Let’s Paws: Pilot probably saved one lucky dog

A pilot is credited with saving the life of a French bulldog on an Air Canada flight from Israel to Canada.

Which begs the question: What was Simba, a 7-year-old bulldog doing in the cargo hold to begin with? This breed —  one of those snub-nosed types — is notorious for breathing problems. And this one obviously wasn’t a youngster.

The Humane Society says it succinctly: Air travel is particularly dangerous for

My step-dog, done in by breathing issues.

My step-dog, done in by breathing issues.

animals with “pushed in” faces like bulldogs, pugs and Persian cats. The medical term is

“brachycephalic.”  These breeds are especially susceptible to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke.

Don’t do it.

But if  you’ve moving somewhere where the drive’s too long — it’s obviously advisable to try to get the pet in the passenger cabin with you.

There’s are companies out there like petchauffeur.com in NYC that will sit with your dog in the cabin. Or drive your pet anywhere they want to go in the continental U.S.

If you’re traveling for an extended vacation or moving across the ocean or around the world and the cargo hold is really the only option, there are companies that can ease the pain. But as you can imagine, they’re not cheap.

One well-known one is petrelocation.com, based in Austin. They handle travel door-to-door. They say they deal only with “pet-friendly” airlines. They work with the pet’s vet and push owners to get their pets used to crates and the cargo experience well before the move. The price: $1,200 and up.

Sure wish I could start an airline just for pets. There was one that I wrote about a few years ago, but it went out of business.

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