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My Pet World: Options for transporting animals during a move | Pets

Cathy M. Rosenthal Tribune Content Agency

Dear Cathy: I desperately hope you can give me advice on how to transport two cats over 600 miles from our current home. We are seniors moving to a retirement community. The journey will be too long for us, so we are trying to figure out how to transport our two scary cats. Our vet was unable to provide us with separate transportation options. The thought of each of us transporting cats on an airplane is daunting. A cat is big, and I don’t know if it’s too big to go on. Freight is a bad option. It’s difficult to put them in carriers for the vet. I’ve researched separate transports, but there are so many and we just don’t know where to start and who to trust. These two adopted boys are part of our family so we wouldn’t think of giving them up. Can you give us some advice please. —Lisa, Huntington Station, New York

Dear Lisa: I’m glad you’re moving and keeping your pets! My first recommendation is to bring them into the cabin of the plane with you. I know it might sound daunting, but it’s actually much easier to take them with you than to transport them on a separate transport plane. Call several airlines to discuss their protocols and exact measurements of the space where cats will need to be placed. First class seats may also provide your felines with extra space, so inquire about that option as well. Then see if your cat will fit in the kennel size it recommends. Your cat should be able to move around comfortably in the doghouse.

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If that doesn’t work, you have two other options. Option 1: A family member could drive them, but 600 miles is a long way, and a lot can happen on the trip. But if you know someone you can trust, it’s a reasonable option. But option 2 will shorten their trip. You can book them on a transport plane only for pets. I don’t know any of these services personally, but research them by searching the internet for “cross-country pet transportation services” and find one that will fly from New York to your destination. Then, read as many reviews of the business as possible. These reviews will give you plenty of information on who to choose to transport your cats. Then call and talk to them and walk through the process with them. If you find a company with plenty of four and five star reviews and you feel comfortable talking with them, you’ll know you’ve found your transportation service. Plan your flights so you can pick them up yourself at the airport.

Dear Cathy: I appreciated your tips on keeping pets safe in cars. I would like to add a few more tips. I worked in a veterinary hospital for many years. The vet would always advise pet owners not to let their dogs stick their heads out of the open car window while on the move. Insects, (flying) objects, etc. can hit your dog’s eye and do a lot of damage. Also, years ago I was following a car and noticed a dog hanging from the car window. When the driver took a sharp turn, the dog fell on the road and broke his leg. I also heard a vet tell dog owners that they shouldn’t feed their dog bones because they can break and cause intestinal issues. When they asked which animal bones were safe to give to their pets, he replied “dinosaur bones”. We love our pets and want them to be safe. —Gloria, Connecticut

Dear Gloria: Funny what he said about dinosaur bones. I’m sure he’s seen his fair share of cases where bones broke and caused damage. I don’t give my dog ​​any bones because he likes to swallow things whole or at least in big chunks and it can be nearly impossible to get through his system. I’m hesitant to even give him dental chews because of his all-or-nothing chewing behavior.

As for hanging their heads out of car windows, dogs may appreciate that, but it’s not at all safe. This means that the dog is not safe in the vehicle and a sharp turn as you have seen, or even an accident, can throw the dog out of the vehicle. It’s scary enough to have an accident, let alone an accident with a pet in the car. It is important to keep them safe.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist, and companion animal expert with over 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and advice to [email protected] Please include your name, city and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.

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