Traveling long distances can be stressful, and that feeling tends to be multiplied when you are traveling with pets. This is especially true if your pet is anxious about traveling, or hasn’t traveled much in the past. The following tip can help ensure both you and your pets a stress free trip and minimize the anxiety of traveling with your dogs.
- Practice Before the Trip. I know this might sound insane but helping your dog learn that the car isn’t something to be scared of is a good idea. If your pup only gets in the car to go to the vet, then he will surely have a lot of anxiety whenever it’s time to get in the car. If you have a long trip planned, start taking your dog to other fun places-drive to the dog park instead of walking, or drive him to the pet store to pick out a treat. This will help lower his anxiety, helping him realize that the end of a car trip isn’t always the vet! Start off slow, drive around the block and come home a few times, let him sit in his crate in the car with a treat even without it moving. This is a great way to help him acclimate and lower stress levels during the trip.
- No Crate? No Problem! If you don’t have a dog create, or your pup is used to riding without one, there are other devices you can get that can help your puppy stay safe during the trip. Leashes that click into the seat belt holder are a great choice and can help avoid your puppy dashing out before you get around the car or falling out of the window. They also help your dog stay where they should be, ensuring they don’t get underfoot being a dancer to yourself and other drivers.
- Tire Them Out Before! Taking your dog for a long run or walk before leaving is a great idea, and can help him sleep and stay calm during the drive. This is a great option for drives lasting only a few hours and can help the dog travel comfortably and stress free.
If you are planning a trip with your dog, these tips could help you minimize stress and ensure you reach your destination safely and with minimal anxiety.
About the Author: Wayne Booth is owner of Canine Behavior Specialists. http://www.CanineBehaviorSpecialists.com in Nashville, TN where he helps people train their dogs and solve behavior problems. Wayne has been teaching people how to become professional dog trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of the Canine Behavior Specialists Network, http://www.K9-University.com