $200 per flight. If you do choose to carry on your pet, think about what you feed them the night before, and as recommended on a pet travel website, “Do not feed your pet for four to six hours prior to air travel. Small amounts of water can be given before the trip.” This advice can be beneficial for all parties involved.

Do you fly with your pets? Do you have any great suggestions for people who do? ShareThis

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