Traveling with your pet can be an exciting adventure you look forward to or a dreaded, terrifying
experience. It depends on how your pet behaves when traveling. Some pets have severe cases of travel
anxiety while others look like they were born for the road!
If you are in the first group – you dread traveling with your pet if he’s not going to be a happy traveler. We have great news for you! You can let experienced pet transportation experts do it and learn from the pros. Here are tips to keep your pet calm during trips, as well as some expert advice on safe pet travel.
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
Remember to keep safe. It may seem more fun and enjoyable to let your cat or dog roam freely in the car
as you travel, but it is not. Animal behavior and road safety experts concur that you and your furry
companion are safer when the pet is in a carrier during travel. If your pet is large and would feel
uncomfortable in an enclosure, for example, a large breed dog, consider getting them a car seat and
attaching their harness to the seat belts. Also, have the window rolled up. Don’t allow pets to poke their
heads out the window. Something could startle your fur baby, or flying debris could hurt her. Your exciting trip could end in the emergency room.
Get your pet accustomed to car travel
One of the triggers of travel anxiety in pets is unfamiliar surroundings and motion sickness. Is your pet
accustomed to the interior of your car and with car motion? If the answer is no, your fur baby could be
anxious when they step into the vehicle. But you can do something about it – practice car travel.
The Vegas Vets recommend “Teaching your pet to associate the car ride with pleasant outcomes is key.”
So, spend a few minutes with your pet inside the car every day. Push it a notch higher and go for short
trips with your pet. If you have an errand to run at the store, take your pet with you. But do not leave
your pet locked inside the car, not even with the window cracked. Many people make the mistake of
thinking that if they crack the car window, it would be enough air for your pet. That is false. Your vehicle
can shoot up to over a 100 degree in just minutes.
Pack the right stuff
Animal regulations vary from one jurisdiction to another. Pack your pet’s vaccination certificates and
health records. Ensure you have sufficient pet food, water, and bowls. Remember to include a leash,
collar, medications, waste bags or litter box, and a few toys.
A toy onboard will provide an additional level of comfort. It could distract the pet from travel
discomfort. Consider throwing in one of your shirts or a familiar blanket to make the car seats more
Adjust their feeding schedule
Vehicle motion could cause tummy discomfort, and your pet could vomit. Help your dog or cat stay calm
and happy by adjusting the feeding schedule.
Consider skipping breakfast on travel day. Instead, feed them light snacks during travel breaks. Give the
pet a full meal when you arrive at your destination or in the evening. But remember to keep your fur baby
hydrated throughout the trip and check with a vet before altering the feeding schedule.
Consider calming products
Do not give any anti-anxiety medication or calming products before checking with your vet. Your dog or
cat could get sick when they ingest or contact products like essential oils.
Once you have a vet-approved product, consider using it before or during the trip. For example, you could try spraying pheromone-based calmers on toys or use products like CBD for pets. Remember to do a test run with the remedy of your choice before the traveling day.
Wear out your pet before traveling
On the travel day, allow your furry buddy to expend some energy before loading them in the vehicle and
hitting the road. A tired dog or cat is a happy pet. Animals are less likely to become anxious when worn
out. Plan to go for a walk with your pet before the trip, or you can do some indoor obstacle challenges.
Not only will you start on a high note, but it will also make the pet less vulnerable to anxiety during the trip.
To conclude, plan the trip with your pet in mind
The tips above will help keep your pet calm and happy throughout the trip. Have a look at the route and
mark spots where you and your pet will stretch and take bathroom breaks. Your pet will enjoy the journey as much as you do, just the way you want it.
Article written by Lisa Smith