Tips on Pet Travel


From the national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Theresa DePorter on traveling with pets. More than ever people are opting for car travel for the holidays, and more than ever the entire family rides along, including those fur babies.

About 67 percent of American households currently have pets, which is up from 56 percent when the first such numbers were recorded back in the ‘80s. And according to a recent survey, approximately 78 percent of Americans who have pets travel with them. That’s lots of folks in lots of cars. However, the pets haven’t always been asked if they want to join. What’s more, Dr. DePorter says some pets have never been on a road trip, or it’s been a very long time.

Discerning if your pet is actually car sick or afraid and anxious is helpful. If the pet is car sick, see your veterinarian about an anti-nausea drug.

Dr.DePorter says practice, practice. For cats or small dogs, insure they are comfortable in the carrier. And start off just acclimating or re-acclimating pets to the car, and make it as positive an experience as possible.

Help is available – products can lower anxiety, and ideally even before the trip starts. Zylkene is a nutraceutical, a hydrolyzed milk protein which can take off the edge (for dogs or cats). Pheromones like Adapitl (for dogs) or Feliway (for cats) helps make pets more comfortable as well. Some dogs are comforted wearing a Thundershirt. One tip: Don’t wait for the trip to start to use the products, use before.

Also, there are more pet-friendly hotels than ever before.