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Shipping Pets – What You Should Know


People often consider their pets as members of the family—we know we do! If ever a time arises in which a pet requires shipping, the process can be made stress-free and anxiety-free. Just asking the right questions and knowing what to expect. Luckily, Amerijet has compiled a list of must-knows and to-dos in order to make shipping domestic pets a smooth and stress-free experience.

The shipping container

The sooner you can introduce your pet to the shipping container the better! Getting them acclimated to the container will dramatically reduce their stress levels. You want your pet to consider the crate their safe place. Leave the crate open and in an area easily accessible to your pet. Keep a blanket and a few toys in there, and make sure they have plenty of time to make it their own. Use practice sessions in the crate to improve acclimation and increase their time in confinement.

Remember: it’s also important to purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate.

Remember to prepare with these safety compliances!

Check required vaccinations record. Provide an additional leash, collar and ID to the kennel animal handler or pet caretaker if the need to walk or access your dog arises for any reason. Your pet should also wear ID tags or have a microchip.

No sedatives or tranquilizers!

While it may seem counterintuitive, sedating your pet is actually one of the worst things you can do for them. Limited research is available about the effects of sedation at high altitudes in pressurized cargo holds. Effects are unpredictable and in some cases may be dangerous!

According to Dr. Patricia Olson of the American Humane Association (AHA) “An animal’s natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation,” noted Dr. Patricia Olson of the American Humane Association (AHA). “When the kennel is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury.”

What about food and water?

In order to minimize the motion sickness, veterinarians recommend you do not feed your pet in the six hours prior to shipping. However, a small amount of water is permitted. Depending on the length of your journey, you may be required to attach food to the outside of the shipping container. Secure a small water tray to the inside of the kennel, easily accessible by workers. You can even freeze water in the tray prior to shipping in order to minimize spilling.

Exercise your pet before hand

A long walk or fetch session prior to shipping helps alleviate some of your pet’s stress. As with people, exercise will make your pet relaxed and tired.

Check documentation

Depending on the shipping destination, your pet may require special documentation and immunizations. Make sure you check all local and international laws to ensure Fido won’t be detained upon arrival. According to the DOT, they recommend a licensed veterinarian examines your animal within 10 days prior to shipping to receive a health certificate.

Amerijet ships your pets as if they were our own. We provide them with the utmost care to ensure your peace of mind through the entire process. If you need to ship your pet, contact us today for more information!

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