Navigation Services Home Learning Articles Products News Breeders Contact Navigation Services

Red Alert on Air Shipment of Pets

written by Marina Zacharias

Here's a little bombshell for you:

"...over-sedation is the most frequent cause of death of pets being transported by air."

This observation comes from none other than Dr. Arthur V. Tennyson of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is now advising veterinarians not to prescribe a tranquilizer or other sedatives for animals about to travel by air... except in unusual circumstances. Even though such drugs have been used, there is very little actually known about the effects of sedation on animals that are enclosed in cages and transported at high altitudes.

Dr. Tennyson says that even if the animal appears excited before the trip begins, once aloft it probably calms down in the dark, closed hold. When the pet is calm, however, the effect of the drug might be excessive, he warns.


As most breeders are involved in air shipment at one time or another, I wish there were some way I could scream this information to every breeder in the country. Again we see drastic effects of the "drug" mindset going unnoticed and causing unwarranted deaths for our animals. How long must we continue to put up with this kind of shear nonsense while the same people continue to condemn the simple, natural remedies available that entirely eliminate the problem with complete safety!!

To help an animal that will be flown, the Bach Flower remedies are extremely useful. We all know about Rescue Remedy (or Calming Essence). This can be improved for flying by adding Mimulus for specific fears (i.e. fear of abandonment) and Aspen for the vague and general fear. Elm is a good remedy for the feeling of being overwhelmed (ex. by the rigors of traveling). If the trip is long, add Wild Rose. This will help the stress of confinement and will aid to bring joy.

Some very good homeopathics to keep in mind are Aconite to help with the fright or terror of travel. Argent Nit. is a good remedy for those that show great anxiety or apprehension. These animals are agitated and this remedy also helps with claustrophobia. Homeopathic Borax is great for the fear of loud noises (especially thunderstorms) -- (Jet engines).

(Ed. Note: Many of these remedies are available in a combined remedy called "Fear / Stress').

The remedies chosen can be given 3 times a day the day before travel and more frequently on the day of travel (i.e. when you are packing; leave the house; arrive at the airport; and just before you must leave the animal). If water is accompanying the animal in the crate, then the remedy can also be put in the water dish.

For those animals that are extremely bad or nervous travelers, a very effective glandular / herbal combination should be used called Tranquil Complex. This provides nutritional support to the body to help keep calm, but in no way does it leave an animal "doped up" or groggy as in medication. It simply helps to soothe and nourish the nerves and supports the entire nervous system.