Every pet owner wants to take their pets along on both short and long travels. However, most pets aren’t natural travelers, making this goal somewhat impractical if you own specific animals as pets. I own a pet pigeon, and I often wonder if it is safe to travel with one.
You can always travel with your pet pigeon if there’s a need for it. If you can keep it at home with someone while you’re out, you should consider taking that option. Otherwise, you should follow the best practices for traveling with your pet pigeon.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about pigeons and flying. Firstly, you’ll learn if you should be traveling with your pigeon at all. Then, you’ll learn some of the best ways to travel with your bird for a hitch-free experience.
Are Birds Good Travel Pets?
While all birds have different personalities, most birds are similar when it comes to traveling. Generally, your bird’s size is the single most important factor that influences how well it travels, not the specific breed.
However, this doesn’t mean all birds are the same. Some bird breeds can passably tolerate traveling, while others are best left at home. Birds like canaries or finches are rarely travel-ready, while others like Amazons and cockatoos are always ready to fly.
When it comes to pigeons, however, it mostly comes down to the characteristics of your specific bird. Depending on their normal daily routine, likes, and dislikes, your pet pigeon may either enjoy traveling or hate it outright.
To determine if your pet can travel without any problems, there are some questions to which you need answers. Here are some of the best ways to determine if your bird will be a good or a terrible travel pet.
- The duration of the journey.
It’s recommended to only travel short distances with your pet pigeon. Pigeons usually have a well-defined daily routine, and your travel shouldn’t impact their routine to avoid stressing them out.
When traveling with your pigeon, it’s important to ensure that your bird stays comfortable and stress-free throughout the entire journey. Since traveling in a strange cage for hours without any rest isn’t the best way to relieve a bird’s stress, you should try avoiding it.
If you’ll be on the road or in the air for quite some time, you should consider training your bird to feel at home in the cage. Replacing its regular cage with the travel carrier for a few days before the travel is a pretty good way to start.
- The pigeon’s state of health.
The fact that your pigeon looks healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy enough to travel. In some cases, a pigeon will never be healthy enough to travel, no matter how hard you try.
Before going on a trip, it’s important to see a veterinarian to confirm if the bird is free of any infirmities. There are only a few things that could be more damaging than bringing an ill pet pigeon with you on a ride or flight. Some airlines will even require a veterinarian’s pass,
After confirming that your bird isn’t sick with any ailments, you should also try to confirm if your bird suffers from motion sickness. You don’t test for motion sickness with a three-hour flight; a five minutes ride is enough to check if your bird already shows symptoms of stress.
- The legality.
When traveling with a pigeon, there’s one crucial thing people tend not to care about: legalities. The US places almost no restrictions on pigeons, as they’re not regarded as exotic pets. If you can get it from a legal source, you can always keep a pigeon as a pet.
However, transporting pigeons internationally mightn’t be so easy. While most airlines won’t let you transport birds over insanely long distances, some destinations won’t even let you own one in the first place.
You don’t need a lawyer to explain anything to you. There are free resources on the internet where you can read region-specific regulations about owning or transporting a pigeon. If your destination has any anti-pigeon laws, you may want to leave your beloved bird behind.
What Is the Best Way to Travel with Your Pigeon?
If you want the absolute best experience for your pigeon, you should probably leave them at home. If that isn’t an option, you should also try to ensure that they’re traveling in the most comfortable way possible for them.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. If pigeons are most comfortable in an airplane, that won’t convince you to book a flight to your veterinarian on your next appointment. Likewise, if they prefer to travel in a car, traveling in a car from the US to South Korea will be much of a challenging task.
But regardless of what you might have read on the internet, your pigeon doesn’t care about the mode of transport. As long as you can keep them comfortable and relaxed throughout the journey, they’ll be okay with the trip.
With that said, it’s important to note that different methods of transporting pigeons have different comfort standards. Carrying your pigeon in the aeroplane’s cabin with you will be more comfortable for the bed than bundling them with the rest of your baggage.
If you’re going on a car ride, a bird car seat will be a good investment. They let your bird ride with you in the car comfortably, letting you do the driving while your bird does the chirping and sleeping.
How to Travel with a Pet Pigeon
As elaborated earlier, pigeons don’t care whether they’re traveling in a car or airplane. As long as they are comfortable enough to go about their activities without much stress, they can handle most means of transportation just fine.
Before booking a space for your pigeon, however, you want to ensure that you have a health clearance from the vet. While this clearance is expressly required when traveling to some destinations, it’s important to have it handy just in case.
You should also ensure that the bird’s carrier is comfortable and close enough to its natural habitat. If you can ensure that these conditions are met, you should have a great travel experience.