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Travel Happy

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YOU might like to take something to help you sleep or to calm your nerves when you fly, but this is really NOT a good idea for your pet. Having relocated many thousands of animals over three decades, we have very very rarely faced those rare exceptions of a pet that absolutely needs something to calm its jitters. We know you're worried, but think twice and very carefully.

Sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs can be very dangerous for animals flying in the pressurized environment of an airplane. They affect blood pressure and the central nervous system, limiting your pet's ability to safely control vital organ function. Although of course climate-controlled, the cargo hold can get a little chilly, and we all know how cabin pressures can change (popping ears ring a bell?) - all this for a sedated pet can spell danger. We know you want to help Fluffy chill out with a happy pill, but in fact most sedatives don't alter Fluffy's perception of his environment, only his ability to react to it! How frightening is THAT! He may be unhappy but now his little tail won't work and his yap won't yap the way he wants them too... he feels all weird and uncertain. No, not a good idea at all.

So what can you do to make your jet-setting pet a happy flyer? A number of things, actually. Most importantly, get your mind into a "no drugs" place, and then get advice from knowledgeable people who think the same way.

Top Tips

  1. It's very important for your pet to become very used to her travel box, long before flight time - weeks or even months. Let her wander in, out and around it, sleep and eat in it, all without feeling trapped or under pressure. This simple "getting used to it" process will almost always resolve a lot of your (and your pet's) concerns. She will learn that her box is safe, a good place to be, and a source of comfort!
  2. Animal pheromones are believed to appease pets. Felliway can be sprayed in kitty's travel box and Fluffy can wear a DAP dog collar a few weeks before the flight.
  3. Sleep in the same t-shirt for a few nights (eeeeew!) and put that lovely smelling-of-you garment into her travel box... your beloved Fluffy will be grateful for it (yep, you smell gooooood!).
  4. And if you and your advisors become certain that sedation/anxiolytics are absolutely necessary,  you must talk to your vet to plan a safe drug regime and to the airline to get authorization. Plan, plan, plan!

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