21 Nov 2018 Traveling this Holiday Season? Here are some tips to keep your dog happy while you travel.
Traveling with furry friends can be one of the most unforgettable moments for both the owners and dogs – if the dogs are accustomed to it. Otherwise, it’s an anxiety attack waiting to happen.
When you force a dog into long car journeys without calming preparations beforehand – they’re going to be traumatized for life! And you’re going to have to deal with it until your dogs get over the negative experience as well.
To ensure a seamless long car journey with your beloved pets, try these top 7 tips to keep your dog calm and happy all throughout.
- Choose a Suitable Destination
If it’s your furry friend’s first time on a long car journey, at least let the destination be worth it in the end. Pick a suitable destination which you and your dog will enjoy. Check beforehand if it’s a pet-friendly location. I once had the mistake of bringing my retriever to the beach without calling the resorts prior and ended up driving around looking for a beach resort which can accommodate us. What a waste of time – and gas! If you’re planning on trekking, try choosing an easier trail for your furry animal.
- Ensure Safety during the Road Trip
Some dogs feel comfortable when they’re collared or restrained. Suffice to say, some dogs feel otherwise. But during a long car journey, safety should be an utmost priority. Make sure that your dogs wear a harness or are inside a crate. If you don’t restrain them, chances are, accidents can occur when you step hard on the break. They might bump their heads on the car seat’s headrest. This also prevents them from sticking their heads out the window unsafely.
- Take Breaks More Often
Don’t expect your dogs to be able to hold their toilet needs. Stop for a toilet break every three to four hours. This also gives them frequent opportunities to stretch their legs. Holding your bathroom needs is not the best feeling in the world, right? How would you feel if you were in your dog’s place? When traveling on a hot day, don’t forget to give your dog water as often as it needs. Also, exercising your dog before a long car journey helps in burning off that excess energy. That way, your dog will be calmer and more settled during the entire trip.
- Reassure Your Dog During the Entire Journey
I have had my fair share of close calls when driving with my dog in the backseat. A dog’s whining or barking can distract the heck out of you and I swear by this. It might not be possible to pet your dogs while you’re driving because it’s obviously unsafe. So try to reassure your dog by using a calm voice when talking to it and not showing your frustration when it’s being naughty. If you feel that your dog isn’t cut out for a long car journey without someone in the back to pet him – then invite a friend to do the reassuring while you drive everybody safely.
- Use Flower Essences Before the Trip
Flower essences are organic so that means – it’s non-toxic. It’s a go-to solution for dog anxieties and upset stomachs. Some of these flower essences are referred to as “mother tincture” when diluted. It’s also advised to further dilute this tincture before giving a couple of doses to your dog. You may also administer undiluted flower essences to your dog by giving it two drops at a time. But take note though that the alcohol content might be high so your dog will likely react to the taste and smell. I guess that’s better than being anxious all throughout the long car journey.
- Massage Your Dog Before the Trip
Essential oils aren’t called ‘essential’ for nothing. While they’re very beneficial for people, surprisingly, they’re also very useful to keep your dog calm during a long car journey. Try rubbing a few drops of lavender oil in your dog’s ear fur and skin and administer a massage right after.
When prepping your dog for a massage, ensure that it’s in a calm, submissive state. You may take your dog out for a short walk if need be. To start the massage, pet and talk to your dog calmly. Start in your dog’s neck by doing circular movements. Then proceed to your dog’s shoulders, chest, and front legs. Continue massaging your dog’s back and spine using circular motions. Make sure to maintain a mild pressure and if your dog doesn’t like a certain body part being massaged (which you’ll know since you’re familiar with your dog’s behavior) – then stop and move on to a different body part.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to have fun when you reach your destination!
Author Bio: Kerry Brooks, a passionate blogger and frequent traveler, enjoys sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about classic car parts and accessories. She is currently working for Tuckersparts, which offers the best classic automobile parts.