How to Prepare for Safe Summer Travel With Pets

Pierre in the poolSummer is a busy time for pet travel, and whether you're planning a relocation or a vacation, it's important to show your pets the care and attention they need during what can be a hectic time filled with heat-related hazards.

As temperatures rise and your move date draws near, here are a few important items that will help to make summer travel with pets a smooth and safe process.

Check for Airline Embargoes

If you're planning pet air travel and your pet is too large to fly in the cabin, you'll want to check with the airline to find out about any possible summer embargoes that may be in place. Often certain hubs follow abbreviated schedules when it comes to live animal cargo due to heat concerns. Check websites, make some phone calls, and/or talk to your pet travel specialist to find out if your airline's summer schedule will affect your planned pet travel route.

Stay Hydrated

Pet hydration during travel is important at any time of the year, but of course this is especially vital when it's hot outside. Give pets plenty of water before and after a trip, and make water available during a flight by attaching water bowls securely to the crate and filling them at the last moment. (Pro tip: To reduce spillage and ensure water is available for longer, freeze the water trays the night before the move.)

Groom Only if Necessary

Depending on what type of hair your pet has, he or she may benefit from a little bit of pre-travel summer grooming. Be careful, though: trimming an unruly mane may be a good idea in some cases, but read this pet grooming advice before taking things too far. A dog's hair often acts as a natural cooling system and this coverage can protect skin from sun damage, so proceed mindfully.

Choose the Travel Crate Wisely

Again, choosing the right pet travel crate is always important, but it's especially key during the warm summer months. Especially for snub-nosed pets, consider choosing a crate that's one size larger than you'd normally select in order to promote as much airflow as possible and avoid stuffy situations.

Be Flexible

Remember, your pet's health and safety are the most important considerations, so be prepared to deviate from your original travel plan and stay flexible if it means keeping your furry family member more comfortable. Summer travel with pets often means scheduling flights early in the morning or later at night when it's cooler outside, and in some cases you may need to push travel back a few days or weeks if temperatures are steadily too high.

Enjoy the summer, pet lovers! And as always, please contact PetRelocation for a pet travel consultation if you have questions or concerns about how to travel with pets.


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Airlines, Airports, Ask the Experts


Cats, Dogs, Snub-Nosed Breeds


United States, UK, Australia, EU


Add a Comment

By Francine Bremer on April 27, 2018 at 9:51 am

My dog will not fit under my seat. She never been without me. Can I give her anxiety pills?

By Christina at PetRelocation on April 30, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Hi Francine,

If you are concerned about separation anxiety, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian about natural options for helping. Although many people think sedatives could be helpful for their pets, they can actually be harmful in the context of air travel. The best thing you can do for her is begin crate training as soon as possible so that she feels as comfortable and safe as possible in that space. This will help considerably!

By Daphne on May 12, 2017 at 8:44 am

Hi,We are moving from NJ to CA at the end of the year and we will of course bring our dog with us, a 4 year old pitbull (65lbs). My dog gets extremely nervous and anxious when left alone or in a crate, so I think I might need to give him sleeping pills to help him get through the trip. Is there any brand that you would recommend?Thank you! Daphne

By on May 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

Hello Daphne, thank you for reaching out! We actually do not recommend any form of sedation ( as it may increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems during travel. Also, most airlines will not allow pets to board if they appear to be sedated or are extremely lethargic. The best way to prepare your dog for travel is to crate train as much in advance as possible. The more your dog views his travel crate as a second home, the more likely he'll be calm and sleep during travel anyways. If you need new ideas on how to best approach crate training, please visit our blog here ( Also, we've had some clients use natural calming oils or sprays in the past to help achieve a less stressful journey for their pet. Hope this helps!

By Anna Sakila on May 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

Great tip! For those who will be flying with pets, this is very useful to know. Thanks for sharing!

By Pet Transporter on April 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

Be careful suggesting a size larger crate than the airline regulations dictates. Pets have been denied boarding for a 2" difference in size of a travel crate. I would say attach a 2nd large crock of frozen water. And do not use any water crock smaller than 20oz(except for a very,very small pet).

By on April 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

Thanks for the tips! Some airlines in particular are extremely strict about crate sizing (in our experience British Airways may reject crates that are too small, for example). It's always best to double check with your pet transport coordinator when in doubt. And yes, hydration is key!

Add a Comment

Name is required

Email is required and must be in the format

Comment is required

Back to top