From the moment you pull out the suitcase to pack for a trip, your dog is noticing a change in routine. He knows something is up and may exhibit more clingy behavior like laying close to the suitcase so you don’t forget him when you leave. He wants to be included in the fun, but the excitement may take a toll.
Vacations are full of new activities and changes that get your dog excited – visiting guests, new surroundings to explore, changes in feeding schedules, new children and other animals, and more outdoor cooking than usual. Added together, these changes can make the most calm and well-mannered dog into a frazzled, frustrated pup that may act out by being mischievous or display digestive upset like vomiting or diarrhea.
Tips to Minimize Travel Anxiety
As a loving pet parent, you’ll want to reduce the anxiety that vacations trigger. Taking some of these steps will make it easier on your dog and on the rest of the family:
- Make regular stops along the drive to give your dog time to get out, stretch his legs, relieve himself and get a water break and a belly rub.
- Take a walk around the new surroundings to make sure there isn’t something harmful they could get into when exploring.
- Keep your dog’s schedule as close to what you do at home, including feeding, walking and grooming.
- Pet-proof your new surroundings. New toys or furnishings may peak his curiosity to a point where he begins chewing on things that he shouldn’t.
- Limit the amount of interaction your dog has with a large group of visitors. Make sure to give him a safe space to go to for a nap or down time when he gets over-stimulated.
- Visiting guests will be tempted to treat your dog with table scraps. Let them know ahead of time it isn’t good for the dog and you don’t want them to do so, even if those big, brown eyes are staring at them.
- Make sure that the grillmeister picks up any food that drops to the ground while grilling. Any meat scraps are sure to be found by your dog and may lead to digestive upset.
- Pack items to help with travel anxiety such as non-chemical calming soft chews and a freeze-dried bland diet product to help with any vomiting or diarrhea.
Happy and safe travels!!
Related: Buckle Up, Bowser
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