So is there a way for you and your pet to enjoy new adventures together?
Certainly, but you’ll have to roll your sleeves up and prepare diligently. There’s an entire checklist to complete before your pet can be ready for that trip. Learn these hacks to reduce their anxiety for a road trip, ferry ride, or flight.
Pet Travel by Land
Car anxiety could make pets drool excessively, whine, or in some cases, vomit. Here's what you need to do to make the road trip more comfortable for them.
Get Your Pet Acclimated to the Car
Long before your trip, help them get used to riding the car. Take them with you as you get groceries, run errands, or drive to the pet store. If your fur baby mentally associates a car ride with fun, they’d feel comfortable for longer rides.
How long does it take for an anxious pet to be acclimated to a car? It depends. Some furry friends could happily hop into the car at command within days, while others could take weeks. Patience is key.
Bring Their Comfort Blanket or Toys
Comfort items like their favorite toy or blanket help them be at ease. Some pet owners even give their pets one of their shirts, so the pets can pick up their familiar scent.
Schedule Stops for Bathroom Breaks and Walks
As you plan your road trip, schedule a pit stop every few hours for your pet’s potty breaks and walks. They'll feel more at ease every time they get fresh air and stretch their legs.
Another suggestion: visit a few parks or trails along the way so your pet (especially dogs) can run around longer.
Pet Travel by Sea
There are two things that make a ferry ride more difficult than a road trip: it’s more crowded, and there’s a greater chance of motion sickness. Here’s how you can get your pet ready.
Prepare for Motion Sickness
Fur babies are not immune to sea sickness. Like humans, the constant rocking of the watercraft could lead to uncomfortable symptoms like:
- Excessive drooling
- Dry heaving
If your pet has had motion sickness before, consult your vet for possible medications. If it’s your pet’s first time on a boat, talk to your vet about sea sickness nevertheless; it pays to be prepared. A vet visit also ensures that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Some ferries follow strict pet health regulations.
Aside from medication, manage your pet’s food intake. Don’t give them a large meal before boarding the boat. Then, give them small quantities of water to help relieve motion sickness.
Get Them Acclimated to the Ferry
Before boarding the ferry, take your pet out for a walk around the terminal and make them go on their potty break.
Do the same once you’ve boarded the boat — walk them around and let them take in all the new sights and smells. Make sure they’re comfortable with their leash, too, as these are required during ferry travel.
If you plan to use a carrier, ensure your pet is acclimated to the carrier. Before your trip, practice spending some time in the carrier and take your pet when you’re running errands. Make their carrier more comfortable with their favorite toys and blankets.
Pet Travel by Air
Flights might be the trickiest mode of travel for anxious pets. But if plane rides are your only choice, don’t fret. Here are ways to minimize the stress and ensure your pet arrives safely at your destination.
Determine the Best Flight for Your Pet
The first step to reducing anxiety is to book the most comfortable flight, that is, choose an airline that allows pets to stay in the cabin. This way, your pet is close to you, and you can comfort them in case they show signs of anxiety.
Many airlines fly pets in the cargo area, but that's an anxiety-inducing experience for your pet:
Cargo is often louder and more crowded than the cabin
Your pet could be overwhelmed with too many new sights, smells, and sounds in the cargo
You can’t protect your pet in the cargo in case there’s a sharp rise or fall in temperature
You can check this airline guide created by the American Kennel Club to see the pet travel policies of popular U.S. domestic airlines.
Another tip: fly direct whenever possible. This reduces travel time, transfer stress, and variation in temperature.
Get Them Acclimated to the Carrier
Just like our ferry travel reminder, help your pet get used to their carrier. Teach them to go inside, stay there for a few minutes, then get out. Make the carrier more comfortable with their favorite blankets and toys.
You can also acclimate your pet to the airport environment. If you have time to spare, go with your pet (in their carrier) to the airport and let them get used to the sights and sounds.
Finally, when the travel’s over and you’ve reached your destination, give your pet a delicious reward! Treat them to their favorite snack for being a good boy or girl, and make sure to add a few drops of Verma Farms Salmon CBD Oil or Chicken CBD Oil to keep them happy and healthy for the rest of the trip.
You might also be interested to read about the ways you can help calm your anxious dog→.