How to reduce anxiety in your dog when travelling: A Guide for Dog Lovers

How to reduce anxiety in your dog when travelling: A Guide for Dog Lovers

Traveling with your dog can be a delightful adventure, but for many dogs, it can also be a source of anxiety. Whether you're going on holiday or staying with friends, there are several steps you can take to ensure your furry friend feels safe and comfortable. Here’s how you can make your next trip a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.

1. Bring Familiar Items

Dogs thrive on familiarity, so bringing along some of their favorite items can help reduce anxiety. Pack their favourite dog bed, blankets, and toys. The scent and feel of these familiar objects can provide a sense of security in a new environment.

2. Create a Cozy Sleeping Space

Set up a designated sleeping area for your dog as soon as you arrive at your destination. Choose a quiet, low-traffic area where your dog can retreat and relax. Placing their bed or crate here will give them a personal space that feels like home.

3. Stick to Routine

Maintaining a consistent routine can help your dog feel more secure. Try to stick to their regular feeding, walking, and bedtime schedule as closely as possible. Familiar routines can provide comfort and predictability, which can be particularly soothing in an unfamiliar place.

4. Gradual Acclimation

If possible, introduce your dog to the new environment gradually. If you're staying with friends, consider a few short visits beforehand so your dog can get used to the new smells and sounds. For holidays, if you’re renting a place, try arriving a day early to let your dog explore before the full holiday activities begin.

5. Calming Products

You can purchase several products available that can help calm an anxious dog. Consider using a calming collar or a pheromone diffuser. These products release soothing scents that can help reduce anxiety. You can also try giving your dog a natural supplement designed to promote relaxation. More often than not, the smell of their own bed or blanket will be enough to keep them calm. 

6. Exercise

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before and during your trip. A tired dog is a calm dog. Long walks, playtime, and interactive toys can help burn off excess energy and reduce anxiety. Research good walks before you travel by asking your hosts or checking online. Your dog might love to swim in the sea and that is a great way to tire them out, although you have to ensure they are clean and dry afterwards. There is nothing worse than stinking your host's home out with salty dog smell. Our dog drying coats are perfect for this. 

7. Distraction Techniques

Keep your dog occupied with toys, chew items, or puzzle feeders. These distractions can help keep their mind off their anxiety and provide mental stimulation. We have an excellent range of toys for you to choose from and you can give this to your dog as a reward when you arrive at your destination. 

Dog Toys

8. Training and Commands

Basic training can be incredibly helpful in managing your dog’s anxiety. Teach your dog commands like "settle" or "place" to help them relax on cue. Consistent training can provide structure and make your dog feel more secure.

9. Socialisation

If your dog is staying with friends, introduce them to the other pets and people gradually. Supervised interactions can help your dog feel more comfortable and prevent any stress-related behaviours. Taking your dogs for a walk together will allow them to slowly get used to each other, it might be a good idea to keep them on a lead to start with so they don't wander off in a strange area. Remember they will spend more time than usual with scents getting used to a new area. 

10. Dealing with Barking

If your dog tends to bark in new places, work on training techniques to reduce this behaviour. Use positive reinforcement to reward quiet behaviour. Bringing along familiar items and creating a cosy sleeping space can also help reduce barking caused by anxiety. You may want to ask your hosts if your dog can sleep with you upstairs, this will increase their comfort and reduce anxiety at night. You must remember though that they may have an accident in the night if unfamiliar with the bedroom and where they are. 

11. Health Check

Before you travel, make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. A health check can ensure there are no underlying issues that could contribute to their anxiety.

12. Emergency Plan

Mountain Paws Dog First Aid Kit 81400 on

Know where the nearest vet is located in case of emergencies. Having this information readily available can provide peace of mind and ensure you can quickly address any health issues that arise. You should also remember to take your dog first aid kit with you to ensure they are safe when away. We have the perfect doggy first aid kit that will ensure you are both safe on your travels if anything untoward happens. 

Don't forget that anxiety in dogs can come from the owner, so make sure you are calm too, this will rub off on the mood of your dog as well. 

Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience, filled with new adventures and bonding opportunities. By taking these steps to reduce your dog’s anxiety, you can ensure that your travels are enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your furry friend. Happy travels from all of us at Dogs Dogs Dogs!

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