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Jan 9, 2019

Heat Packs: The Bad, the Good, and the Best

If you must use supplemental heat in your live shipment, what’s the absolute best choice you can make? 

Let’s take a look at our options: 

The Bad

Hand warmers, foot warmers, and pretty much any sort of small heat pack you might pick up at a Walmart or sporting goods store…these are the worst choice you can make. We’ve said it time and time again, but we’ll continue saying it until these kinds of mistakes are extinct. They burn too hot and too fast. Even if you think you’ve figured out a way to mitigate the excess heat, these heat sources only last a couple of hours, at most, which doesn’t do your animals any good at all on their long journey. 

The Good

40-Hour heat packs burn at a much safer temperature and last plenty long enough to get your animal safely to its destination. Care must still be taken, of course. Just one heat pack per box (unless using a 30” long box, in which case one pack at each end is ok). Make sure your box is large enough to accommodate the heat pack and the animal without them coming into direct contact. In very small shipping boxes, there is still a chance of too much heat building up in the confined space. 

The Best

Our absolute favorite heat pack for all live shipments is the 72-Hour pack. 

These packs give off the steadiest and safest levels of heat. They also last for three full days, which can be a life-saver if your shipment gets delayed in transit due to weather conditions or mechanical failure. Check out the graphic below and see the distinct temperature differences and durations between the various types of heat packs.

The lower, slower burn of the 72-Hour pack is especially good for aquatic and amphibian shipments when even modest amounts of excess heat can be deadly. It’s also perfectly suited to all reptile shipments when weather conditions demand supplemental heat.

We like these so much that in 2019, we’ll be transitioning all of our Shipping Kits (reptile and aquatic) to include the 72-Hour packs instead of the 40-Hours. 

Before making any shipment with a heat pack, make sure you are well versed in our temperature guidelines for heat pack usage, as well as our specific directions for using heat packs. 

And when in doubt, give us a shout! We’ll be glad to help you decide whether or not a heat pack is right for your particular package.