AD | Collaborative post
While including your four-legged companion in your travel plans can be exciting, dealing with an anxious dog when traveling can be extremely challenging. However, the entire experience can be much more pleasant for everyone involved if you’re well-informed on various ways to keep your pooch calm and less overwhelmed.
Thankfully, these five tips might just help ease any unnecessary stress while keeping your anxious pup safe and happy!
1. Talk to Your Vet about Anti-Anxiety Medication
Before taking a trip with your pooch, it also helps to consult with your vet and discuss the possibility of anti-anxiety medications. This is more so if your canine companion often gets over excited, uneasy, or spooked by travel scenarios such as fatigue from long trips, unfamiliar places, fireworks, and so forth.
This kind of prescribed help can benefit your dog during times of stress, or when dealing with separation anxiety. Depending on your dog’s specific problem, the vet may prescribe medications such as:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) such as amitriptyline or clomipramine
- Beta Blockers like acepromazine
- Buspirone – for overly anxious behavior
- Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax
NOTE: However, anti-anxiety medication should only be given to dogs under the vet’s orders.
2. Try Giving Your Dog CBD Treats
Giving your dog some CBD treats may be the answer to a peaceful journey for both you and your pup. Some research suggests that providing cannabidiol (CBD) in the form of treats is effective in controlling anxiety symptoms, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
It can be a good way to help lower stress levels for your dog and produce feelings of calmness – leading to a more enjoyable traveling experience for both of you! Additionally, CBD dog treats are rather easy to acquire nowadays, including online at Honest Paws and similar trusted pet product stores.
From bites to chews, they also come in a wide range of options that you can choose from depending on what your dog prefers the most.
3. Bring a Comforting Toy That Your Dog Is Familiar With
When hitting the road with your canine companion, it’s important to bring some comforting, familiar items existing within their daily routine. Make sure to pack one or several of their favorite toys that may help reduce stress, provide comfort, and promote positive reinforcement during uncertain times.
For example, you can bring toys that will help you play fetch or tug-of-war with your canine friend when you get a chance for a pause during a long trip. Chew toys such as bones or rawhide treats can help in distracting your furry friend from what could be deemed undesirable circumstances or situations.
4. Always Follow Your Dog’s Routine and Stick to a Schedule
In many ways, your canine friend relies on you for their well-being as well as their composure. Despite being away from home, following a predictable routine for your dog is essential, especially in times of high stress.
This should include feeding times, daily exercise routines, and significant amounts of cuddle time. Maintaining a schedule that your dog is familiar with can help not only prevent anxiety but also curb erratic behavior throughout unknown settings.
5. Get Your Dog Used to New Environments Slowly and Positively
If you anticipate a rather long trip, it’s best to consider getting your dog used to the unfamiliar settings, albeit gradually and positively. This is otherwise known as desensitization, an exercise used commonly by professional dog trainers to encourage the acclimation process while building confidence levels simultaneously.
Some effective ways to help your dog get used to a new environment include:
- Taking daily walks in the same area
- Using positive reinforcement like offering treats or praised words when your dog takes the desired action
- Visiting dog parks
Keeping an anxious dog calm during travel may require some planning and strategy. However, with the correct care and attention applied at all times, your trips will soon turn into fun–filled adventures each time around! The above tips should pretty much make that happen for you and your canine fellow!