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Top tips for relocating your pet during summer

Relocating to a different country with your pet during the summer comes with its own challenges. Extreme temperatures during summer are known to pose serious health risks in pet dogs and cats, particularly in snub-nosed or brachycephalic breeds. If you are planning to travel with your pet during the summer, there are some precautions to take to make sure your pet has a safe and comfortable flight.

Airline embargo

Many airlines impose travel embargoes on pets during the hot summer months. When your pet dog or cat is on the flight, he or she travels in a temperature-controlled compartment. However, during layovers, or while waiting to board or after disembarking, they will be exposed to high temperatures, which could lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration, especially in hot countries. Your pet is confined in his or her crate till the boarding and disembarking formalities are complete; extreme temperatures at this time could cause overheating, leading to heatstroke.

Generally, most airlines have pet travel embargoes in place to protect your pet from such issues. If the temperature at the arrival or the departure airport or any city in your pet’s itinerary is above 29 oC or below 7  oC, your pet will not be allowed to board.

Many airlines refuse to board brachycephalic dogs such as Pugs, Tibetan Spaniels, Shar Pei, Boxers, etc. and cats such as Burmese, Himalayan, Exotic Short Hair, Persian, etc. during the summer months. This is because extreme temperatures can heighten respiratory distress in snub-nosed breeds. If you own a brachycephalic pet, it is advisable not to travel during summer.

An experienced pet relocation service will be able to advise you on the best travel routes and airlines to fly with and explain in detail the precautions necessary to travel comfortably during summer.

Schedule flights with care

Avoid booking your pet’s trip during the hottest periods of the day, like mid-afternoon and the hottest days of summer. An early morning or a late evening flight will be cooler and more comfortable for your pet. Take a look at the previous weather forecast for the days around the date on which you want to travel, and choose the least hot periods to fly. In cities where summer temperatures are extreme, night flights may be the best alternative.

Try to fly on the shortest flight with the least stops. If the layover is long, check if the airport has climate-controlled transit areas and walk areas for your pet. A pet relocation company can help schedule the most convenient flights for your furry friend.

Well-ventilated crate

Your pet dog or cat will have to travel in an IATA-approved crate, the dimension of which is based on the size of the pet. The general rule is that the crate has to be big enough for your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably. The crate should also be well-ventilated, with ventilation holes on at least three sides to enable better flow of air.

If you are planning a summer relocation, it is advisable to use a crate one size larger than usual. A larger crate allows for more air for your pet and this is especially important for brachycephalic breeds.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

The most significant risk your pet faces while travelling in the summer is dehydration. Make sure your pet is well hydrated in the days leading up to the flight. The crate will have a water bowl attached to the door. When travelling in hot climates it is an option to freeze a second water bowl beforehand so your pet can have an additional water supply. Some crates have a water sipper attached. Teach your dog or cat to drink from the sipper before they fly.

Grooming: Yea or nay?

The jury is still out on whether grooming your dog is helpful during hot flights because in some dog breeds the coat helps keep the animal cool. A bit of pre-travel grooming may benefit your dog, but it is best not to go overboard with the haircut. Speak with a vet before grooming your pet and check if it will keep him or her cool or make it worse. When it comes to grooming, it is always best to proceed with caution.

Get expert help

In general, ensure your pet is in good health before planning your summer travel. A healthy dog or cat has the best chances of taking on the extreme temperatures successfully.

Relocating to a different country with your pet can be daunting, especially in the summer when there are additional precautions to be taken. Your flight schedule and your pet’s flight schedule may not necessarily match, and if you are flying long haul, it comes with a whole new set of challenges. An expert pet relocation company can help make your relocation experience smooth and stress-free.

If you are planning to move to a different country with your pet this summer, reach out to us at Petraveller for a complete travel plan for your pet.

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