Nothing feels better than traveling as a whole family. You get to create new, fun, and unforgettable memories. The good news is that you no longer have to leave your pet behind every time you want to go on a getaway. More shops, hotels, and parks are now letting in pets, giving you a better chance to bring your furry friend along for a ride.
However, before you get to your destination, you must be ready to ride out the exhausting journey. Whether you are taking a short road trip by car or flying to your dream vacation destination, the journey can be stressful for your pet. It takes effort and understanding to keep your canine friend comfortable through the trip. Here is a guide on how to handle pet behavioral changes while traveling.
What Causes Pet Behavioral Changes When Traveling
Understanding the cause of your furry companion’s distress during travel is the first step towards coming up with a solution. Have a look at some possible reasons.
Dehydration is the leading cause of pet distress, especially during long car rides. You can establish if the pet is dehydrated if he keeps sticking his tongue out or seems weak.
2. Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is common in young dogs than old ones. While the problem is mostly associated with humans, dogs also tend to get nauseous, weak, and may even vomit during travel. Motion sickness results from lack of balance because their ear structures are not fully developed. While some puppies may outgrow this distressing behavior as the ear structures mature, others do not.
3. Air Pressure
Air pressure build-up in the pet’s ears is common when traveling by plane.
Common Travel Behavioral Changes in Pets
You can quickly establish if your pet is distressed when traveling if it displays any of these behaviors.
• Barking for no reason
• Hiding under the car seat
• Escape attempt
• The pet seems oddly quite
What Should You Do if Your Pet Has Behavioral Issues While Traveling?
Practice Trips Before the Traveling Day
If it is your first time traveling with your pet, you should prepare him mentally to avoid last minutes frustrations. For example, you can tag him along for short rides in your neighborhood or sit with him in your car’s backseat until he gets used to being inside a vehicle. Do this for a few minutes every day until the pet is comfortable being in that setting.
Keep the Pet Away From the Window
Whether you are traveling by air, car, or train, looking through the window can make the pet anxious. Contrary to human beings, pets do not understand what’s going on and can freak out during movements.
Also, the animal does not need to get fresh air through the window to avoid getting sick. The best place for your pet is at the front or the vehicle’s lowest part point. This will keep him calm without seeing everything that is happening from outside.
Talk to the Pet
Animals love assurance, and there is no better way to do so than by talking to the pet and calming them down whenever they look distressed. Speak in a calm and soothing voice and if that does not seem to work, give the pet his favorite toy as a companion. Depending on your pet’s nature, putting on some classical music may soothe its nerves, and before you know it, the earlier distressed animal will be dead asleep.
Make Several Stopovers
If your pet displays extreme anxiety, you may need to make a stop and let him get fresh air. Stop by a park and take a short walk until he looks calm and relaxed. If there is no park around, you may move to the backseat with the pet, give him his favorite treats and calm him down with soft touches. You should do this for a few minutes, depending on how anxious he seems. A potty break is also crucial.
Keep the Pet Hydrated
Ensure to carry enough water to take the pet through the trip. Feed him regularly or whenever he starts panting and drooling.
Pet Calming Supplements
You cannot go wrong with calming supplements and anxiety medicine to keep your pet calm. Nonetheless, before using any medication on your pet, do background research to establish its effectiveness and reliability. Other than drugs, studies have shown that anxious pets respond well to listening to music and audiobooks. You should try out these options if you are skeptical about using supplements or medication.
Traveling with your canine friend is beneficial as it helps you to bond and understand your pet better. You get to share experiences away from your norm, which helps to build trust. You will undoubtedly have a smooth traveling experience with the tips above, which means a happy pet and a happy pet parent.