A hairy brown dog with its head out the window of an orange vehicle.

Worry-Free Pet Travel: How to Calm An Anxious Pet

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If you're a pet owner who loves to travel but struggles with your furry friend's anxiety, you're not alone. Many dogs experience stress and discomfort when left for a long period of time. Some people often leave their pets in pet hotels or with friends and family to help the pet avoid traveling.

In this blog, we'll explore some effective ways to make travel more enjoyable for both you and your four-legged companion. Whether you're planning a road trip or a plane ride, these tips will help you reduce your pet's anxiety so you can always bring them for a vacation.

How to calm your pet before traveling

You’re about to embark on your next big adventure, but you want to bring along your pet. Here are some tips to help calm your anxious dog before their first long haul:

A dog with its head out the car window.

  • Give a walk before the trip itself to lower energy levels

Walking the dog is a form of exercise, which is known to reduce anxiety and stress. It’s also a good way to bond with your pet and allow them to breathe good air and take in some sun. All of these factors can contribute to your dog’s mood before a long trip.

  • Use CBD treats or gummies to help them relax before travel

CBD treats like the Verma Farms Bacon Bites and the CBD steak dog treats are a simple and effective way to calm your pet before traveling. You may give them a treat 30 minutes to an hour before the trip as CBD may take a while to take effect. While it’s a generally safe treat, check in with a veterinarian before using it on your pet.

  • Pack toys and blankets familiar to them

Dogs and cats have items that they can easily recognize. Pack one or two of their favorite toys and a blanket they sleep with to make them feel comfortable. These items will help them have familiarity in a brand-new environment.

  • Include rest stops for your pet when planning the itinerary

Like humans, pets will need to make food and water stops and pee breaks during a long road trip. Make sure to give them a short walk, too, for a little stretching and mobility exercise. 

  • Make sure your pet has updated vaccinations

If your pet is updated on vaccinations, it can help prevent them from getting sick during the trip. For example, some countries will require certain vaccines before accepting your dog at the border. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends rabies booster shots every one to three years, depending on the vaccine.

How to calm your pet during travel

There are things you can do during travel that will give your pet some comfort. Whether it’s a plane ride or a long road trip, here are some tips you can use:

A man sitting in the wilderness with his dog resting on his back.

  • Use anxiety wraps or belts

When dogs are triggered by loud noises or new experiences, the gentle pressure of an anxiety wrap helps alleviate their anxiety or stress. Allow the dog to get used to the vest a week before the trip by putting it on periodically.

  • Use a GPS-tracking collar

Going on a trip with a dog can sometimes be stressful for their fur parents. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, our pets can get out of sight. A GPS-tracking collar can help look for your pet if they stray from your general vicinity. These devices can be connected to your phone with a user-friendly interface.

  • Use a pet-friendly travel guide or app to find local pet-friendly amenities


There are apps like BringFido that make traveling with a pet so much fun and easier. BringFido is your friend when it comes to looking for accommodation, parks, restaurants, trails, beaches, and other spots that are pet-friendly. It boasts of having information available worldwide.

  • Use apps such as Calm My Pet or Relax My Dog

Calm My Pet or Relax My Dog are apps that are designed to give sounds that will help calm your pet. Some of these sounds include forest birds, camping fires, beach waves, and vacuum cleaners that are familiar to them.

  • Hire a pet sitter or pet-friendly hotel staff if you need to leave the pet

A hotel is an unfamiliar place for your pet. And there may be activities in your itinerary when you would rather leave your pet safe indoors. It might be worth considering leaving them in the hands of a friendly pet sitter or pet-friendly hotel staff. Try using BringFido to find accommodations that provide such services.

How to calm your pet after traveling

At the end of a long flight or a long drive, your work is not yet done as a pet owner. Here are some ways to make sure your pet can comfortably relax, too:

A cat yawning on the bed.

  • Make sure there’s food and plenty of water

Before you start unpacking and showering, make sure to lay down some food and water for your pet. It’s possible they’re tired too and will need to refresh and recover with food and water.

  • Provide them with a comfortable and familiar space

Especially coming from a long trip, you can calm an anxious dog by reintroducing them to their favorite resting spot at home. Stay with them for some pats and cuddles while you take a breather, too.

  • Give your dog enough time to recover

They say normal people don’t unpack their luggage the moment they come home. Your pet might feel the same because of tiredness. Give them space and enough time to recover overnight before reintroducing them back to their daily routine.

  • Avoid giving too much attention or overstimulation

Calming an anxious dog may require notching down the attention you provide or overstimulation. Allow them to lie down, rest, and just do their thing. You’ll find they can also comfortably readjust on their own. 

  • Ease them back into their old routine

Give them a day to rest. Besides, you’ll need it too! If you’re used to a very early morning routine with a dog walk, that’s fine. Just make sure to check in on how your dog is feeling or acting. You can also try decreasing the intensity of your activities for a day until your pet dog can handle more.

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You might also be interested in our Guide to Giving CBD to Your Cat →.