All pet parents can appreciate how stressful it can be to travel with your pet, let’s not even mention having to bring the kids along on top of that! But let’s think about how stressful it can be for your pet too.
Travelling for an animal can either be a new fun adventure or can be very stressful, some may experience travel sickness or express their distress by chewing seats or making unhappy sounds. If you want to avoid these and ensure that you and your pet have the most comfortable journey then here are 6 ways to keep your furry companion calm.
Give your pet a small snack
Now it may seem counterintuitive to give your pet some food before a journey, seeing as you want to prevent sickness not promote it, but actually giving your pet a small snack before and during will take their mind off things and probably help them to feel at ease, as they won’t get peckish.
If you are concerned about your pet getting travel sick then you can also try and keep the window open slightly for the majority of the journey and you could give them a bone to chew on to take their mind off of the car.
Use a puppy pad to prevent any accidents
I can imagine that most of us do not wish to have pet sick in the seams of our car seats, so if you are unsure of how your pets stomach will take to the journey then you can always use a puppy pad which will prevent any kind of spillage.
If your pet is sick during the journey try to remain calm and open the window or let them out to get some fresh air, the puppy pad should make it easier to clean up the accident but try to refrain from getting annoyed as much as possible as you do not want your dog to associate car journeys with negative consequences.
Wear your pet out!
Another great way to ease your pets’ travels is to wear them out beforehand. Let your pet run around lots beforehand and get lots of exercise, as well as this you could start your journey early, this will mean that they are more likely to sleep through the journey.
During the journey you should make little safe stop offs to let your pet get some fresh air and a stretch, this is useful for calming their nerves and helping to settle their stomach.
Keep them cosy
It’s important for your dog to feel comfortable on long journeys. Putting a dog bed on the back seat and adding in a couple things from home, such as their favourite blanky, will help them to feel more comfortable in the new unfamiliar surroundings.
As well as keeping your pet comfy, you also need to keep them safe. Pet seatbelts and travel harnesses will help keep them secure in the back of the car and your pet should still be able to move around a bit if they are fidgety.
Calming scents are a great way to reduce the anxiety your pet may experience. You can purchase sprays that include pheromones which will relax your pet. The spray for dogs will mimic the pheromones a female dog produces to soothe her puppies.
You should spray these scents around the car, focusing on the pet bed and the area in which your pet will be located so that they can get a strong enough scent.
Distractions on the go
Your pet is likely to get a bit bored on a long journey, who wouldn’t? So it’s important to provide them with a distraction. A favourite toy can be a good distraction, however the one you choose shouldn’t get your pet too excited as that can be dangerous. Mental enrichment toys are a safe and perfect way to keep your pet occupied, they offer something to do and you can also put food in them so that your dog can snack along the way.
Aside from all of these tips, make sure you keep your eyes on the road. It can be very distracting to travel with your pet and you must ensure that if there is a problem you find a safe place to stop and sort it out, rather than turning around in the car, as this could cause an accident.
Not all pets will favour car journeys but with the right environment and a gradual build up, possibly by taking them on smaller journeys more often and gradually increasing the distance, you can create a calming experience for both you and your pet.
These few little changes will make your journey just that little bit easier, but if your pet is still feeling uneasy on journeys then you can go to your local vets and ask for some anti-anxiety or travel-sickness medication to help them out.