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Pet Travel News

Learn More about Pet Travel and Pet Moves

Why Airlines Don’t Accept Mushy-faced Pets

airline pet bans,brachycephalic breed,international pet move,international pet shipping,mushy faced breed,mushy-faced breed April 14, 2021

Sir Winston, English bulldog

Many airlines around the world do not accept brachycephalic breeds for pet travel or pet shipping. The bans include bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, French bulldogs and other “mushy-faced” breeds. This applies to mushy-faced cats, too.

“Why? They are adorable. But their narrowed and pinched nostrils, shortened airways and narrowed windpipes cause life-threatening breathing difficulties during transport,” said Air Animal Pet Movers founder and veterinarian, Walter M. Woolf, VMD.

“Dogs only have sweat glands on the tips of their noses and the pads of their feet. “Mushy faced” dogs are only able to cool their bodies by moving large volumes of air across their narrowed throats and extended tongues,” Woolf explained. “Extended and engorged tongues are dog radiators expelling body heat. On the other hand, cats don’t pant—at all.”

Some U.S. and international airlines accept brachycephalic breeds for transport but ONLY when the air temperature is than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) at origin, all transit points and destination. For up-to-date information about heat embargoes, please review the blog post.

“Ground transport is a safe alternative for all pets restricted by the airlines,” added Woolf. “Air Animal offers a network of trusted ground transport service partners throughout the USA. We also suggest pet parents of brachycephalic breeds check the airline websites for information.”

Please bookmark this page for up-to-date information.


Giving a Pet for the Holidays? Amp Up Anticipation Instead

buying a kitten,buying a pet online,buying a puppy,holiday pet giving,holiday pet scams,online holiday fraud November 3, 2020

If a new puppy or kitten has made it onto your gift list, give a gift that amps up anticipation and participation instead of bringing the cute little fur baby home during the holidays, advises Air Animal Pet Movers. 

Cory Robinette, Air Animal’s COO, recommends fulfilling holiday pet wishes this way. “Buy a beautiful plush puppy or kitten toy and give it with a card promising to contact a local breeder after the holidays when you can choose that real puppy or kitten together. Local animal shelters and breed rescue groups may also have that perfect pet just waiting for you. You may also find some post-holiday sales on dishes, leashes, beds, scratching posts and toys for your new fur baby,” Robinette adds.

“Puppies and kittens are babies. They need to bond with their pet parents, potty-train and learn the house rules. That means lots of play time and repeating the routines over and over. Keeping fur babies out of the holiday decorations and making sure they don’t eat something dangerous like chocolate or poinsettias is a full-time occupation. Bringing a fur baby home when celebrations slow down after the New Year can work a lot better,” says Walter M. Woolf, veterinarian founder and CEO of Air Animal Pet Movers.

There are thousands of Internet ads selling cute puppies and kittens or offering rescued pets during the holidays. Sadly, these ads often set-up cybercrime. “The Internet is full of imitators and fraudsters offering fake rescued pets, Siberian husky puppies, Yorkies, bulldogs, Capuchin monkeys, parrots and other boutique animals. Don’t be fooled by pet scams!” warns Robinette. “We get calls all the time from people who have been scammed. They think we are transporting their pet purchase from the fake breeder. It breaks our hearts.”

Acquiring that new member of your family through an internet purchase may look good. Caveat emptor---buyer beware. 

There are ways pet lovers can effectively fight back if they have been scammed. Check out Air Animal’s Don’t Be Fooled page. It’s regularly updated when new pet scams pop up.

Best bets to get a pet after the holidays:

  1. To buy a puppy or kitten through a breeder, shop local first. Take your time. Thoroughly check their references and reviews. Avoid Internet come-ons and scams.
  2. Find registered puppy breeders through the American Kennel Club
  3. Locate reputable kitten breeders through The International Cat Association or the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
  4. The U.S. Department of Agriculture licenses or registers every breeder, dealer, pet transporter or carrier. Check their registration with the USDA before sending money.
  5. Nearby animal shelters or rescue organizations are also excellent places to adopt a fur baby needing a home. Some of the rescue operations specialize in specific breeds.


Holiday Pet Travel—a Dog and Cat Advisory

international pet travel holiday pet travel commercial air pet travel program,pet travel October 6, 2020

Hello, I am Dr. Walter Woolf, the veterinarian founder and CEO of Air Animal Pet Movers. Thank you for your time and interest in Air Animal. If you are searching for pet travel options  this article is for you. 

Please remember that for holiday, leisure travel and vacations you are responsible for booking your own and your pet’s travel with your chosen airline. If you are relocating for job opportunities, career advancement, military PCS or returning to your home county, Air Animal is at your service. We relocate pets moving with their families anywhere in the U.S.—by ground, by air or a combination of the two. If you’re moving overseas, we understand the destination requirements to get your pet to your new home with the least amount of stress for you and your pet. Our Air Animal team fields a sizable number of phone calls, LiveChat website inquiries and online requests for pet move proposals every day.

If you’re traveling instead of relocating and you have a few more minutes I will share some pet travel airline flight options. My tips focus on North, Central and South American travel. Our staff has posted information and links to commercial passenger airline pet travel programs below. Pet travel health documents required vary between airlines and from one destination to another. For example, Hawaii’s protocol requires a rabies antibody test before entry and no quarantine.

Before you purchase your non-refundable passenger ticket for fall or winter leisure travel, use our list. Find the airline with the pet travel and acceptance policy that allows you to take your pet as “cabin baggage” in the passenger compartment. Every passenger airline defines the number of pets eligible to fly as cabin baggage, their weight and size, and the permitted breeds and species. You’ll also find that airline passenger cabin policies differ—especially when it comes to the number of pets allowed in the passenger compartment.

The pet travel scenario includes families in the USA who take their pets with them to visit relatives overseas for special life cycle events, weddings, graduations and religious holidays. The common requirements for international pet leisure travel are:

  1. An implanted microchip for pet verification
  2. A rabies vaccination at least 30 days old but not more than one year old
  3. An international health certificate issued by a USDA-accredited veterinarian and validated by the USDA within 10 days of flight.

Please note: Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico do not require USDA endorsement for entry.

Thanks for your time and be safe out there!

Walter Woolf, VMD, Air Animal Founder and Veterinarian

Click the table to print or download basic airline pet travel requirements

2020 Holiday Pet Travel Links


Toll Free



(800) 237-6639

Air Canada

(888) 247-2262

Alaska Airlines

(800) 252-7522


(800) 433-7300


+57 018000-953-434


(305) 949 8200


(305) 371-2672


(800) 221-1212


(801) 401-9000

Hawaiian *Flights leaving Hawaii or inter-island flights

(800) 367 5320


(800) 538-2583


(866) 435-9526


(800) 435-9792


(855) 728-3555


(800) 864-8331


Six Months In: The State of International Pet Moving from Air Animal Pet Movers

international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,international pet transportation September 16, 2020

Six months after COVID-19 closed much of the world, pets are moving internationally. Many clients are anxious, stressed and concerned about moving their pets during a global pandemic, according to Walter M. Woolf, veterinarian founder of Air Animal Pet Movers.

“In June 2005 Air Animal received 7,500 calls because the USA implemented the Safe Animal Transportation Act. Then one of the major airlines stopped taking pets. I had been the chairperson of the advisory task force to the Congressional joint resolutions committee responsible for reconciling the House and Senate versions before the act passed. The law was and continues to be the cornerstone keeping pets safe during air transport. Over time the number of pets relocating internationally with their owners skyrocketed. The state of international pet moving in September 2020 is all about capacity. It’s about air cargo space on passenger and special freight flights. And it’s about staffing at animal receiving centers throughout the world,” Woolf said.

The United Kingdom’s main pet import center at Heathrow airport has limited the number of pets that can arrive each day because COVID-19 is challenging their staffing. When a staff member becomes ill, contact tracing means several colleagues must quarantine as well. Because pet air cargo flights can only be scheduled two weeks ahead, the incoming slots at Heathrow are often already full. The situation requires a lot of back and forth for pet move managers, receiving center staff and relocating pet owners. This story is repeated at pet import centers around the world.

“We understand that cancelled flights, cancelled pet bookings, rescheduling travel and continually changing agendas are very frustrating. We always work with relocating pet parents to make sure their pets reach their new homes safely even though neither they nor Air Animal’s dedicated pet move managers control pandemic lock-downs, weather or airline schedules.

“Air Animal’s experienced pet move managers and client services team deal with the details so our clients don’t have to,” said Cory Robinette, Air Animal chief operating officer.

“We appreciate our clients’ understanding, their patience and their trust. Air Animal cares deeply about the pets our clients entrust to our care. Pet Moving Made Easy®. It’s our focus, our passion, our promise and our clients’ peace of mind. Always has been – always will be,” she added.


Still No Evidence That Pets Spread COVID

COVID 19,COVID FAQ,domestic pet shipping,domestic pet transportation,international pet move,international pet shipping September 16, 2020

In late July, the first dog to test positive for a COVID-19 infection in the United State died. The veterinarians who reviewed the dog’s records say the likely cause of death was a cancer called lymphoma which was not diagnosed until after the dog died.

Dr. John Howe, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, appeared on WNBC-TV (New York City) and said, “It’s extremely unlikely that a pet is going to get COVID-19.” 

Pets are highly unlikely to transmit the virus to people even if it gets on their skin or fur, according to the Mayo Clinic. Mayo and the AVMA advise against using disinfectants, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on pets. They also advise there is no reason to cover pets’ faces.

People with COVID-19 may spread the virus to animals. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that pet owners who are sick limit their interactions with their pets.


First Flight in Tampa Bay

September 16, 2020

Getting from Tampa to St. Petersburg, FL before 1914 took five-hours by train, or a slow steamboat across the bay.

Enter Tony Jannus, a famous pilot and barnstormer known for his adventurous stunts. In 1912 he set a new record for an overwater flight between the two cities. This caught the attention of businessmen Percival Fansler, invested in Jannus’ “flying boats” creating a commercial route.

The first ticket was bought at auction for $400. The first flight took place Jan. 1, 1914 in front of 3,000 aviation fans. The Benoist plane took 23 minutes to reach Tampa from St. Petersburg, FL on a 75 horsepower engine traveling about 60 miles per hour. A propeller blade monument in the park near the corner of Bayshore Blvd. and Platt St. commemorates the landing.

Fansler addressed the crowd when the airboat arrived. “What was impossible yesterday is an accomplishment today, while tomorrow heralds the unbelievable.”

The Airboat Line’s commercial fares were $5 one way. Jannus made two flights a day. The airline booked charters to Egmont Key, Pass-a-Grille, Clearwater and other nearby waterfront locations.

In the twenties, Florida was booming. Eddie Rickenbacker established Florida Airways in 1926. The airline had four planes that could carry eight passengers and two crewmembers. According to the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, fares were based on railroad fares plus $5 for each hour saved. It cost $30 to ride the train from Jacksonville to Tampa and $70 by plane because the plane saved 8 hours. Florida Airways served Miami, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Macon. No pets—yet.

Photo: Janus is pictured at the helm of one of the Benoist planes. (Photo from the State Archives of Florida).

Sources: “Tampa 100,” (Aug. 27, 2020), “Exploring Florida, University of South Florida” (


Air Animal Recommends Ehrlichia Pre-Test Before Pet Moves to Australia & New Zealand

international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transportation,move my dog to Australia,PCS move August 13, 2020

Harper, Labrador retriever, Washington to New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand require dogs to test negative for Ehrlichia canis before entering the countries. This tick-borne disease is not contagious to people.

“Ehrlichia canis, the tick borne disease, has emerged recently across the globe, as tick populations normally surge from time to time,” said Dr. Walter M. Woolf, Air Animal founder and USDA-accredited veterinarian.

Air Animal highly recommends clients relocating their dog to Australia or New Zealand start the six-month pre-move process with an Ehrlichia canis screening pre-test if they now live in areas with past or present tick infestations. They also recommend immediately beginning monthly flea and tick prevention.

"If clients wait to test when the obligatory Ehrlichia canis blood draw is required within 45 days of export, there just isn’t time to complete medical treatments and re-testing if the dog tests positive due to exposure. 

“The early Ehrlichia canis blood test and the required rabies antibody test can be drawn during the same veterinary visit at the beginning of the six month pet relocation timeline," said Woolf.

Harper, Labrador retriever, Washington to New Zealand


Meet Aero, Future Super Hero

Air Animal Charity August 11, 2020

This beautiful yellow Labrador retriever named Aero is enrolled in Southeastern Guide Dog preschool and proudly sponsored by Air Animal® Pet Movers.

Charity of Choice

Aero recently went home with her puppy raiser to start her journey toward superhero status! Aero’s volunteer puppy raiser will be spending the next year teaching basic obedience and house manners until Aero is ready to come back to Southeastern Guide Dogs for evaluations and formal training.

Southeastern Guide Dogs serves those who cannot see and those who have seen too much. Southeastern Guide Dogs offer dogs and services at no cost to people who need them across the United States. Their breeding and training facility in Palmetto, Florida is one of the most advanced in the world. They raise and train “elite working dogs that provide life-changing services for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military.” Training and caring for one dog for life is a $60,000 investment.

Our staff toured the campus and attended “Beyond the Dark” to understand more about the organization, its mission and its capabilities. Watch our News Blog for occasional Pupdates!

Schedule your move! Se habla Español Call 1(800) 635-3448