Top 10 Steps To Take Before Shipping Your Dog

Dog shipping is a safe, effective way to relocate your dog, and following these 10 tips will help the trip go smoothly for your best friend.

If you plan on moving or have another need that requires you relocate your dog to another city, you may be wondering what steps you can take to make the journey as easy and stress-free as possible. Fortunately, you can take comfort in knowing that dog relocation companies, like Air Pets America, have the expertise to make sure your dog is safe and secure when traveling across country or even the world. However, prior to the actual departure date, there are actions you can take to help the psychology state of your best friend to eliminate or minimize any mental stress. Here are our top 10 steps to take before shipping your dog.

The following are our top 10 recommendations:

1. A month so prior to shipping your dog, set up the travel crate in a busy part of the house and leave the door open. Encourage your dog to go into the crate, sometimes by leaving treats inside, and allow him or her to leave it freely. This will help your dog get used to it before traveling.

2. At the same time, purchase the water bowl that will accompany your dog during the trip. The bowl will be used for water and sometimes food during travel. Use them in your home for water and food so your dog becomes accustomed to them and begins to associate them with you and familiar surroundings.

3. Once your dog is comfortable being inside the crate, try simulating the experience of moving by placing it on a cart and rolling it around. He or she needs to get used to the idea of being moved while inside since that’s what will happen during the trip.

4. Recent studies using MRIs of the canine brain show that dogs experience similar positive and negative emotions similar to those of a human child. Therefore sights and especially smells can trigger positive feelings in a dog’s brain. The night before the trip, wear an old t-shirt or socks to bed and place it in your dog’s crate before the flight. The familiar smell will produce a positive emotional response and help keep your friend calm.

5. Similarly, be sure to pack one of your dog’s favorite toy (be sure it’s small) to accompany him or her in the crate. You can also consider including one of your old t-shirts or socks. The more familiar the travelling environment, the less stress your dog will experience. However, do not pack heavy or sharp objects that may pose a hazardous threat when the crate is moved or if the plane experiences turbulence.

6. The night before or at least 6-8 hours before the actual flight, feed your dog a meal rich in carbohydrates and provide plenty of water. The carbo-loading will have a similar effect that it has on humans and make your dog drowsy and more likely to sleep during the trip.

It is true that wild dogs or wolves do not naturally eat starch, but domesticated dogs, like humans, can tolerate a certain amount of carbohydrate in the diet quite well. See the Nature article is titled “The Genomic Signature of Dog Domestication Reveals Adaptation to a Starch-rich Diet”. But avoid sugar or sweets. Sweet potatoes and white potatoes are considered best types of carbohydrates. However, do not feed your dog during the four hours prior to departure because a full stomach can cause the animal discomfort during travel.

7. The actual day to ship your dog, make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. Go for a long walk or play sticks. Carry a leash with you when bringing your dog to the shipping company and allow him or her to move about as desired.

8. We recommend NOT giving your dog a sedative before the flight. Sedation is dangerous and not even allowed by the airlines. Sedation may interfere with normal breathing and your dog’s ability to regulate his or her own temperature, so it simply isn’t worth the risk when it comes to air travel.

9. Dogs have the ability to sense your emotions. If you feel stress or anxiety, your dog will pick up on these feelings and either exhibit them as well or internalize them. On the day of the trip, do your best to exhibit a sense of calm and happiness.

10. If traveling during the summer or winter months, choose travel companies, like Airpets International, that will accommodate the temperature extremes. For example, early morning or late evening flights are better in the summer; afternoon flights are better in the winter.

Follow these 10 steps, and you’ll go a long way towards making the trip for your dog – and you – as easy and stress-free as possible. In addition to this advice, consider using a professional agency that will have the specialized knowledge of airline policies, travel crate requirements, boarding accommodation, proper animal identification, and veterinary procedures to ensure the safest and most stress-free travel experience possible.

Most organizations, like Airpets International, are run by dog lovers who understand your companion is a member of your family and should be treated with special care.

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