While there isn’t a universally applicable explanation for why some dogs find travelling stressful, various factors come into play. Some dogs may associate car rides with uncomfortable memories, such as unnerving trips to the veterinarian. Meanwhile, others might feel an overwhelming sense of uncertainty, stemming from their inability to comprehend the purpose of being in a moving vehicle.
Ultimately, anxiety in dogs during travel can lead to distressing moments not only for the pet but also for their human companions. In particular, when in cars, an agitated dog can become a significant and potentially hazardous distraction for the driver. So, what can be done to alleviate this anxiety in our canine companions? Continue reading for some of our suggestions and tips!
Spotting the signs of travel anxiety in dogs
Puppies, given their limited experiences and delicate constitutions, are particularly prone to feeling unwell during travel. Mature dogs, although more seasoned, might still manifest distinct signs of anxiety or discomfort during journeys. Commonly observed behaviours among anxious adult dogs include:
- Trembling, tucking their tails, or pulling their ears back as signs of fear or unease
- Seeking places to hide or making attempts to flee from their current environment
- Vocalising their distress through whining, panting, barking, or pacing restlessly
- Exhibiting stress-related behaviours like yawning or licking their lips or nose excessively
- Experiencing vomiting or episodes of diarrhoea
Tips to reduce dog anxiety while travelling
Create a comfortable travelling space
When preparing for a journey with your dog, it’s essential to select a carrier or dog seatbelt that’s suitable for your pet’s size and weight. Bringing along a cherished toy or a familiar blanket can offer a sense of comfort and home to your dog. It’s also a good idea to maintain a cool environment inside the vehicle, which can help in preventing overheating. Playing calming music can be an additional measure to reduce anxiety levels. Always have old towels on hand as well as cleaning supplies to promptly address any unforeseen messes or accidents.
Familiarise your dog with travelling
Take the time to acclimate your dog to travelling. It’s essential to note that dogs are highly intuitive creatures and can easily sense their owners’ emotions. Hence, maintaining a calm and relaxed demeanour is crucial for a smooth experience. Initiate this familiarisation process by letting your dog sit inside the car while the engine is on, but without driving anywhere. This will allow them to adjust to the vehicle’s sounds and vibrations. Over time, and as they become more comfortable, begin to extend the duration of your trips, thereby helping them adapt gradually to longer journeys.
Build in time for breaks
Certain dogs can find the visuals, ambient sounds, and confined space of a car quite overwhelming. Physical activity serves as an effective means to dissipate stress for both humans and their canine companions. To ensure your dog remains calm and at ease, it’s advisable to allocate time for regular exercise breaks during your trip. Additionally, engaging your pet in some physical activity both before embarking on the journey and after reaching your destination can help alleviate any pent-up energy or tension.
Talk to your vet
If your dog continues to exhibit signs of heightened travel anxiety, it’s important to maintain regular consultations with a veterinarian. A vet possesses the expertise to provide tailored advice, ensuring recommendations that cater directly to your dog’s unique concerns and requirements.
Reduce dog anxiety with Serene-UM Calming Tablets and Drops from VETIQ
Every dog owner dreams of taking their cherished canine companion on exciting trips and adventures. To make this experience more enjoyable and less stressful for the dog, it’s beneficial to start with short trips and consistently bring along familiar toys or blankets, which can serve as comforting reminders of home. Additionally, there are wellness products specifically designed to help in these situations.
Easily digestible Serene-UM Calming Tablets and Serene-UM Calming Drops are made to help keep your pet calm and relaxed. Simply crush or sprinkle Serene-UM over your pet’s meal at least 6 to 8 hours before an episode to help relieve stress and calm your dog, avoiding the need for awkward sprays or unpleasant medicine.
Serene-UM works by helping your pet feel balanced inside, which can be useful when you’re trying to train them or change behaviours that started because they were nervous or scared. While Serene-UM calms pets down, it doesn’t make them sleepy or tired, and it’s also a natural supplement that is packed with a variety of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
So don’t wait another moment, order some Serene-UM products from VETIQ today and hit the road with your furry friends! We also have lots more helpful advice and tips for pet parents, so be sure to check out our blog too.