Should I Sedate My Dog During Travel?

dog in crateSedation and Shipping Pets

Dear PetRelocation,

We are traveling soon and our dog has never been crated. What are your suggestions? Do you recommended giving him a mild sedative?




Hi Patricia,

For pets who have never traveled before, it can seem pretty overwhelming to think about how they'll do inside a crate for several hours. With the proper planning, however, pets with all kinds of backgrounds and experiences are able to fly safely every day.

First, you'll want to help your dog get used to the travel crate by slowly introducing it to him one piece at a time (first just the bottom, then add the top, then the door, etc.). Place blankets, toys and treats inside the crate to make it an appealing place, and keep it out in a common area of your your home so he sees it often. When you've made it this far, start to practice leaving him inside it for increasing amounts of time.

Over time this should make the crate feel like a normal part of his life, and by the time you have to travel it shouldn't be too stressful. Note that we do not recommend sedatives, and in fact airlines will not accept a pet who has been sedated. Sedation can dangerously affect a pet's ability to breathe and function normally, so crate training in advance is the very best way to go about it.

Hopefully this helps to get you started. Please let us know if you'd like some assistance planning your move, and good luck with your travels!


Pet Travel Question Details:

Name: Patricia
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Cocker Spaniel
From: Philadelphia, US
To: Puerto Rico


Ready to start planning your pet's move? Contact us to discuss your safe pet transport options.


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2014 and has been updated with new information.


PetRelocation Team




United States, Puerto Rico
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