No question, some pets love to travel, others don’t. Some pets love when the relatives come to visit, others don’t. And some people who are visiting love your pets, others don’t. What do you do about those who fall under the category of ‘Don’t?’ This website has lots of information, and I offer some tips as well.
In addition, how to keep our pets safe and stress free over the howlidays.
Here are just a few bullet points:
When traveling (for pets not so crazy about the idea of car rides), it’s like getting to Carnegie Hall, practice.
First, lower anxiety before the car ride and insure that cats and small dogs are accustomed to the carriers. Spray pheremones like Feliway (for cats) or Adaptil (for dogs) into the carrier or crate. Even before the carrier goes into the car, insure the pet is content in the carrier. This process begins inside the house.
Once the carrier is a friendly place, now make the car a friendly place; help to associate the car with something very good, like the best treats that happen when the pet jumps into the car, or that fall into the carrier when the carrier is positioned inside the car. The pet goes into the car, gets treats, and then goes right back into the house (without the motor even being turned on). It’s a step-by-step process. Back indoors, the pet is fed. The idea is to associate the car with a positive outcome.
When the pet demonstrates no stress about this idea….pre-spray Feliway or Adaptil pheromones in the car (and the carrier), now it’s time to go somewhere. Also distract the dog on the car ride with something to chew on or a toy, and offer the cat a toy (maybe have another person join in the ride to distract the cat with a toy, or a least talk tot he cat). Don’t drive for more than a few minutes. For dogs, choose a fun destination, such as a park or a friend’s house with a dog. For a cat (and this can work for dogs as well) just return home for a meal. Again, the idea is to associate the car ride with a positive outcome for the pet.
Extend to longer trips over time, until you’re really ready to head to Granny’s
You can find more behavior and holiday safety tips here.