Posts Tagged ‘preventing canine hypoglycemia’

When Small Dogs Fly: Snacks Before Flights

Monday, January 31st, 2011

It’s a fact of canine physiology:  Small dogs can become hypoglycemic and often do best with several small meals, rather than one or two large ones.  But what about that recommendation that dogs should have no food or water within three hours of flight time?  Those austerity rules might be OK for a commuter hop, but transcontinental flights and ocean crossings are another matter!  Hey, you try going without a meal for those flight durations.  Bet you’ll be hypoglycemic too.

Hypoglycemia can make humans cranky, but for those canine travelers among us who weigh under 15 lbs, hypoglycemia can bring on trembling and seizures.  Preventing canine hypoglycemia on flights is essential for safe, happy trips.

Raja and I are advocating a little, non-bulky, non-fibrous snack before a flight for small dogs.  And the most portable snack we have discovered is a jar of mooshed baby food turkey, beef or chicken.  It’s a pure protein, smoothed with a little corn starch.  While a diet of this sort is not recommended as a daily snack, it sure goes down easily and stays quiet in the intestine on flights.  Plus, your fellow traveler can snooze in his carrier with a little something to give him energy and keep his tummy from rumbling.

Raja gets his snack before leaving for the airport.  I carry another in my travel bag to give him in emergency should the plane be horribly detained or upon landing after a long flight.  You don’t need to give your dog all of the jar; just consider his weight and eating habits and let good sense guide you.  Make sure you read the label and read that there are no onions or raisins in the ingredients.

A little imagination, compassion and prevention make for happy travels for your small dog.