It’s here, that last getaway of the summer! You are all packed, so you and your pup hop in the car and are heading off. Suddenly, your dog doesn’t look so good and before you have time to pull over, their breakfast has been decanted unceremoniously all over your back seat. Pet travel anxiety is more common than you think and can truly limit your pet-accompanied excursions if you aren’t prepared.
Are you planning on taking a trip this labor day as the last hurrah of summer? If so, chances are you will want to bring your four-legged friend with you so that they can experience all the fun that your destination has to offer. But did you know that some pets actually have travel-induced anxiety that can make the car ride less than pleasurable for your furry friend? Fear not- we are here to save the day by helping you understand, recognize and prevent travel anxiety in your pet, prior to hopping in the car for your fun long weekend away!
What is Travel Anxiety?
Travel anxiety in pets is the fear of car travel, often stemming from not knowing or understanding what’s happening. For some pets, the anxiety may be less about the car itself and more about the destination, particularly when the journey always ends at the vet’s, the groomer’s, or at a boarding facility.
Similar to a human, when your pet is uncertain about what is going on, they can easily become overwhelmed and begin exhibiting the symptoms of travel anxiety.
Identifying Travel Anxiety in Your Pet
There are many signs that you may notice in your pet that can be attributed to travel anxiety. One of the most common symptoms of travel anxiety is motion sickness.
Other symptoms of travel anxiety include:
- Excessive drooling
- Barking or mewing
- Whining or scratching
- Urinating or soiling
- Attempting to escape
Why is Motion Sickness Often A Sign of Travel Anxiety?
Motion sickness as a sign of travel anxiety in your pet is more common in younger pets, just as carsickness afflicts children more often than adults. This is because the ear structures used for balance aren’t yet fully developed in younger animals, especially puppies. Many pets will outgrow travel sickness as they mature, but not all of them will. If the first few car rides of your pet’s life left them nauseated, they may have been conditioned to equate travel with vomiting, even after their ears have fully matured, causing further travel-based anxiety for your beloved pet.
Preventing and Treating Travel Anxiety in Your Pet
There are many things you can do to help aid in the prevention of travel anxiety in your pet. The easiest thing you can do is introduce your pet to car rides early in life and work to establish positive associations with travel for your pet. This could be a variety of things, but perhaps every time you and your pet go out for the first few times, they are given their favorite meal upon return or you make a stop by the pet store for new treats.
Aside from starting early there are many products on the market designed to help manage travel anxiety in your pet.
What ThunderWorks Products Help with Travel Anxiety?
ThunderWorks has several products that can help you manage your pet’s travel anxiety. See our top three recommendations below.
The Original ThunderShirt
ThunderShirt is the original, vet recommended, natural calming solution that helps reduce anxiety in dogs in a drug-free way. The ThunderShirt is designed to apply gentle, constant pressure to calm all types of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues in dogs.
The ThunderShirt helps to calm in over 80% of cases, and is recommended for a variety of anxiety triggers including both travel, & vet visits.
The ThunderEase Collar
ThunderEase for Dogs mimics the calming pheromone that a mother dog releases while nursing her puppies, which helps your dog to feel calmer, more secure, and more comfortable! ThunderEase comes in a few different formats but for travel, we recommend the ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs.
The ThunderEase pheromones in our Calming Collar are activated by your dog's body heat, so they are there to help calm your dog wherever they go, and in whatever situation that comes up!
ThunderWunders Calming Chews
Last but not least, we have our ThunderWunders Calming Chews which are perfect for travel! ThunderWunders Dog Calming Chews are vet recommended, and contain ingredients that help promote rest and relaxation for your dog, so you can spend less time struggling and more time enjoying the open road. Simply give your dog the recommended amount of ThunderWunders ~30 minutes before your car ride so they can kick in and your trip should be smooth sailing!
Enjoy The Open Road
Now that you are equipped with the tools for combatting travel anxiety in your dog, get packed, don't forget your favorite ThunderWorks products, and hit the road! We hope you enjoy your trip and while you’re out, share your travel photos of your dog and their favorite ThunderWorks product with us by tagging us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!