Natural animal health company nutravet offers advice for pet owners when travelling in the car with nervous pets.
With summer just around the corner, many pet owners will be planning summer holidays with 85% of dog owners choosing to holiday with their pet in the UK rather than abroad without their pet.
For many owners, their dog is part of the family and they would prefer to take their beloved pet with them on holiday.
However, for some dogs, travelling is associated with a journey to the vets and can be associated with a stressful and unpleasant experience. Travelling in a car can change your dog’s routine or environment and increase the chances of anxiety.
A spokesperson for nutravet said: “We know that many people class their pets as part of the family and rather than leave them in a kennel or cattery they would prefer to take them along to enjoy their holiday with them.
“Stress and anxiety are common reasons for pet owners to take their dogs to the vets. As an owner it’s not nice to see your dog so anxious and it can add extra stress to a journey that should be exciting, as you head off on holiday.”
If you are planning on taking your dog on a staycation this year, nutravet offer some positive things to help keep your pet calm during the car journey:
Get your pet used to the car
Help your dog to get used to being in the car by training them to sit calmly in a stationary car to start with. Help them to feel comfortable in the car with their harness on. Never leave your dog unattended in the car.
Use treats and play games whilst in the car. This will help them to associate the car with good things.
Start with short trips
Take your dog on short trips in the car to start with, possibly to the park or the pet shop. Gradually build up the journeys so that they last longer.
Use toys or a blanket
Give your dog an item of clothing with your scent on, or their favourite toy or blanket to keep them calm during the journey. A toy will also help to keep them distracted during the journey.
Some dogs travel better when there is music playing or if the window is open. Be careful not to open the window too much to reduce injury to your dog or in case they try to escape.
Secure your dog
Be sure to secure your dog in the care with a harness or a dog cage, which will help them to feel calmer. Make sure they are comfortable. A harness or dog cage will also prevent them from moving around and jumping into your lap whilst you’re driving.
Don’t feed prior to travelling
To reduce travel sickness, avoid feeding your dog a couple of hours before you plan to travel. This will help to prevent any accidents in the car.
Make loo stops
If you are travelling a long way be sure to make plenty of pit stops to give your dog some exercise and a chance to go to the toilet and have some water.
Exercise your dog before a long journey, this will help them to burn off excess energy and settle during the journey.
Introduce a natural calming supplement
nutracalm has been formulated by vets to naturally calm anxious pets quickly, and to reduce unwanted or unruly behaviour in dogs and cats.
If you are worried about your pet’s behaviour, you should always consult your vet, who will be able to offer advice and the best solution for your pet’s health needs. For more information and top tips from nutravet you can visit www.nutravet.co.uk.