You might want to think twice the next time you sneeze in the general direction of your beloved pet* — according to researchers, people underestimate their ability to pass on illnesses like seasonal flu to their furry friends. Instead of blithely breathing into Rover or Fluffy’s face, researchers say you should be as mindful of passing on bugs to your pets as you are with your friends, family and co-workers.
Animal lovers were justifiably critical of Delta Airlines after sixteen pets died in 2010 during or after flights in the cargo hold. But even after banning frequently-overheating short-muzzled breeds like bulldogs from the skies, nineteen pets passed away during or shortly after Delta flights in 2011. That’s out of a total of 35 pets that died on U.S. carriers last year. In addition, nine pets sustained major or minor injuries, and two were lost.
As nice as it is to have a furry, feathered or fishy companion around the house, between food, medicine, the vet and other expenses, it can sometimes add up to a lot of red ink in your checkbook.
As I helped my friend drag three suitcases and two cat carriers across the airport at 5 AM for a cross-country flight, I thought to myself, “there has got to be a better way to transport cats than this.” Especially when I imagined her cats, or any of my own pets, spending most of the day in cargo. My dog can barely handle a fifteen-minute car ride.