Travelling can sometimes be stressful for dogs and they can become quite anxious and even suffer from travel sickness. Here are our Top Tips for making it a bit less stressful for your dog.
Some dogs are more anxious about going out in the car because is makes them feel nauseous and so they link the car journey with feeling ill. Excessive salivation, whimpering, shaking and hanging their head low are all signs of travel sickness.
Getting used to the car
To get your dog used to going in the car, practise at home. With all the doors open ask your dog to get in the car where they would normally travel, just for a few seconds and then let them get out. Repeat this each day, over a period of a week extending the amount of time in the car with each go. Over time you should be able to get to the stage where you can take them on short 5 minute journey. Have a long term plan to drive to a favourite walking area so your dog can associate the car with going to a fun place. Don't make their first journey a trip to the vets!
Dogs love to sniff fresh air so have some of the windows slightly down and allow the breeze to blow through the car (perhaps not on the motorway). Don't play loud music as this will not allow your dog to relax.
Taking the time to let your dog adjust to good car journeys will be beneficial in the long term.
Carry a doggy travel bag stocked with puppy pads, cleaning wipes, newspaper, poop bags, kitchen roll, towels, water and a water bowl. If your dog is sick you then have the necessary kit to stop (safely) and sort it out, so that you and your dog are not travelling in the mess.
If your dog travels in a crate they may prefer a blanket placed over the top of the crate to create a calm den. Using their usual blankets or bedding is a good idea as they will be familiar to your dog and smell right.
If your dog is not in a crate do use a safety harness to strap them to the seat belt. Whilst they may not like this, it is much safer for everyone. Get them used to it in much the same way as described above.
On a long journey do plan plenty of stop breaks so that your dog is able to safely get out of the car, stretch their legs, go to the loo and have a drink of water.
Avoid feeding a dog that suffers from travel sickness before a long journey. Just make sure they have access to water.
For dogs that do get travel sickness and are anxious about travelling, try using Trophy Easy Going. Easy-Going uses a blend of natural herbs reputed to have specific calming and soothing actions and may be beneficial for dogs that suffer from anxiety or nervousness and has been reported to help dogs that suffer from travel sickness. Simply sprinkle on your dog’s food each day.