Pet Air Travel Tips: Hydration Is Key
There are many details to consider when getting a pet ready for a move, but one of the most important things to remember -- especially during the warmer months -- is the importance of hydration.
Making sure your furry travelers have enough water in their system before, during, and after a move can make all the difference when it comes to their overall well-being, and it will make it easier for them to bounce back to their normal selves after even the longest journey.
Here are a few general tips, including how to keep your pet hydrated, that will come in handy in the hours before take-off. Travel safely, everyone!
Keep your pets on a normal schedule.
Feeding and exercise should be monitored in the days before the flight to keep pets feeling as calm and normal as possible. A couple of extra walks and more playtime than usual will tire them out and increase the chances of up-in-the-air nap time, and having water available in the hours beforehand will allow them to reach healthy levels of hydration.
Don't feed pets right before a flight.
Even if there's a long journey ahead, it's better to avoid food for two hours or more before take-off so that an upset tummy will be less likely.
Say NO to sedation.
You may have a generally nervous pet on your hands, but sedation can be dangerous and is not advised or allowed. The best you can do is make sure your pet is well-exercised and comfortable with the travel crate, so start working on these factors well in advance of the move.
Monitor water consumption.
Give your pets water before they get into their crate, secure water dishes to the inside of the crate so they have access to fluids during the flight, and you can even freeze water in the travel dishes beforehand or bring ice cubes along so that as they melt your pet will have another chance to drink.
Check for temperature embargoes.
Many airlines restrict pet travel during the summer months, so make sure you have clear answers about any changes there may be in order to avoid delays or problems.
Double check with your PetRelocation Coordinator that everything is in order.
Things are probably well-covered after all of this, but it never hurts to run down the list once more if you've hired someone to help you.
Keep track of your own stress level.
Some people feel inclined to limit their pet's water intake to avoid accidents in the crate -- use your own best judgment here, and don't forget that it's fine to place an old towel or some shredded newspaper in the bottom of the crate to absorb messes. Also, remember that air travel tends to dehydrate humans, too. If your pets are thirsty when they land, simply help them rehydrate as you would do yourself and focus on helping them to settle into their new surroundings.
Please contact PetRelocation if you have any more questions about traveling safely with pets.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2012 and has been updated with new information.