Lets face it, whenever we visit a new exciting place we always want to take our loved ones with us. Taking your dog with you on vacation reduces the stress and worry of not knowing how your dog is doing while not under your supervision. Moreover, this is exactly what our loyal companions want to be doing; that is to tag along with us!
Crating and acclimating your dog
Even though we hate to see our dogs locked up miserably in a crate, it’s one of the unavoidable steps that our dog has to take in order to travel safely and peacefully. Trained dogs start to see the crate as a safe place were they can peacefully sleep and chew on their toys. The time taken to crate train your pet depends on your pet’s personality. The most important thing is to be consistent and committed to your method of choice. Crate training your pet from a young age is the most recommended.
First things first! Buy an appropriate sized crate for your dog. One in which they can move comfortably for the long journey ahead. Next comes acclimating your dog to it.
Step1 : Place the dog’s bed, toys, chewing bones and maybe a used T-shirt of yours onto the base of the crate. Feeding your dog in the crate also helps your dog feel more at ease.
Step 2 : when your dog seems to be comfortable staying on the crate’s base, assemble the sides and tops of the crate. The crate door should be left open for the dog to go in and out as it pleases.
Step 3 : start closing your pet in the crate for a few minutes at a time, whilst talking to them gently in the process. Positive energy is also a must as dogs tend to feed of our energy. Do not shove your pet into the crate, let them walk in on their own accord.
Start Crating your dog and taking them on small journeys at a time to fun places such as dog parks. This is so the dogs start to associate the crate with pleasant experiences.
Before travelling, make sure there are no harmful things in the crate such as leashes or collars. Comfortable bedding, toys to keep your dog distracted and water for the trip should all be present in the crate throughout the trip.
Making sure your dog is well exercised, is also extremely important before the journey. Physically exhausting your dog would hopefully knock your dog out for most of the trip. In doing so, it would lead to less stress and the dog would be calmer during the trip.
To medicate or not to medicate?
Whether or not to medicate your dog depends solely on your dogs character. If your dog still stresses out during journeys, even after crate training, then it might be a good idea to medicate.
There are several different types of medications which can be used and these can also include herbal remedies. Rubbing lavender oil onto the sides of the crate, or buying pheromone sprays and spraying the insides of the crates, all showed promising results. Herbal calming remedy pills can also be bought from veterinary pharmacies over the counter.
If these herbal remedies are to no avail, prescribed medications are also available. However these prescribed medications are only recommended in severe cases.
Is your dog fit to travel?
Before travelling a complete check up at the vet’s should be done to ensure your furry companion is fit for travel. Your pet should be fully vaccinated before travelling. It is particularly important that the rabies vaccine be given before crossing any borders. Check your pet passport, and make sure all travel documents are in order so as to avoid any last minute mishaps during your travel.
Taking your dog along with you on your travels is a fun and bonding experience for both you and your dog. It is very important to always keep calm, positive and assertive in order to help your dog feel at ease and under control. A well behaved dog is a pleasant dog to have as your travel companion.