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The problem with pets on planes

A study conducted in New Zealand found cat dander on 100 percent of airplane seats.

While it's possible to make their own house animal-free, those with pet allergies often simply cannot control the presence of pet dander around them in everyday life. Air travel can be particularly tricky for those who suffer from these problems.

Because the FAA has no regulations on pet travel, many allergic passengers are left to suffer when they find out that there is a dog or cat on their plane. While individual airlines do have their own regulations on pet travel, Forbes reports that such regulations typically extend only so far as to request that passengers with pets keep such animals in pet carriers, and most don't even mention what dog or cat owners should do in case another passenger has an allergy.

Those people who bring a pet onto a plane can do something to limit the discomfort of people around them. Travelers who plan on bringing their animal along should have it bathed and brushed one to two days before the flight Dr. Sakina Bajowala said in the August 10 article in Forbes, as this can lead to a temporary reduction in pet dander.

It is also important for pet owners and the pet-allergic to communicate. Rather than run into trouble later on, those who are allergic to dogs or cats should ask to be moved if they happen to have been seated near one, and those bringing their critters with them should make that obvious to those passengers nearby.

Any traveler with allergies should let the airline know this while they are booking the flight, so that they may be seated away from difficult pets.

Escaping the presence of allergy inducing pet dander seems nearly impossible, however. A study out of New Zealand found that a certain kind of allergy inducing cat dander was present on 100 percent of airline seats. Those who have severe cat allergies should therefore travel prepared with allergy medicine and an epipen in case of serious attack. 

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