Pet safety a concern after incidents on United Airlines

Published: Mar. 15, 2018 at 5:53 PM MDT
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After a series of incidents with United Airlines and pets... two senators are stepping up with the WOOF Act or Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act to protect man's best friend on airlines.

A local vet spoke about safety concerns owners have when traveling with pets.

Dr. Rachel Shutter, veterinarian at Dakota Hills Clinic says, "We have a lot of pets come in that are about to travel somewhere, whether that be via car or plane and the biggest concern that they have is anxiety... anxiety I think with both the owners and the pet."

In fact the anxiety can be so great many fur-parents choose not fly at all.

We took a poll with our Facebook viewers and of the 140 responses, no one said they fly with their pets. More than 50 % of voters said they get a pet sitter and a majority of the rest say they drive rather than us a boarding facility.

"Make sure that before you travel anywhere and you have concerns, sit down with your veterinarian. We can have a talk, a chat about what their biggest concerns are and we can tackle them before they are issues. "

Most major airlines require pets to be in a carrier that fits under your seat and charge upwards of a hundred and fifty dollars for Fido to sit in the cabin ... which can be uncomfortable for long periods of time.

"Get you pet acclimated to the carrier you are going to use if you're boarding with your pet it's a huge advantage because they're not scare of the carrier, it's not the first time they've been in it. so leaving that carrier out for an extended period of time, feeding them in the carrier doing those things so it's not, you take the carrier out and now we are going to a scary place" says Dr. Shutter

But ultimately it's up to the owners to decide whether their four legged friends are best staying home or tagging along.

Dr. Shutter says, " When you are getting ready for a trip and you are deciding whether or not you are going to take your pet or not is to make sure it's something your pet can get acclimated to so if it's a trip they have to go on otherwise there are wonderful boarding facilities there's people that you can trust your pet with, that to me is probably less stressful for most pets than being gone for a week from your pet."