Tips for Travelling Abroad with your Anxious Pet

Tips for Travelling Abroad with your Anxious Pet

Travelling more often than not is an amazing experience – and you are not the only one wanting to take your pet with you. However, if you are traveling with a furry friend with anxiety, it can additional stress and planning to your journey. Dogs, in particular, are sensitive creatures who thrive on routine and familiarity. This means that if you are planning an international adventure with your anxious dog in tow, there are some things you might want to consider before traveling abroad with your anxious pet to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both of you.

Plan Well Ahead and Familiarise Your Pet with Equipment

bringing home a Frenchie

Being well-organised always pays off. Before embarking on your journey, it’s, of course, important to research pet-friendly accommodations and airlines and obtain any necessary documentation for your destination. This usually includes ensuring your dog’s vacations are up-to-date and obtaining any required health certificates. But once you do that, it should also go hand in hand with making your dog accustomed to crates or carriers – especially if they are not used to it. Make it inviting by adding familiar bedding or toys and encourage your pet to spend time in the crate with positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise.

If it’s an option for you, have a look at private travelling, too. With the quieter and more spacious cabins, allowing your pet to relax, taking a dog on a private jet can be way less stressful for both you and your companion. It’s still going to be essential to acclimate your pet to the aircraft beforehand, though.

Keep Calm and Stick to a Routine

traveling with a dog

Dogs are highly attuned to our own emotions. This means, that it is crucial to stay as calm and composed during travel preparations as possible. Your pet will pick up on your energy, so maintaining a relaxed demeanour will help ease their anxiety right from the start. As they love their routines as much as we do, it should be your aim to try to stick to them as much as possible during the travel. Stick to their usual feeding and walking schedule to provide a sense of stability and familiarity amid the chaos that travel can bring with it. As well, of course, comfort items! Your dog’s favourite toys, blankets and bedding can provide much-needed comfort.

Before, During, and After

dog friendly beach

Before embarking on a long journey, it’s always a good idea to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise to tire them out. A tired pup is automatically more likely to relax and rest during travel – it will also reduce their stress levels. During transit, create a safe and comfortable space within the vehicle (or aircraft) – ideally away from noise and distractions and covered with a blanket to create a den-like environment. If you are travelling by car or vehicle, ensure your dog has as much fresh air as possible and plan regular stops for toilet breaks and leg stretches.

If you know your dog experiences severe anxiety during travel, consider natural calming remedies such as a pheromone diffuser, herbal supplements or anxiety vests. If this is the case, consult with your veterinarian beforehand. Make sure to check in with your dog and monitor its behaviour periodically. You’ll have to be prepared to intervene if they show signs of distress or discomfort. Sometimes, a little reassurance and comfort can already help massively.

Always be patient with your dog- they do not understand traveling and may need lots of extra reassurance and kindness. With understanding and a bit of extra care, travelling abroad with your pet can be turned into memorable and incredibly rewarding experiences for you both.

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