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Tips To Relieve Pet Travel Anxiety

Written by Jenn Cosgrove

One of the greatest joys of traveling is sharing the experience with friends, family, and even your pet.

If you are considering traveling internationally with your pet, it’s important to begin planning way ahead of your travel date. Here are some tips on how to keep your furry friends relaxed and calm while traveling, whether by plane or a long scenic drive.

Take a drive

Before your drive, exercise your pet. Take a long walk or play fetch. Encourage your cat to play with its favorite toy. Exercise will give your pet a way to burn off nervous energy.

If your pet isn’t used to riding in vehicles, take a few practice runs prior to your travel date. Start with short trips to the corner store or to a friends house increasing the distance each time.

Make sure your pet is safely and securely restrained or confined to a pet carrier. Using positive reinforcement methods, place some treats in the crate or on the seat verbally encouraging your pet that this is a safe place where fun things happen.

Pack a pet travel kit

Before you hit the road with your pet, make sure they have all the traveling accessories they need as well. Include your pets favorite toy, blanket, chews, or familiar items to help make your pet feel more at home.

Keep your cool

Your pet can sense when you’re stressed and will react in turn. Keeping the energy positive as you’re packing the car and helping your pet into its crate or restrained seat will help alleviate any stress your pet may be feeling. Avoid loud unfamiliar noises, try some soothing music for your road trip.

When traveling by plane

  • Try to book a direct flight if possible
  • Do not feed your pet during the six hours before your flight. Try not to give them water for the hour before the flight
  • Take your pet for a long walk before placing them in the carrier to burn any excess energy
  • Make sure your pet has sufficient identification. Address tags with your cell phone number, pet name and rabies tags should be worn by your pet at all times. Health records should be up-to-date well in advance of your trip
  • Avoid sedating your pet. If your pet is over stressed, be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your vet, there are a number of natural calming products on the market they  may be able to recommend
  • Acclimate your pet to its travel carrier well in advance before your trip. Place a favorite toy and familiar bedding in the carrier

Do you travel with your pet often? Know any good tips to keep them relaxed while on the road? We’d love to hear them!

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