So you want to take Fido and Fluffy on a road trip this summer
but are worried about the barky, meowy, barfy consequences. Well fear not as these tips are sure to make your vacation a much more enjoyable experience for you and your furry friend. The most important thing to consider is, does your pet actually enjoy traveling in the car? Between my three animals I have two that absolutely love it and one that hates it. If the stress for your pet is going to be bigger than the enjoyment on the trip, it may be better to find a good kennel or house sitter for your pet. If that isn’t an option there are a few things that can really help a fearful animal.
Why is my pet so scared to ride in the car?
Well one big stress for animals is going to the vet or the groomer. Your pet may equate the car as the ticket to the scariest show in town. If that’s the case, taking your animal for short car rides around the block or around town can be helpful.
Give them a treat when they get in the car
and again when you get back home. Offer a lot of praise for a job well done. If you have a couple of weeks before you leave, try this every day. It is also very important to always have a leash or a carrier in your car.
I have heard many sad stories
of people that have lost their pet because they jumped out of a window or bolted the second a car door opened. This is an avoidable tragedy. I also have talked to people that have had fearful cats scratch and claw them while they are trying to drive, or even run under the brake or gas pedal. These things can happen so quickly that it could cause an accident so please keep that in mind before turning them loose in your car.
One other useful tool for a stressed animal
is the use of calming treats to help calm them. Dawg’s Biscuits makes a wonderful product called Calm Dawg. It comes in a treat form, and you can give one or serveral, depending on the size of the dog. If you give the treats about 15 minutes before you leave, it can help during the early stages of your drive. If you have extreme behavior you can give a dose every hour. I have seen this help for animals that vomit or even foam at the mouth when they are in the car.
In a worst case scenario you can get
a prescription of tranquilizers from your veterinarian, although we recommend this only as a last option, as it would probably be better to find other arrangements for your pet rather than take them along.
Ok, so now it is trip time.
How should I feed my pet? Keeping in mind the lack of exercise they’ll get in the car, I think it’s best to have your animal travel on a smaller amount of pet food while on the road. I actually fast my animals 24 to 32 hours before my departure, in that I don’t think there’s anything worse than the odor of an accident in the car.
Calm Dawg also has ginger in it which is a natural way of settling the tummy, and fighting off car sickness.
Having empty bellies before travel
can minimize the stinky consequences. If you are traveling for more than one day you can offer 1/2 size meals or bring some all natural dog treats to get them through the day. If you feed and water them at bathroom stops you can get your pet on an easy-to-do, mess-free schedule. Last but not least, always remember to bring your pet’s collar and tags so that if they do get lost someone will be able to reach you.
And have a great trip!!