Are you planning a road trip, luxe vacation, or adventure with your furry best buddy?
No matter how long the trip lasts, traveling with a dog can be nothing short of enjoyable. However, it’s important to note that not all dogs are natural travelers.
It is not unusual to notice your dog exhibiting adverse or unusual behavior during or before your trip. From overexcitement to agitation, travel anxiety in dogs can manifest in several ways, some of which can negatively affect the experience for both of you.
However, this can be averted if you know how to help your dog cope. From administering calming supplements to offering treats, exercise, and positive reinforcement, read on.
Here are some things you could do to help your dog overcome or cope with travel anxiety.
5 Tips to Help Your Dog Overcome Travel Anxiety
1. Calming Supplements like Probiotics for Travel Nerves
Travel can be worrisome for pups, but there are a lot of options available to help make our furry little friends feel more relaxed and in control when on the go.
There’s mounting evidence that probiotics, for example, may assist in reducing anxiety levels during travel.
Probiotics contain healthy bacteria (that boost normal gut flora populations), which help improve digestion and cognitive functions, while also boosting energy levels and mood.
And besides helping to reduce both physical and psychological stress, naturally-made probiotics for dogs from the likes of Honest Paws are said to help improve canine immunity when administered regularly.
Nonetheless, it’s always important to go for quality, organic, non-GMO supplements that are created specifically for boosting canine health.
2. Recognizing the Signs of Travel Anxiety in Your Dog
Recognizing the signs of dog anxieties can help in understanding and reducing travel-related stress.
Look out for indications such as excessive panting, drooling, shaking, or hiding under furniture or places they normally don’t go!
Cowering whenever you suggest leaving the house for an adventure is another such sign.
It could be that your loyal friend just needs a little extra support to help them cope with travel.
3. Exercise Your Pooch to Prevent and Ease Travel Stress
Whether it’s a road trip, an outdoor adventure, or a hotel stay with activity in between, one thing is for sure.
Exercising your pup before traveling can help reduce the risk of travel anxiety and fatigue.
Taking them on regular walks, for instance, can help ensure they are in peak condition– physically and psychologically.
Especially with the right gear and dog travel accessories, this not only helps keep your pooch’s mind distracted during long trips but also releases hormones that counteract stress levels while out and about.
Our furry friends also appreciate the extra playtime!
If possible, plan a few short trips before venturing further out for a longer period. This will help them associate the car with fun activities rather than long, tiresome trips or potentially taxing experiences.
4. Desensitization Training for Car, Airplane, and Boat Outings
Another way to help calm your canine is through desensitization training.
Gradually exposing them to travel noises and situations will build up their confidence for long journeys.
Start with introducing them to car rides, slowly increasing the distance and frequency over time.
Consider including environmental stimulation, such as using recorded traffic or aircraft sounds when in a quiet room.
Taking fluffy on mock runs aboard planes and boats, playing appropriate sounds at a low volume (with treats nearby) can also prove useful.
With patience and dedication, your pet can learn to cope better with traveling… minus the anxiety!
5. Beating the Fear With Treats and Positive Reinforcement
Finally, when it comes to combating your dog’s fear of traveling, positive reinforcement is key.
Finding ways to reward them when they remain calm and content can help ensure that their anxiety won’t jeopardize your next solo or family road trip experience.
For example, giving treats or special toys for each mile traveled together can help remind them of how brave they have been.
Nonetheless, don’t forget to make the journey an enjoyable experience, as it can help ease their stress levels.
If your pup loves cuddling up to music, go ahead and play ukulele tunes while on the road.
Also, providing him or her with a special spot with plenty of pillows and blankets in the car or airplane can give them an extra sense of comfort to help maintain calm throughout the trip.
With regular practice and consistent training techniques, your companion can be brave enough for any adventure.
If your canine is among those who struggle when it comes to trips away from home, this piece is for you.
With the above few tips, it’s easy to make your furry friend less anxious and accustomed to your making fun memoirs together during travel, however chaotic it might seem to other four-legged fellows.