Any pet owner will appreciate how stressful it can be to travel with your pets; however there are various ways in which this can be made a pleasanter journey for all.
There are specific products available that mimic the pheromone a female dog releases to sooth her puppies after giving birth. The main one is called Adaptil, this comes in a spray form so that you can spray your car prior to a journey to help reduce your pet’s anxiety. For cats, there is a product that replicates the feline facial pheromone called Feliway which provides reassurance to cats. Again this comes in a spray form so you can spray their carrier and your car prior to journeys to help reduce stress. Please speak to your practice for further information.
Some pets may travel better if there is fresh air or soothing music/ sounds in the car. If you’re travelling with a dog, ensure the windows are not open too much as you don’t want your dog sticking its head out of the window as this can cause risk of injuries to your dog’s head. Some dogs also feel safer in a crate and sometimes they’re better if the crate is covered.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to calm your pet they still may require medication. If this is the case, you will need to contact your veterinary surgery to arrange a consultation with a vet to discuss this.
Anyone can get travel sick, even cats and dogs. Most of the time this can be overcome with repeated short desensitisation journeys, ensuring that the trip is not just to take them to the vets, kennel or cattery. It may be worth initially ensuring your pet doesn’t eat a huge amount for at least three hours prior to the journey to reduce the risk of vomiting during travel. If your pet still vomits when travelling then there are anti sickness medications available from your vets.
Is your pet bonkers in the car? Are they showing signs of panting, whining and salivating? Then they are displaying signs of hyperactivity. If all of the above calming methods have failed then please contact your vets for advice.
Your attention should be on the road at all times, not on what your pet is doing. If possible, it is best to have a second person with you to help keep your pet calm.
Remember, you are not on your own. There’s advice at your local veterinary practice on ensuring a safe and calm journey for your pet, wherever your travels may take you.