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Shipping of Pets - is it harmful? Whats Involved

January 15th, 2005, 11:15 PM
Just a quick question.
A lot of breeders will ship puppys/kittens to their new owners.
What step are taken to ensure the pets safety/comfort.
Is this safe?
Does the pet experience a lot of stress?


Grissom's Mom
January 17th, 2005, 08:21 AM
I know our breeder refuses to ship their chihuahua's because it is stressful on the puppies being locked in a little box for several hours and being moved all over the place. There is a lot of potential for things to go wrong so I would avoid it if at all possible.

January 17th, 2005, 12:27 PM
The very worst part about shipping pets is the lack of oxygen. Due to a safety regulation, most airlines choose to have low oxygen levels in the carho hold. So any variance affects pets. Any loss of oxygen for whatever reason and there is none for the pet to breathe. Some airlines call it the "dirty little secret."

That's why the best bet is to make arrangements to take your pet on board with you.

Additionally, pets have been run over in their carriers, lost, manage to get out of their carriers and either die or are lost. So, no, it is not really the safest.

That said, ome airlines are better than others. Someone on the Board mentioned KLM but I just read about a terrible case where they lost someone's cat and refused to search the plane until it came back to its destination. Amazingly, after flying all over North America, the cat was alive - barely!! Delta and American Airlines seem to be preferred by cat breeders who ship. There are also certain things you can do to minimize risk - have a nonstop flight, and so on. There are several web sites that explain this, perhaps even one on

I hope this helps.

January 27th, 2005, 08:29 PM
I wonder if anyone has ever tried West Jet Cargo services. I know that Air Canada offers pet transport but you have to be very careful and ASK a LOT of questions when deciding which airline to use.
Air Canada does not offer heated or pressurized cargo on all flights. West Jet offers both on almost every flight and often has straight through flights between most major cities in Canada. West Jet is also about 1/4 the price of Air Canada.
I think you have to put as much research into the carrier as you did the breeder of your dog( or whatever means you are using to acquire your dog {shelter, rescue group} )
My sister uses Air Canada and West Jet all the time for shipping her critters ( she has a reptile zoo licence and operates a reptile zoo but also has numerous snakes and lizards that they breed and ship all over) She says she won`t use Air Canada in the winter because they don`t offer heated cargo or pressurized cargo for transport of live animals. Some of her reptiles are even more sensitive to changes in pressure/ oxygen and temps than dogs or cats will be.

There are always horror stories but I am sure there are other stories where everything went just fine. Just do your homework.