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5 Ways to Calm Your Pets for Travel

As pet owners, we love our pets so much, that sometimes this means that we wish we could take them with us everywhere we go.

This is true no matter what kind of pet you have; whether you are a cat person, a dog lover or a reptile-enthusiast with a snake draped over your shoulders, a vacation just isn’t the same when your beloved companion isn’t right by your side.

Travelling with a pet is a scary idea for most pet owners, especially ones who have never done it before, but it doesn’t have to be the expedition you imagine it to be. It’s pretty easy to get your pet from one point to another and back again – safely and easily.

There are plenty of things pet owners worry about when it’s time to travel with their pets. What should I pack? Am I going to need tranquilizers? How am I going to keep them calm during the journey? What if they flip out in the car and cause an accident?

We’ve previously written about Travelling with our dogs and some of the things we take with on our road-trips, but here are 5 more practical ways to calm your pets for travelling.

  1. Safe, Comfortable Travel
    If you’re travelling with your pet, you want the journey to be as comfortable for them as possible – and you want the trip to feel close to home if your pet isn’t used to travelling yet.Make sure your furry beloved has enough room to move around in, but not so much room that they can distract you from driving. You’ll also want to make sure they have some food and snacks for the journey ahead, and make regular stops for water – and a walk at least once every hour if this is possible.Also consider safety, and make sure that you have things like a proper, safe leash or a cat carrier that closes properly and is safe for your pet.
    Remember to pack documentation like vaccination certificates as part of the trip, too.
  2. Packing Small Comforts for Pets
    Small comforts go a long way for your pets.Does your pet have a favourite blanket or beloved toy? Take this along for the trip to reassure your pet, and if you find that your pet is getting restless along the way, give them some clothes that you’ve worn recently – this often helps pets to feel safer while travelling for long journeys.You should also pack their favourite treats: It can make the experience seem a lot more exciting for your pet if they get access to their favourite snack at every rest stop!
  3. Music and Lyrics
    You should pick the right playlist for your pet.There are plenty of studies that show the right type of music can be beneficial for your pets – yes, both cats and dogs have a definite music preference, and if your dog is howling to Kenny Rogers it might just mean they actually hate country.A study published in Applied Animal Behaviour says that cats prefer “species-appropriate music” – and researchers have even designed music just for cats that was built around the vocalizations and voices of cats, that are about one octave higher than our human voices.

    If you were wondering, researchers say that cats tend to prefer classical music, and dogs will be more relaxed when they’re listening to reggae or soft rock. Groovy!

    We also recently experimented with binaurial music – which helped calm both mom and pooches!

  4. Herbal Means
    There are plenty of natural and herbal means that you can make use of to relax your pet if you have a particularly long stretch of driving ahead of you and you find that your pet gets restless until you’ve reached your holiday destination.For cats, the best thing you can give them is catnip, usually available in a spray or dried herbal form, but also available sewn into cute and cuddly cat toys or pouches. Catnip can help cats to relax and take their minds off the journey entirely.As an additional tip, catnip spray or a clearly labelled bag is best when travelling. Most people don’t think of this, but there are plenty reasons why you don’t want a bag of unlabelled leafy green substances in your car when you go through a roadblock or stop – and it can waste a lot of time having to explain it.

    Catnip can work for dogs too, though has more of a sedative effect, and you can even put some fresh leaves in your pooch’s water before travelling. Or, if you were wondering, the real catnip equivalent for dogs is aniseed.

  5. A Vet’s Appointment
    There are some pets who just don’t like car trips, or boat trips, or yacht trips or any kind of trips until they get to sit on your lap on a non-moving entity that is the couch.You should ignore all rumours and social media posts about just which human medications you can give which animal: Never attempt to give your pet any kind of medication that has not been recommended or dispensed by a licensed vet – while some people get the medications right in home treatment, it’s near-impossible to calculate an accurate dosage yourself and you could be doing more harm to your pet than good.If your pet gets too restless in transit or you aren’t sure how they’ll react to a long trip yet, your vet should be able to recommend a light tranquilizer that will ensure they sleep throughout the journey. Remember that your pet’s (accurate) weight is vitally important when medications like this are dispensed.

Safe travelling!

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