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My Pet World: What to consider when flying with a pet this summer

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

My daughter will be moving to London this summer. She has two rescue cats and wants to take them with her. She found an agent in Miami who takes care of all the requirements and paperwork. She just needs to be there to collect them when they arrive. Is it safe for the cats to take such a long flight? I understand they have to travel in the cargo hold, and I am worried about how stressed they will be. — Amy, Coral Springs, Florida

Dear Amy,

It’s natural to be a little concerned. If they are on a non-stop flight, they should sleep/rest during the entire trip, which I estimate is eight hours. The cargo hold is pressurized and climate-controlled, so it will accommodate them.

However, airlines won’t fly animals if it’s below 45 degrees or above 84 degrees. The concern is not the temperature in the cargo hold, but the holding area or on the runway where animals wait before boarding a flight. The temperatures at Miami International Airport during the summer will likely be in the 90s. The agent may be planning for the cats to fly on an early morning or late evening flight to avoid these temperature restrictions, or maybe the agent knows of an airline with climate-controlled holding areas. But this is something to consider if flying cats during the summer.

Overall, the cats will be a bit stressed during the trip but should recover within a few days after reuniting with their “mom.”


Dear Cathy,

Reo is an 8-year-old, 75-pound, non-aggressive boxer/pit mix. When we are at the dog park or doggie day care, other dogs try to mount him. He pays no attention to it. Any thoughts as to why? — Elaine, Long Beach, New York

Dear Elaine,

While mounting is a sexual behavior, it’s also a normal canine posture during play. While most dogs will take turns with this “top-dog” pose, sometimes there is an overly dominant dog who will do most of the mounting or a very submissive dog who doesn’t mind the stance or doesn’t mount during play at all. If you ever feel like your dog is unhappy or the activity has gone on for long enough, politely ask the other pet parent to call their dog so your dog can have a break.


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