5 Tips To Remedy Your Pet’s Travel Anxiety

5 Tips To Remedy Your Pet’s Travel Anxiety

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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.

Travel Breaks

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.

Comfort Items

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.

Pet-friendly Accommodation

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.

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18 Replies to “5 Tips To Remedy Your Pet’s Travel Anxiety”

  1. These are fantastic tips for traveling with your pet! I have personally never done this, but now I am more informed for when we do! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Pet-friendly hotels are wonderful! We can take our dog with us and not have to spend extra money to board her. She’s an older dog and loves to be with her humans.

  3. These are some great ideas, thanks for the post. Lucky for us, all but one of our dogs loves the car, but one poor guy needs doggy Xanax, for more than 5 or so minutes in the car. He’s like that with fireworks too.

  4. These are great tips. My doggie does pretty well in the car but he does still get anxiety occasionally.

  5. These are some great ways to keep your pet from being anxious while travelling. I’ve implemented a few of them and it really works.

  6. I would like to start taking out dog with us more but she doesn’t like the car. I guess we should work on that more. I’ll try putting her in the car for a bit and NOT taking her anywhere, so she isn’t just scared of the car. That might help a lot.

  7. Emily Endrizzi says:

    Great tips! Luckily, none of our pups has too much anxiety related to car trips.

  8. Melissa Storms says:

    These are good tips, my dog is not used to traveling and because of family health issues we will be making several 4 hour plus trips this year. She has to go with us, she would not survive a kennel because of very severe separation anxiety.

  9. Robin Creager says:

    Great tips! We travel and love to take our “Chico”, our Chihuahua. We always patronize hotels that are pet-friendly.

  10. Christy Peeples DuBois says:

    These are great tips. I personally don’t have a pet but I have friends and family that I’ve traveled with that does have pets. This will help me on our next trip together.

  11. Linda Szymoniak says:

    We really don’t do vacations these days – I have three rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds and three cats (we did have five dogs but lost two in the last 1-1/2 years). Finding places that allow that many dogs of their sizes is virtually impossible. I do love taking the dogs with me for longer rides, though, and while my deaf girl, Ran (I lost her 1-1/2 years ago from an autoimmune disorder) was the perfect shotgun rider and never got stressed or carsick, the dogs I have now are not as good about going in the car. I’d love to find a place I could take them for a few days, so I’ll keep this page bookmarked for future reference.

  12. Nice tips we will be traveling with our 3 black labs this coming summer.

  13. CHRISTY SWEENEY says:

    Great advice and tips! We have three rescue pups that have severe anxiety. they are are becoming more comfy at home so now we would like to start getting them in the car so we can go places!

  14. Cheryl Everitt says:

    we are planning a long trip across Texas with our dachshund. Thank you for these travel tips.

  15. Kristen Schwarz says:

    Great post! Traveling is stressfull enough. Might as well make it a little easier on us and our fur babies.

  16. Jana Williams says:

    Thanks So Much for Sharing these Awesome Tips for Traveling with Animals that Have Anxiety! We Have 3 Pets, 2 Cats & 1 Dog and None of Them Travel Very Well! The Cats Meow the Whole Time & the Dog is All Over the Car & Gets Way Too Excited! I Will Have to Remember these Tips for the Future! Thanks Again, Have a Blessed Day! – Jana

  17. these are some great tips. i dont have a dogright now, but i watch other peoples dogs…. these are good things to remember

  18. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    These are some great suggestions. I love traveling with our pet. It is so important to check ahead for accommadations. Not everyone will allow pets

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