You never thought you’d be away from your dog for a few days, or you couldn’t find anyone to watch him, so you decided to take your four-legged friend on vacation with you. But sometimes travel can be stressful. Here are 7 tips to avoid stressing your dog out when traveling.
Prepare your dog for the trip.
To prevent your dog from stressing out during the trip, you can prepare him several days before. Start by getting your dog out of the crate so he can get used to it. Once your dog is used to the crate, you can take him on a few short car rides to familiarize him with the world. On the big day, your dog will be much less stressed!
Give him access to the outside world.
Most dogs feel reassured when they are in a place where they can see through the car window. However, you should not let him stick his head or paws through your car window; it’s a safety issue!
Give the dog some space
To travel in complete serenity, your dog must feel comfortable. The crate will reassure him and allow him to be comfortable for the whole trip without having to endure sharp turns or braking. You can also put your dog in the back seat, secured with a seatbelt or a harness.
Taking your dog stuff
Your dog may feel stressed and worried about not having his things with him. You can take his carrier and blanket for a smooth trip and put them next to him in the car. These items will serve as reference points.
Also, remember to take with you some essential accessories: a leash, a water bowl, a disinfectant spray and cleaning products to act quickly in case of nasty surprises. If your dog has been sick, don’t punish him as this may increase his stress.
Reassure your dog during the trip
To calm your dog, you need to adopt a reassuring attitude. Don’t walk too far away from your pet. Speak softly to him and pet him. If you’re traveling by car, take advantage of breaks to relieve your dog, give him a drink and take him for a walk. Breaks are as crucial for you as they are for your dog. However, be careful not to overdo it because if your dog feels that your attitude is unnatural or unaccustomed and you try to reassure him too much, it may stress him out even more.
Opt for anti-stress medication
If your dog is still stressed despite these tips, you can visit your veterinarian, who will prescribe soothing pheromones or an anxiolytic. Your dog will be soothed without being asleep. There are soothing collars that diffuse pheromones during the trip. Your dog will see his stress relieved.
Avoiding motion sickness
If your dog feels stressed about a long car ride, it may be because he is suffering from motion sickness. If your dog is drooling a lot or seems confused, he’s probably nauseous. You will need to help your dog fight nausea and vomiting with medication prescribed by your veterinarian and by not feeding him before the trip.