Have you ever noticed your pet panting after a short walk on hot summer days? Much like when getting exercise, your pets can also experience these “heat waves” while travelling. Just like humans, your pet can also regulate its body temperature, but as a pet owner there are steps that can be taken to ensure a comfortable trip for your furry friend.

  1. Adjust your flight time. Even though you may want to arrive at your location at a specific time, it is best to avoid traveling on flights departing or arriving midday. Heat waves are the strongest between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm and can gravely impact your pet’s travel. Preferably flying in the early morning or late evening will allow your pet to be more comfortable when adjusting from indoor to outdoor temperatures.
  2. Easy access to water. No matter the length of the flight, your furry friend needs to be able to stay hydrated. Ensure access to water is convenient for your pet and that it can be refilled without needing to open the travel carriage. Bonus tip: Pre-freeze the water tray to reduce spillage and guarantee access to water throughout the flight.
  3. Increase airflow. Cracking a window open for your pet in the car is acceptable, but unfortunately it cannot be done on the plane. However, using a carrier with ventilation on all four sides will help increase airflow for your pet. Comfort is key for smooth travelling and avoiding stress produced from overheating. If the carrier you have purchased does not have openings for air circulation on all sides, create your own. Use a drill to create one-inch holes along the side with no ventilation. Ensure the holes are not large enough to affect the structure of the carrier.
  4. Avoid synthetic bedding. Help regulate your pet’s body temperature by removing any synthetic bedding your carrier may have. Synthetic bedding holds in heat and affects your pet’s ability to regulate body temperature. Instead, replace it with a thick layer of newsprint or cotton bedding.
  5. Get the right size carrier. Measure your dog before purchasing their carrier. Your pet should be able to lie down, turn around and comfortably stand in its natural position. Size is key for ensuring a stress free journey and ensuring airflow to prevent overheating.

A comfortable journey for your pet creates an easy transition into its new environment. Unlike humans, dogs have a harder time adjusting and moderating their body temperature. Before flying, consider grooming your pet to remove any excess hair that may increase the chance of overheating. Your furry friend will have a smooth, stress-free journey when following these five tips for travelling in the heat!