Ok - the issue of the Puggle in the crate is easy: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
Any brachycephalic dog (like a Pug
or a Boston Terrier
or other flat-faced dog) is at very high risk of overheating and going into respiratory arrest in a situation like what you are describing. I am always anxious about flying these dogs, and think you would be taking a huge risk to put him in the crate.
The Lab might do ok in there until about 10 am or so... but after that I would be worried about him too. Those conditions are very unpleasant for dogs (high heat and humidity) and if you add a bit of anxiety in there, you are taking a risk.
If these were my dogs, they would be in the cab with me, even if that makes it crowded! (sorry, boyfriend!)
Now, on to the issue of sedation to travel. I'm glad you are asking ahead of time so you have a little while to try out some options.
1. One of the things that I would strongly recommend is a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) spritzer or collar. It contains a smell that calms dogs, but is not a drug and is perfectly safe. It has no odour to humans.
Here is more about them:
2. I would recommend purchasing some Composure Liquid from Vetri Science. It is composed of a protein extract from a milk product and a soy product plus a few other things. It seems to work great for dogs that have to travel, calming them safely. You should try it out at home first to see how your dog reacts to it.
Here is more:
You can also find it on Ebay.
3. Another thing to pick up would be BENADRYL (diphenhydramine). This should not be given if the dog has glaucoma.
I ADVISE OWNERS TO MAKE SURE IT IS PLAIN DIPHENHYDRAMINE WITH NO OTHER INGREDIENTS.
The dose that one generally gives is 1mg/lb.
In a 90lb dog, that means a dose of 90mg. It comes as a 25mg tablet, so that works out to 3.5 tablets.
In a 43lb dog, that works out to 1.5 tablets.
Here is more about Benadryl:
This would be given about 30 minutes before leaving home.
You could try this out at home on a trial run to see how it affects your boys.
4. Another thing that you could try would be Rescue Remedy.
More about it here:
It is pretty widely available at health food stores. If you don't have one near you, here is a link:
I have found the results variable with Rescue remedy. Some dogs do seem more relaxed with Rescue Remedy, some don't seem to have any change with its use. But it is safe!
5. Also, in terms of preparing the dogs for travel, it is best if you do not feed them for about 8 hours before you leave. You can leave them with access to water up until you go, but I would skip the food. This will eliminate nausea, and probably prevent them from needing to defecate as well.
With some advanced planning, you can minimize the stress to your dogs, and get them through this as smoothly as possible. They may not enjoy the travel, and it will be stressful for them and you. But you can help to minimize this! I hope that this has provided you with some ideas on how to help!
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If you have more questions, click reply and I will be back to provide more information if you need it!
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.