5 Tips To Remedy Your Pet’s Travel Anxiety
You and your furry friend are all set for a big trip. The adventure that awaits has promised excitement, however the process of getting to your destination may be a bit rough. If traveling is stressful for humans, imagine how disorienting and unsettling it can be for pets. With the right tricks — familiarizing your vehicle, the creation of a stress-free environment, travel breaks, provision of comfort items and pet-friendly accommodations — you and your pet can have a fun, memorable adventure. Here are some of the best ways you can help your pet with travel anxiety:
Familiarize Your Vehicle
Before you embark on a long road trip, familiarize your pet with the car. Start with smaller trips that last an hour or so at least once a week. It is also helpful if you and your pet spend time in the car while it’s parked in your driveway. This allows them time to roam freely, while you’re not driving, so they can get their bearings of this smaller environment. Once you do hit the road for your trial runs, make sure they are in a roomy crate that they’ve also had time to explore. Choose a crate that works in the car but also meets airline standards, in case you and your pet travel by airplane.
Create a Stress-free Environment
The rumblings of the road are likely to stress out your pet. Combat these disconcerting noises with ambient music that will soothe your pet’s nerves. Play calming music from a smartphone with good speakers, like the iPhone 7 Plus, so you can place the phone beside your furry friend’s crate. Along with ambient music, infuse your car with a calming scent. Keep some dried lavender in the car, as it is a natural calming agent. But make sure it isn’t near your pet’s crate, as they may attempt to ingest it.
Schedule your travel time in blocks that allow for pet potty and snack breaks. Every two hours or so, stop at a rest stop and let your pet stretch their legs. Make sure you bring pet waste bags with you, as it is inconsiderate to other travelers if your pet’s waste litters the rest stop’s grounds. Pack foldable, portable food and water bowls that you can set up on the ground. These bowls are can easily be cleaned and their compact design won’t take up much space.
Bring the comforts of home with you, so your pet won’t be too disoriented in their travel environment. If they have a favorite blanket at home, place it in their crate for increased coziness. If there is an old shirt that you wear frequently, its scent may calm your pet — this is a great option for a comfort blanket, as well. Provide them with their favorite toys that they can gnaw on or bat at. A large bone is ideal for dogs, as it will keep them preoccupied and distracted for hours.
Choose accommodations that are pet-friendly, so your furry friend isn’t stuck alone in the car overnight. Many hotels have pet-friendly policies and only require a small pet deposit or fee. The Kimpton Hotel company, for example, is incredibly pet friendly and encourages their guests to bring along their furry friends. They adopted this policy because their founder Bill Kimpton was a pet-lover who couldn’t imagine traveling without his dog. Kimpton Hotels do not charge a fee or fuss about the size of your pet. They will also provide hotel amenities for your animal companion, such as pet-beds, food and water bowls and a list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques.