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11 Tips for Reducing Pet Travel Stress

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Reducing pet travel stress, Traveling with your furry companion can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be incredibly stressful for your pet. As pet owners, we want to make sure our animals are as comfortable and calm as possible when traveling – whether it’s a short car ride or an international flight. The good news is there are many things you can do to reduce pet travel stress and help ensure your pet has a safe, happy trip.

Let’s explore some of the top tips for easing your pet’s stress during travel and reducing pet travel stress.

Start Preparations Early To reduce pet travel stress

Don’t wait until the last minute! Begin getting your pet accustomed to the travel process well in advance of your departure date. For dogs, start crate training and taking them on short car rides. For cats, get them used to being in a carrier and going for drives. This will reduce anxiety about confinement during transit for an international pet relocation.

Consider Calming Aids

If your pet is especially high-strung or prone to travel stress, you may want to chat with your vet about calming aids like supplements or anti-anxiety medication. These can help take the edge off and keep your pet relaxed during pet relocation. However, be sure to test out any calming aids before travel to ensure your pet doesn’t have any adverse reactions.

Stick to Routine

Try to keep your pet’s routine as consistent as possible leading up to travel to minimize stress. The more familiar the schedule and environment, the less anxiety they will feel. For example, feed them at the same times each day and don’t disrupt their exercise and play time. Consistency and predictability are comforting.

Use Familiar Bedding

Bring blankets, toys, carriers and crates that your pet is accustomed to using at home. Familiar scents and objects will help them feel more secure away from home and reducing pet travel stress. You can even gently rub a towel on their fur before travel to collect their scent, and place that towel in the crate or carrier.

Provide Proper ID

Make sure your pet has proper identification at all times during travel to quickly address any travel stress from accidental separation. Have them micro chipped and wear a collar with current ID tags. You can also consider getting a temporary travel tag engraved with your destination contact information. Proper ID helps ensure you can be reunited if accidentally separated.

Book Direct Flights

For long journeys, book direct flights whenever possible to minimize travel stress from stressful plane changes and long layovers. Extended airport stays can add to a pet’s anxiety and fatigue. Give your pet the most efficient travel experience to reduce pet travel stress.

Request a Calm Spot

When booking flights or lodging, request a pet-friendly space away from busy areas if available. For example, ask for a carrier location away from loud equipment and other animals, or a designated pet relief area. The calmer the environment, the less travel stress your pet will feel.

Plan for Potty & Exercise Breaks

Make sure to schedule regular bathroom and exercise breaks during travel to provide stress relief. A chance to stretch their legs and relieve themselves will reduce anxiety. Bring potty pads, poop bags and leashes so you’re prepared when stopping. Proper potty planning prevents accidents and reducing pet travel stress.

Pack Pet Essentials

Bring food, medications, cleaning supplies, a first aid kit, chew toys, leash, and anything else your pet will need. Having their essentials readily available provides comfort in unfamiliar surroundings and reduces travel stress. Extra food and supplies also safeguard against potential flight delays or cancellations.

Use Relaxing Essential Oils

Some pets respond well to relaxing essential oils like lavender or chamomile. You can apply a diluted oil mist to carriers or bandanas. Or use diffusers and sprays in hotel rooms. Just be sure your pet doesn’t have skin sensitivities before using oils. The oils can reduce travel stress.

Provide Familiar Food & Water

Pack your pet’s regular food, treats and water bowls. Eating familiar food and drinking fresh water helps your pet feel more secure and minimizing travel stress. Follow their normal feeding schedule as much as possible. Keeping their appetite satisfied and hydration levels up will boost their stomach and spirits.

If you take the right precautions, you can significantly reduce pet travel anxiety and stress. Just remember, planning ahead, sticking to routine, using calming aids, and meeting all of their needs during transit will help ensure a smooth, stress-free trip for your furry companion. For more on safely transporting pets, check out this DIY pet shipping guide and learn about the cost of pet relocation services.


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