Here at Pet Relocation, we are constantly asked about sedation or the use of tranquilizers when flying our customers' pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), sedating cats or dogs during air travel may increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems.Except in unusual circumstances, veterinarians should not dispense sedatives for animals that are to be transported.
There have been a number of instances where sedated pets traveling by air needed veterinary care to recover from the sedation. Occasionally, owners have given repeated doses to ensure a comfortable journey for their pet.
When questioned by airline personnel, many owners claim that their veterinarians had advised them to do so.
Although sedatives/tranquilizers should never be repeated for animals traveling by air, sedated pets may have adverse reactions in pressurized aircraft even when single doses are administered at recommended dosages.
Patricia Olson, a director of the American Humane Association (AHA).
"When the kennel is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury." JAVMA, Vol 207, No.l 6, September 15, 1995.