Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s always nice to have your beloved friend accompany you wherever you go. The conditions have recently changed for certain dog owners, however. As of March 13th, certain “dangerous” dog breeds are banned from United Airlines, one of the most popular ways to travel by air.
While their primary focus was safety, it is still a frustration to owners possessing these particular breeds, that they can no longer travel with their dogs. As awareness grows, it is important that you realize that your dog may not be allowed to travel the next time you decide to fly.
The breeds listed under the restriction are:
1. Pit Bull Terriers
2. American Staffordshire Terriers
3. Pressa Canario
4. Perro de Presa Canario
5. Cane Corso
6. Dogo Argentino
7. Fila Brasileiro
8. Ca de Bou
While these are dog breeds targeted by unjustifiable discrimination, the airline can prohibit any dog they deem “dangerous” or that shows signs of aggression. In addition, any dog that is a mixed breed containing one or more of these breeds will also be prohibited. For those who feel that a dog is more than a pet, but rather a family member, this can be more of an insult rather than simply a safety issue.
Because you don’t want to plan your next trip only to run into trouble at the airport, it can be helpful to know your dog’s breed, even if they are a mixed breed. First, prepare by contacting your veterinarian to seek medical records and confirmation of breed if you are unsure. Having the proper documentation can smooth your travel issues.
While the rules prohibit these breeds, the one exemption is that the dog is neither greater than twenty pounds nor older than six months, whichever comes first. But, this fact relies on the confirmation of your dog’s health certificate which must be as recent as ten days. If you are planning to travel with your puppy, be sure that you consult with your veterinarian to get a certificate of health that is as close to your travel date as possible. Unfortunately, this possibility comes with its own set of problems. If you are staying for a long period, and returning after the certificate has aged more than ten days, you’ll either have to find a local veterinarian or find a different route back. Also keep in mind that puppies grow very quickly. If your dog passes the twenty pound mark during your stay, it will definitely cause travel issues. If you are planning to travel with a puppy of one of the banned breeds, you should consider other transportation options.
Just “Appearing” dangerous
While certain breeds are the target of the ban, there is also concern about dogs that act or appear dangerous. The airline reserves the right to prohibit any dog they deem “dangerous.” This can also lead to issues, especially since a dog that is traveling in their crate may feel threated when in a new and strange environment.
For everyone’s safety, you should consider consulting with your vet regarding safe “pacification” methods for your dog, especially if they’ve been trained to guard or protect you and your family. Tranquilizers and quality comfort can help keep them from panicking, by helping to soften your dog’s demeanor during travel. If your dog appears docile, there should be no reason to qualify it as dangerous.
The last solution, especially for owners of certain dog breeds, is to choose alternative means of travel. While it can be upsetting and inconvenient, choosing an alternative airline or traveling by means of the road may be your safest and least time consuming choice. The inconveniences that certain airlines have recently created leave no choice for many dog owners, so other options must be considered. While proper dog care may require that you have to leave your pet with a trusted friend or qualified kennel, at other times, this is not possible, as in the case of moving. Many people are traveling for relocation purposes, or even for work, such as a traveling nurse or doctor. You should always practice safe travel habits, such as proper socialization, training, and controlling their environment. These will help insure that you and your dog enjoy a safe trip to your new location.
For many dog owners, this causes yet another hassle when it comes to involving pets in our lives. While some dog breeds have been misconceived with a “bad rap” about their demeanor, it is not the dog’s fault. Abuse, mistreatment, and improper training are the most common causes for dog aggression, and aren’t selective to any particular breed. So, always treat your dog with care and love, even if their breed has been discriminated as “dangerous.”