No Sedation when Flying Pets! Here at PetRelocation, we are constantly asked about sedation or the use of tranquilizers when flying our customers' pets. Simply, the answer is NO! According to the American Veterinary Medical Association AVMA , sedating cats or dogs during air travel may increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems.
Except in unusual circumstances, veterinarians should not dispense sedatives for animals that are to be transported. The Unknown Effects of Tranquilizing Pets During Air Travel Little is known about the effects of sedation on animals that are being shipped by air and enclosed in kennels at 8, feet or higher, the altitude at which cargo holds are pressurized.
Additionally, some animals react abnormally to sedatives. Although animals may be excitable while being handled during the trip to the airport and prior to loading, they probably revert to a quiescent resting state in the dark, closed cargo hold, and the sedatives may have an excessive effect.
There have been a number of instances where sedated pets traveling by air needed veterinary care to recover from the sedation. Some pets could not be revived. Occasionally, owners have given repeated doses to ensure a comfortable journey for their pet.
When questioned by airline personnel, many owners claim that their veterinarians had advised them to do so. Cats for instance, occasionally become more excited following the administration of "sedating" drugs.
Increased altitude can also create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats that are sedated or tranquilized. Brachycephalic pug or snub nosed dogs and cats may be especially affected. Alternatives to Pet Travel Sedation Rather than tranquilizing, pre-condition your pet to the travel container!
According to the Air Transport Association, "As far in advance of the trip as possible, let your pet get to know the flight kennel.
Veterinarians recommend leaving it open in the house with a chew bone or other familiar objects inside so that your pet will spend time in the kennel.
It is important for your dog or cat to be as relaxed as possible during the flight. Rather than sedation, consider crate training the kindest and smartest thing you can do for your pets as you prepare them to fly domestically or internationally.
Have more questions about pet travel? Contact PetRelocation to discuss your safe pet transport options.