As much as we adore our furry friends, animals will be animals and no matter how much we try to calm them down, they’ll continue to bark or meow to voice their happiness or unhappiness.
Sedatives can come in handy in situations like these, where your precious pet needs some zen in their life. But, while they can help reduce anxiety, sedatives can also be dangerous when used in the wrong circumstances.
To weigh in on this important debate, we asked Hazel Imrie of pet travel and relocation specialist PETport Animal Travel Experts, to share her insights on when you should consider sedating your pet and when it’s not advised.
“Before turning to medicated tranquilisers, we always recommend that you try a good quality natural, herbal calmative first,” says Imrie. “Only administer a medicated tranquiliser or sedative under instructions from a vet, after your pet has had a thorough health check.”
Do sedate your pet for car rides
Ever wondered why your cat freaks out the minute you put it in the car? Felines rely on predictability and dislike change, even more so than dogs. A trip to the vet or moving to a new home can trigger anxiety, especially in newly adopted animals that are unfamiliar with these activities. A sedative can help in this situation, preventing your pet from fearing change or getting an upset stomach.
Do sedate your pet for ear-piercing sounds
Certain occasions, like a stormy night, a fireworks-infused event, or even a loud house party, call for the use of a sedative to calm your pet’s nerves and ease their mind.
Unusual, powerful noises can be very frightening for a sound-sensitive pet, so be sure to keep some sedatives on hand to assist with any unexpected upsets.
Don’t sedate your pet for air travel
Airlines and professional pet transport companies forbid any form of pet sedation when it comes to flying because it increases health and safety risks for dogs and cats. As with any medication, animal tranquilisers can cause side effects, which can be harmful to pets in flight.
Sedated animals lose muscle control and struggle to maintain their balance – something particularly dangerous on a moving plane. Plus, the mental wooziness that comes with sedation can be confusing and frightening to your pet, causing even more panic on the plane.
So, how can you help your little jet setter without sedatives? “At PETport, we provide travel training to make sure your pet is completely familiar and comfortable with their travel kennel, thus minimising their stress levels during the journey,” Imrie explains. “We also offer a complimentary herbal calmative if your pet is showing symptoms of being slightly on the stressed side. These work well and assist your fur baby in relaxing them gently and helping them to be more accepting during the process of travel.”
All in all, sedatives can be beneficial when it comes to calming your fur baby down in certain situations. However, like people, pets differ in their tolerance and response to medication. It is always a wise idea to speak to your vet before you administer any medicine to your dog or cat as factors like age and overall health can affect how they react.
PETport is a registered pet travel and relocation specialist service, trained and certified by international animal organisation, IPATA. With hands on care and experience passed down from one generation to the next, PETport is the best choice to transport fur-babies, fluff-babies and feather-babies.