Let’s face it. Dog travel anxiety can put a serious damper on your holiday plans! Some dogs do waaaaaay better with change than others. Many times our furry friends can zip from holiday to holiday without a single worry, but other times they need some assistance when adjusting to a new environment. There is no shame in dog travel anxiety. It is a genuine issue that needs addressing, so your holiday starts off as successful as possible. Luckily, there are many natural remedies designed for your canine travel buddy that help them get through the worries often associated with travel.
Dog Travel Anxiety – What Are The Symptoms?
You know if your dog is dealing with travel anxiety if they are panting, pacing, or shaking, they may seem hyper-aroused and overly vocal. Some dogs will salivate, vomit, and, possibly, urinate and defecate. Needless to say, none of these symptoms make travel fun for you or your pet so getting some help from a natural calming remedy is a wise idea.
Dog Travel Anxiety: The Best Natural Remedies For Calming Your Dog
Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic, natural way to help support calm behavior in pets during stressful situations. It is a popular solution for those leaning toward herbal supplements to treat anxiety. Rescue Remedy is a mix of natural herb and flower extracts that can calm the nerves. You can add a couple of drops to your dog’s water dish, or add a drop to a treat. Rescue Remedy helps our animals when they are adjusting to new situations and emotionally out of balance. Rescue remedy can also be used on your traveling cat as well.
Lots of all-natural herbal supplements are available for your nervous dog. You can give them directly to your dog or mix them into a regular meal. Many of the same herbal supplements that have a soothing effect on humans will work on dogs as well. Remember to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog herbal supplements for proper dosage instructions and any warnings you might not find during your research. The most popular herbal supplements to calm an anxious dog are passionflower and valerian.
- Passionflower is a mild sedative, pain reliever and anti-spasmodic and is ideal for stressed out dogs. It is commonly used before your dog boards a plane and aids in a calm flight for your dog. Passionflower is perfect for easing separation anxiety because it has properties that prevent vital neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) from breaking down, which increases their levels in the body and results in improved mood and temperament. The best part about passionflower is that you can brew some passionflower tea for you and your dog. Pour a hot mug for yourself and then add some into your dog’s cold-water bowl to dilute and cool it. Passionflower comes in pill or essential oil form.
- Valerian is a sedative herb that is effective in treating dog anxiety. You can buy valerian in dried or capsule form and give it to the dog orally, wrapped in a piece of cheese, or with a treat. Valerian is most effective in small doses over the course of several days. You should use doses several times a day, especially in anticipation of an upcoming holiday that might cause increased anxiety for your pet.
Pheromones are a type of chemical communication between members of a certain species. A plug-in diffuser releases a scent that’s undetectable to the human nose, but powerful enough for a dog to smell. These pheromones make the dog feel “mothered” and calm when detected. There are a variety of ways that dogs can pick up on the power of pheromones. According to Dr. Jacqui Neilson, DVM, DACVB, owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland Oregon, “Pet pheromone products are said to mimic natural cat or dog pheromones and come in various forms, including sprays, plug-in diffusers, wipes, and collars.” In general pheromone diffusers release calming pheromones with coverage of 500 to 650 sq. ft. for 30 days. Pheromone products are terrific a portable option for a family holiday.
Through a Dog’s Ear
Through a Dog’s Ear This is classical music clinically demonstrated to calm canine listeners who are nervous on holiday. Studies show these solo piano arrangements reduced anxiety behavior and induced calmness in 70 percent of dogs in shelters or kennels and 85 percent of dogs in households. What is wonderful about Through a Dog’s Ear (TADE) is that the company regularly reports research findings regarding sound therapy, and they donate this music to help calm dogs in shelter environments. iCalmDog 3.0 is a portable, easy-to-use player pre-loaded with 4 hours of clinically tested music. Pack the music player in your luggage for a stress-free listening experience for your dog.
Some dog owners swear by this tightly fitting “shirt” that wraps around your dog. The feeling of continuous pressure can help calm a dog’s nerves for things like travel anxiety. When your dog wears a Thundershirt, you should be able to easily slip your fingers under it. The benefit from Thundershirt comes from the pressure around the torso behind the front legs. It’s like a giant hug for your dog and is very effective in easing the symptoms associated with travel anxiety.
Special Calming Treats
Several varieties of dog treats help dogs through holiday transitions and taste great too! Treats are totally safe and highly effective in relieving travel anxiety. The Chillout treat is designed to help calm and relieve the stresses in your dog’s life. They are made with a gourmet blend of vanilla, lemon balm, and lavender extract, which contribute to calming a nervous doggie. Zuke’s Enhance Calming Functional Chews have the perfect balance of natural herbs to help support a calm disposition. Passion Flower, L-Theanine, Chamomile, Hawthorn Berry, and Valerian.
Regular exercise is always important for a healthy pet, but additional activity during travel is essential. A few additional hikes in the forest and runs in the park will help to tire them out and relieve stress.
Travel anxiety alters the way your dog behaves and might affect your holiday experiences. You are the best resource to help your dog cope with the changes in their environment. Add any of these natural remedies when packing for your pet and remember that your dog trusts you.
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