Most people often have big plans for the holiday season each year, since it is the only time they may have to visit their favorite spots and spend time with family and friends. As much as we love this period because of the freed-up schedules and the fun events that we get to attend, our pets may not feel the same. You would want them to come along on these trips and vacations as you create memorable experiences together, so we want to share 5 tips while traveling with dogs.
Several dogs have thrill-seeking personalities and would be glad to follow you everywhere. Even those that own laid-back pooches would want to carry them along since they have become family members. But knowing that our furry friends may become anxious when there is a drastic change, planning holidays with dogs can be quite challenging.
Is Traveling Stressful for Dogs?
Whether you are traveling by air or road, it can be stressful for dogs without proper planning. According to a survey of travel-related problems in dogs, 76.2 percent of pooches had no car travel issues. Since most pets have had to visit the veterinarian at least once, car rides are mostly unavoidable and not new to them. The fact that they ride with familiar faces in a small vehicle is less stressful for them than traveling in a larger one with many strange people.
Some dog breeds are more prone to travel-related issues than others and require close monitoring to ensure that they remain calm. You may notice vomiting, whining, scratching, panting, and agitation. They soon begin to make attempts to escape or hide, which can be risky, especially if they go under the car’s brake and gas pedals.
Pet anxiety and motion sickness is not an excuse to exclude him or her from your holiday plans. They may outgrow it as they mature since the problem is rarely about the vehicle but other factors like sound and temperature. Hearing familiar voices can be soothing as you start with short trips to fun locations. Your dog begins to associate trips with something enjoyable and not scary in time, like visiting vet clinics.
How to Prepare Your Dog for Traveling?
When planning a trip by air or road, you should consider your pet’s size. You might be wondering how to travel with dogs that are too large to ride in the cabin. They can go into the cargo hold of most planes with climate control systems to keep the animals comfortable throughout the flight. The airline’s pet policy will provide information on carrier requirements and weight restrictions to help you make an informed decision.
Whether your pup rides in the plane’s cabin or cargo hold, using a pet carrier will ensure that it remains comfortable and secure, without running off in the commotion. Although road trips seem less stressful, you may also need a crate for smaller dogs. A larger one can be secured with a harness and seat belts to ensure that the car ride is safe for the pet, driver, and other occupants. Getting a proper dog-safety seat that fits securely in your car works too.
5 Tips While Traveling with Dogs
When it comes to dogs and traveling, below are five tips while traveling with dogs to ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy for a delightful holiday season.
#1 Deal with travel anxiety beforehand
Several dogs become anxious when they are in a new environment. Even for trained dogs, stress is inevitable, especially when they do not understand what is going on around them. Anti-stress doggy treats can provide a calming effect, but it may not be enough. Your vet can recommend therapies that can help your dog feel better about traveling, whether by car or plane.
#2 Maintain the usual routine
Drastic changes are stressful for dogs and could lead to agitation and anxiety. Consider giving them their meals at the usual time and allowing adequate exercise to ensure that everything feels as normal as possible. There are pet-friendly hotels and pubs with sufficient facilities to keep canines and their owners comfortable.
You would need to schedule pit stops for long road trips to allow dogs to stretch their legs or relieve themselves. Non-stop flights are favorable when traveling by air to ensure that your pet does not suffer from extreme weather conditions in different geographic locations.
#3 Have your paperwork in order
Your dog’s health certificate might be required to prove that it is free from disease. Rabies and Lyme vaccinations should be up to date. Your vet can determine if your dog needs preventive treatment for motion sickness or parasites before the trip. You can also get advice on how to handle those with specific health issues.
#4 Pet supplies checklist
A pet supplies checklist will guarantee that you have everything you need before embarking on any trip. You can get waste bags, food and water bowls, collars, harnesses, leashes, treats, and lots more, in abundant quantities to ensure that you do not run out of any of them during that time. If luggage size limits restrict you from carrying as much as you need, you can look for local pet stores in your destination.
Animals respond to changes in atmospheric temperature like humans. Since adverse weather can be problematic for dogs, pack a blanket for your pooch, and insulate the crate to ensure that it is protected from freezing temperatures. Adequate drinking water can help them cool off on hot days.
#5 Microchips and ID tags
Since dogs are adventurous and can accidentally get lost, updated microchips and ID tags will ensure that they are quickly reunited with their owners when found. These accessories are affordable and contain the contact information of the dog parent. Tags are attached to collars but may fall off, making microchips very handy.
You should be prepared for any eventualities when traveling with dogs. Investing in a pet insurance plan will ensure that you do not spend much when your pup gets sick or injured. Some form of obedience training for your furry friend before the holiday will be beneficial. Their understanding of basic commands, like “sit,” will ensure that they become more social, allowing both of you to enjoy yourselves with our tips while traveling with dogs.