Some dogs are born travelers who will happily hike for miles and live for hanging their heads out of car windows. But others are homebodies, for whom traveling can lead to nerves, nausea, boredom, and pent-up energy.
If you’re the owner of a dog who dislikes travel, here are 5 tips to help ease the process of getting them from A to B:
Unlike prescription medications, which can be strong and may come with unwanted side effects, natural supplements are a safe, more subtle way to introduce an added layer of calm into travel days.
Many owners find that using supplement products like CBD oil can help dogs deal with discomforts such as anxiety, stress, and nausea – all things that can occur when hitting the road.
Pet CBD is one of the fastest-growing areas in the pet industry, thanks to the products’ anti-inflammatory effect. By binding to receptors that play a role in triggering pain and anxiety responses, CBD helps relax dogs, making them less affected by stress triggers.
Food, water, and bowl
Number one on any dog’s priority list is their food, so it makes sense for owners to also prioritize their pet’s dinners. Keeping a regular supply of your dog’s normal food helps keep things simple, and prevents the stress of trying to find suitable meals wherever you stop.
Owners should always carry a full water bottle for their dogs. But it’s also important to bring a reliable bowl along, too. Often, dogs can struggle to drink and eat from bowls they’re not accustomed to, especially if they’re too steep or shallow to comfortably access what’s inside. For bigger dogs, elevated travel bowls are available from specialist pet suppliers
Other doggo travel essentials include treats, poop bags, their leash, and any medications they might use.
Creating the right environment
A crate is a tried-and-tested solution for keeping dogs calm and contained – two things that are especially important when travelling.
Depending on your mode of transport, you’ll want your crate to look a little different. But no matter the design, crates should be big enough for dogs to stand, turn around, and comfortably lie down. Adequate ventilation is also key.
For smaller dogs and shorter time periods, more potable carriers are great options. Doggy backpacks can work well when hiking or walking long distances.
Once you arrive at your destination, there’s still work to do to create the right environment for a dog. Ideally, owners should confirm beforehand whether a destination is dog friendly, but regardless, it’s always a good idea to make your own judgment on whether a space is safe for your pet.
Many hotel chains will charge extra fees for staying with dogs in tow. Make yourself aware of these and consider looking for hotels that pets without additional fees, no deposits, and no one-time charges.
Bringing along a few key items from your home can help dogs feel more comfortable when travelling. A familiar toy, for example, eases the transition from a well-known environment into an unknown space.
Inside their crate or travel space, also make sure to add a comfortable blanket that can provide warmth if necessary. Using a blanket from home introduces familiar smells, which should have a calming effect for most dogs.
Favorite treats can be a lifesaver, providing distractions and incentives to help guide dogs through the traveling experience.
Some owners even bring along different ‘levels’ of treats, with more everyday snacks acting as a standard reward, while saving a special variety for times when a stronger incentive is needed.
Alongside those items needed to make your dog as comfortable as possible, it’s important to also think about the things necessary for ensuring your trip itself is a seamless experience.
When traveling with a dog – especially when traveling across borders – a variety of different types of paperwork may be required. From pet passports to insurance to health records, every country has its own specific requirements for pet entry, so make sure you do your research.
ID is also important for making sure that your pet can be identified in the event that they get lost. Owners should remember that dogs may be both unfamiliar with their surroundings and curious about new sights and smells when traveling, which increases the risk of them becoming disorientated or wandering off.
If you are separated from your dog when traveling, knowing that they can be quickly and easily identified should help provide at least a little peace of mind.
Always make sure your dog id where a collar that contains an ID tag with your name and international phone number. ID microchipping is also worth considering, as these can often be read by practices in other countries.
If you have a lot of paperwork to handle, try making digital copies of each document and storing them on your phone. That way, everything remains easily accessible why the hard copies can stay safely together in one place.