EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It just got more difficult to fly with your cats and dogs. United Airlines has a new policy for its PetSafe program that went in effect on June 18, 2018. Twenty-one breeds of cats and dogs could be stranded because the airline will no longer allow them to travel in its cargo space. It also limits the size of the crate to 30 inches which the Washington Post said would limit the travel of popular breeds like Golden Retrievers and Great Danes. There are also restrictions for the summer months to certain airports like Las Vegas, Tuscon, Palm Springs and Phoenix according to the United Airlines website. This will also have repercussions for active military families who were given a grace period to travel with their pets. United has just ended that as well, meaning it could be more difficult and costly for pets to be relocated according to multiple publications.
Veterinarian Richard Fujie appeared on Sunrise to talk about how you should navigate the changes. First, he said to use your vet as a resource to find out what is required. Check with the airline that you want to fly on since the policies differ depending on the company.
For international travel, some countries require an entry permit so look for that. Australia and New Zealand tend to have the strictest pet policies and require additional tests and treatment within a certain time frame. Many require your pet to be microchipped as well. July may be the best time to get a microchip for your pet since a lot of pet hospitals including King Street Pet Hospital offer the service for $10.
In the airplane cabin, your dog should fit in a carrier that will also fit in front of your seat. You must get a health certificate issued by your veterinarian unless you're traveling inter-island. All states, other than Hawaii, require a current rabies vaccination. Dr. Fujie recently spoke to an airline pilot for a major airline and he suggested that you let the flight attendant know if your dog is in cargo. They can monitor the temperature in cargo and turn on the heater if it gets too cold or make sure it's not too hot. If your pet is in cargo, you will need an airline approved carrier with double latches. Avoid using an old brittle carrier that may break. Have an absorbent puppy pad in the carrier. Freeze the water in the attached bowl so it does not slosh around when your pet is moved.
For more information on United's policy, here's a link to the page https://bit.ly/2KtwkI7.