How to Combat Dog Anxiety while Travelling – Traveling is a fun and very exciting adventure, and who better to share it with than your four-legged companion. Dogs are loyal and easily become part of a family, so it only makes sense for them to tag along. Showing your dog new places can be exhilarating, but just like humans, dogs are capable of experiencing uncertainty and nervousness.
Due to this, there may be some hiccups along the way. Dogs can display many tell-tale signs of anxiety, and our job as pet owners is to know what to look out for. Of course, being close to a pet makes it easier to decipher that there’s something wrong. These factors can be blatant, such as traveling, which is a big contributor as this is a very common situation that brings on feelings of anxiousness and apprehension.
Traveling, although fun, can not be too kind to your canine friend. Even dogs that are used to car rides can be indifferent when it comes to long-distance travel. Just like us, they get uncomfortable, car sick, and feel out of place.
This is why we must try our best to make it an all-around great trip for all. We can do this in many ways, and putting the time in beforehand to understand what could happen, why, and how to avoid or fix it is crucial.
Safety Measures to Take When for Dog Anxiety while Travelling
Driving for long distances will likely be tiring and tedious, alongside being a great memory. There will, of course, also be some safety precautions that need to take place, as being away from home or any kind of familiar setting can throw us off our game. With new adventures and surroundings, preemptive measures must be taken to ensure safety.
Driving with your dog can become a distraction for many reasons, such as being over-excited and jumping around, sudden barks can be startling, and trying to crawl onto your lap can be very dangerous while driving. This is exactly why you need to ensure both your dogs and your safety. You can Dog Anxiety while Travelling by following these steps;
- Do some research on car seat belts or harnesses for dogs. Yes, it’s a thing and can be very effective in keeping your pup safe. Find out if this is a good fit for your dog by learning more about them, as every dog is different.
- If you have a nervous dog that becomes quickly overwhelmed, then a crate is a way to go. Find a good size for your dog so it won’t feel confined and cramped. Make it comfortable with a blanket and their favorite toy.
- In some cases, a barrier can be purchased that will keep your dog at the back. This can also be done by putting sturdy items in the places your dog can get through. This helps to avoid them making visits to the front and trying to crawl in your lap.
- Remember, when you’re hot, so is your dog. Dogs’ fur can be a burden on hot days, and it’s vital you make sure that they’re not overheating, as this can have dire consequences.
- Make a list and check it twice. List all the things your dog will need for a comfortable ride, and make sure that you leave nothing out.
- Food and water, if your dog loses its appetite in stressful situations, make sure to bring along snacks they can’t resist, such as meats and their favorite treats. They must stay healthy and hydrated no matter where they are.
Why Do Dogs Get Anxious When Travelling?
Travel anxiety can come on without any specific reason, and your dog may just have issues with driving for different reasons that don’t relate to past experiences or trauma. Trauma means that if you have a shelter dog that you’ve adopted, they may have had a horrible experience with a vehicle, such as being hit or abandoned.
If this isn’t the case, then your pup may be holding grudges due to other reasons such as;
- Unstable footing
- Feeling as if they’re going to fall
- Car sickness
- Uncertainty of destination
- Frightening noises
- Feeling confined
Your dog can also think they may be going to the vet or groomers if that is a frequent trip they make. Having a bad relationship with a car can make road trips quite dreadful for both of you.
This is why it is important to have patience with your pet and show them that the car isn’t a scary place. Take them to the park, take short car rides, reward good behavior and take it step by step.
Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs – Dog Anxiety while Travelling
Anxiety is a feeling felt by the majority of creatures on earth, especially humans. We may dismiss the fact or idea that our dog has similar emotions to us because, well, they’re not human, but this is a very wrong view of them. They feel plenty of emotions but may not show them the same way we do.
Dogs feel anxiety just as intensely as we do, which is just as unpleasant for them. Traveling is a common situation where dogs tend to be anxious, and we can tell this by;
- Trembling and shaking
- Pacing up and down
- Being restless
- Excessive barking
- Heavy panting
- Frequent yawning
- Looking for places to hide
- Lots of lip-licking
How to Prevent or Ease Dog Anxiety while Travelling
If your dog’s anxiety comes from the car, then it’s important to help them get a new and improved impression of car rides. However, if your dog happens to be anxious, they may override the idea of it mainly just being the car and not being able to control onset anxiousness once on the road. This is why it’s best to take precautions to help them feel as comfortable as possible. This doesn’t just mean a cushy place to lay, but this means keeping a calm atmosphere inside the car. Talking to your dog’s vet about calming and nausea medication may also be very beneficial.
Calming Your Car Companion
Travel can be an unsettling activity. This is why ensuring your dog is comfortable is important, as well as beforehand precautions and preparation.