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How to use heat packs when shipping live animals

How to use heat packs when shipping live animals

Shipping warmers or heat packs are useful when shipping items that are temperature sensitive and must be protected from cold weather. They are usually placed inside the package when shipping tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects and other live small animals that are sensitive to cold weather to keep the container and the live animal inside at a safe temperature as they journey to their new destination.

Heat packs come in varying sizes and warming periods such as 20+, 30+, 40+, 60+ and 72+ hours. Depending on the shipping period and size of the animal or package, use a sufficient amount of heating packs to ensure that the temperature inside the package is kept constant until it gets delivered. Here are tips on how to use heat packs when shipping live animals.

Use an insulated, water-resistant container to ship the live animal in. This container will protect the animals from extreme temperatures and keep the temperature stable inside. Ensure the container is large enough to fit the animal, heat pack and packaging, but not so large that everything will roll around during shipping.

Determine how many heat packs your package will require to keep the animal warm enough. Check with the heating pack’s manufacturer to understand how much heat is released through each pad when placed in a container of your size and purchase the suffiecient number of packs needed to keep the temperature constant inside the container.

Activate the heat packs by removing it from its plastic packaging and shaking. Attach the needed amount of activated heating packs on the lid of the container using tape. Make sure that the packs will not move or get dislodged during during travel. If a heat pad falls off from the lid and gets in direct contact with the animal, it can cause overheating and could kill the animal.

As a safety precaution, tape two layers of newspaper to the lid of the box to cover the heat packs so that in case they fall, . This will disperse the heat more evenly throughout the container and prevent the packs from getting in direct contact with the animal in case they fall off from the lid.

Put the lid on the container and seal it with packing tape. Make sure to indicate there are live animals inside that should be handled with care. Use expedited shipping service and avoid shipping near weekends or holidays to prevent the risk of the package getting held in a warehouse for long periods of time.

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