Are you planning to take your pooch with you on the next trip to Italy, or California? Have you surfed the internet already to find out the travel essentials that you will need? If yes, then, have you considered preparing the dog for the tour?
Start off by taking the pooch on short trips to the pet store, etc. to find out whether he suffers from anxiety, car sickness, or other behavioral problem. Once you know the cause, you can modify his behavior accordingly to save the hassle during the overseas tour.
Here are some common troubles that a dog confronts on his first tour. They can be modified with proper training:
- Car Sickness or Anxiety:
If your pooch becomes anxious when getting in the car, and starts panting heavily, you should not ignore the behavior. The car sickness of dog ruins the trip when he does not settle down for a single moment.
The typical reason of carsickness is a trip to the vet. Such associations create stress in the dog’s mind. You have to shift his attention to the next short trip.
How to Cure Car Sickness and Anxiety?
There are various ways you can cure car sickness and anxiety of the pooch. You can modify the dog’s behavior through positive reinforcement or counter conditioning. Some medicinal treatments are also available.
Try out these tricks to prepare your dog for the tour:
- Dogs get anxious when confronted with the unknown, so familiarize them first. Create good memories for the pooch in the car and on the trips. Creating positive associations in the dog’s mind is known as ‘counter conditioning.’ It will make him familiar with the surroundings.
- Praise him when he gets into the car, or let him have his food in the car to create a comfort zone around him.
- Take the pooch on short trips to dog parks, pet stores, etc. to create happy experiences.
- Give favorite chew toys or clothes having your scent to keep the dog calm.
- Try positive reinforcement to encourage the dog to travel with you. Reward him consistently.
- Another trick is using anxiety-reducing Thunder shirts. The jacket helps the dog calm down in various situations, during travel tours and car acclimation.
- Pheromones are ‘chemical signals’ released by an animal’s body when they communicate with each other. Pheromones are also released when a female dog gives birth to puppies. The pheromones help the puppies stay calm and comfortable around the mother. Pheromones have been synthetically produced and are made available in the form of spray or collar. Spray a little Adaptil on the dog’s favorite stuff toy or blanket before setting off to travel to curb his anxiety on tour.
- Keep the windows open during the trip, and play some soft music to comfort the dog. You can use essential oils that specifically treat dog’s anxiety.
- If the anxiety is not decreasing, consult the vet to prescribe some medicines like antihistamines, anxiolytics, and sedatives. If your dog has motion sickness, Neurokinin receptor blocking medication, Zoetis, is a unique drug to prevent vomiting.
Prepare Your Dog for Crates, Harnesses and Carriers:
Try using crates, carriers and harnesses to make the dog feel secure and less anxious. Crate training is essential for traveling by airplane or train.
If your pooch cannot sit still due to anxiety; secure a plastic pet carrier or car travel harness to the seat to prevent the dog from crashing during jumps or sudden breaks.
For crate training your dog, make him get used to staying in the crate for long hours or even days (for longer trips). In the beginning, do not put the upper cover of the crate. Let him spend hours within the area. Once he gets used to playing in the crate, close the crate from above and let him stay there for hours. Praise and treat him sufficiently for staying calm. Put his favorite chew toys, bedding, a piece of cloth having your scent in the crate. Place food bowls in the crate as well. Plan some short trips with your pooch bound in the crate. Don’t forget to reward him for good behavior throughout the journey.
Note: Also, desensitize the dog to loud noises and sounds to keep the anxiety under control.
If you are planning a hiking tour or exploring some natural beauties of the city far from the crowded markets, off leashing training is essential. If you want to provide the dog a little freedom in the dog adventure park or dog beach; train him to follow your commands vigilantly in spite of staying off-leash.
Some dog parents forget to train their pooch in the middle of noise and crowds to test the vigilance and alertness. Dogs have a short attention span, and in crowded places, they can lose track of the owner due to the curiosity to explore the new areas. So, off-leash training is a necessary step before taking the dog with you.
Some dog parents forget to train their pooch in the middle of noise and crowds to test their vigilance and alert behavior. Dogs have short attention span, and in crowded places they can lose track of the owner due to the curiosity to explore the new place. If you are not sure about your dog yet, try these best retractable dog leashes to allow the freedom to your dog and keep him under your control as well.
After you have prepared your dog for the tour, you can always take him along. Let me tell you a secret, traveling with dogs will make you learn secrets of life. He will make your tour memorable and fun!
Fiona Appleton is a Labrador owner. She is the manager of https://ultimatehomelife.com/ that has been developed to help people solve the troubles of pet ownership. She is an active advocate of animal protection campaigns. She wants people to understand that dog-behavior is reflective of our behavior.